It's no secret commuting in the San Francisco Bay Area is as difficult as it gets.
But Richmond resident Janis Johnson has found a unique way to commute to work: she kayaks.
“I had come down here from the foothills and I kind of jokingly boasted to my friends, ‘I’m going to get a kayak and kayak to work,’” Johnson told NBC Bay Area on a chilly August morning while getting ready for her kayak commute. “I was just thinking that would be the ultimate in coolness and so, I did!”
Johnson lives on board a 42-foot boat in Marina Bay only 2.25 miles away from her job at KKMI, a boat repair and maintenance yard. A couple of times a week, she’ll wake up a little earlier than usual, prepare her kayak and make her way down the Harbor Channel at a pace of about 15 minutes per mile.
When she doesn’t take her kayak, Skedaddle, out into the water, Johnson takes her bike to work. It only takes about 10 minutes.
Despite the fact that it takes Johnson almost three times as long to get to work by kayak, she says the experience on the water in the early morning is worth it.
“There’s something about commuting by water that gives you a really unique perspective on where you are,” Johnson said. “It’s an exciting way to get to work.”
It’s not only thrilling to get away from the usual traffic found in the Bay Area but Johnson says taking a slower paced commute to work allows for more peaceful and intimate moments.
“When you do something over and over again it becomes so routine and mundane. Taking a different route to work might take longer but maybe you’ll get to see a beautiful building or park,” Johnson said. “Variety is definitely the spice of life and we need to use as many spices as we can.”