In the latest news surrounding the mysterious Google Barge floating on the bay near Treasure Island, the Chronicle's mustachioed duo have finally cracked the story wide open. (We always knew you had it in you, guys.) Not only is the barge a floating showroom for the company's gadgetry, but it is also a glassy sailboat that will putter around the bay like 21st-century Phoenicians as it brings local citizens the good news about Google technology.
Matier and Ross lay out the boat's planned trade routes over at the Chronicle:
Whatever it is, the barge’s backers expect it to draw 1,000 visitors a day as it sails from spot to spot around the bay. Among the envisioned mooring sites are Piers 30-32 and other San Francisco docks, Fort Mason, Angel Island, Redwood City and Rosie the Riveter Historical National Park in Richmond.
The idea is to stay at each spot for a month. Eventually, the barge would sail off to San Diego and other West Coast ports.
Angel Island seems like a curious (but scenic) location, given that no one actually lives there, but maybe they'll start hosting Glass-enable Segway tours of the former naval base and internment camp. Who knows? When you've got a boat at your disposal, the possibilities are as endless as the open sea.
As previously noted, the floating showroom allowed Google to skip over those pesky planning documents and permit approvals that govern landlubber law, but the permit process for parking a 50-foot-tall, 250-foot barge on the San Francisco waterfront is just as Byzantine. According to S.F. Port spokeswoman Renee Dunn Martin, Google submitted preliminary proposals back in September, but "they haven't come back to us with anything concrete." Apparently the port parking permit approvals stalled at the Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
As for those sails: Matier and Ross report that they're really more for shading the guests and providing a bit of "nautical whimsy." And, in case you were thinking you wouldn't be closely monitored while aboard the vessel, the design includes 50 security cameras — and that's not including all the ones Google Geniuses will be wearing on their faces.