Perhaps with a hint of irony, we "Wet Milers" are often individually lauded for our self-sufficiency and pioneering spirt ... and yet there's a kinship in how we all share those traits, as well as our mutual dedication to the history and future of Mare Island. The Island is a unique place, where--in keeping with its legacy--just about anything can be built. And your neighbor is also "a maker" who is eager to lend a hand when called. We are constantly visiting each other to sample wares, to share the latest historical finds we've discovered in our basements, and to borrow the proverbial cup of sugar. One day we looked around and realized that with just a little bit of coordination, we could provide a visitor to Mare Island with a rich, full-day experience wandering along the waterfront and historic core, getting a taste of the history along the way. The Wet Mile and its website was born. There's really no central authority here--if you want to know more, visit a Wet Miler, and they'll point you to the next Wet Miler, who will point you to another, and soon you'll experience what The Wet Mile is all about.
A thirty minute drive south from Napa's wine country, or 50 minute ferry ride from San Fransisco, Mare Island is nestled on the northern shores of the San Francisco (San Pablo) Bay in Vallejo, CA. Founded in 1854 as the first naval base on the West Coast and closed in 1996 after 142 years of incredible shipbuilding legacy, Mare Island is four square miles of former naval shipyard buildings, workshops, waterfront promenades, homes, and parks, all in varying stages of redevelopment. New breweries, wineries, and distilleries are moving into buildings formerly used for storing coal, housing officers, or hiding the Cold War’s secret documents. The former Captain’s row of houses now serve as the backdrop for numerous Hollywood movies. Brick buildings, the West’s first dry-docks, air raid bunkers and majestic cranes remain as they were built, and—along with the local museum—reveal the rich history and contribution to the nation of this incredible shipyard.