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Dream job? Get paid $130,000 to live on this island in the middle of the bay
By Bill Disbrow
Updated 9:15 am PST, Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Photo: Frederic Larson, The Chronicle
in this file photo, Katy Stewart and son Drake stroll through the main courtyard on East Brother Island off Point Richmond, Cailf., on November 28, 2008. Stewart and her husband serve as lightghouse keepers on ... more
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Are you ready to escape the hectic pace of the Bay Area but reluctant to give up that cushy salary of yours? There's no need to flee to Austin or even Sacramento. Your dream job may have just opened up in the middle of the San Pablo Bay.
East Brother Light Station — which sits on the small island just north of the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge — now operates as an inn, and after April, there will be nobody to run it.
The current operators, Che Rodgers and Jillian Meeker, will be handing over the keys to the 1874 lighthouse turned bed and breakfast to the right couple. Applicants should be prepared to do everything it takes to keep the place running, including ferrying the guests to the .7 acre outpost on the water.
"The successful candidates will be a couple, one of whom must possess a Coast Guard commercial boat operator's license," the not-for-profit which operates the location wrote in a press release. "They will operate the five-room inn, serving both dinner and breakfast, as well as providing ferry service for guests and all other tasks from chef to maid. High quality culinary experience and capability will be a critical qualification. The inn is open four days a week, and the island is also available for day use and special events. The new keepers will start in mid-April 2019, allowing two weeks for training."
The inn is open four days a week and hosts a number of special events. The couple will be paid around $130,000 annually, and provided housing on the island, according to East Brother Lighthouse Inc., which operates the Coast Guard-owned island.
As The Chronicle reported when the job opened up a decade ago, the island is now on the state and federal lists of historic places.
In 1980, a group of preservationists won permission to renovate the lighthouse and take over its maintenance. The group was led by Oakland mechanical engineer Walter Fanning, whose grandparents had been lighthouse keepers on East Brother decades earlier.
Income from the inn pays for the innkeepers and the upkeep of the lighthouse and other island structures.
Anyone interested in applying should confirm that valid Coast Guard license and then download the application here.