If you looked out to the waterfront this morning and happened to see an island with palm trees and a lighthouse sailing by, accompanied by the SF Fire Department fireboat, you weren't hallucinating.
Floating restaurant Forbes Island was on the go this morning, returning to its permanent post in Sea Lion Harbor (between Piers 39 and 41) after spending two months undergoing a major facelift and maintenance.
The floating island, which launched on December 23, 1980, is home to a French restaurant—accessible only via shuttle boat—that has four stars on Yelp. It "set sail into beautiful San Francisco Bay" on April 5th, according to a post on its Facebook page, and will re-open on June 15th. According to the Port, it was in dry dock at the BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair Yard at Pier 70 during that time.
Forbes Island hadn't left the harbor in 12 or 13 years—and even then, it was only for a week, said Pierre Bleuse, director of operations. "This was a big job. There was some engineering involved. That's why it took so long."
While the island was away, it got a full repainting, revamping and remodeling, along with a redesigned anchorage. "We're going to reopen looking really good," Bleuse said.
So how does an island set sail? According to the "About" section of its website, Forbes Island "is powered by an actual Sea Mule motor, which is the world's largest outboard motor. [It] was used extensively in World War II by the U.S. Navy to propel ocean going barges. It can rotate 360 degrees and has a 250 horsepower motor."
Interested in checking out Forbes Island's new look? They're already taking reservations for their reopening on the 15th.