Meet the people chosen for lighthouse 'dream job' on private Bay Area island

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- How would you like get paid six figures to live and work on a private island in the Bay Area?

That's the job description for an innkeeper position that captured international attention this past spring. Turns out, there's a lot that goes into this so-called "dream job".

The East Brother Light Station is accessible only by boat. Sitting on just under one acre, the light station straddles the line between San Francisco and San Pablo Bays.

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There is a big story behind this tiny island.

The structures were occupied until the 1960s. From there the buildings went into disrepair. Instead of being burned down like other light stations at the time that could not be maintained, a group of conservationists lobbied for the island to be designated as a national historic landmark and won.

In the 70's they really worked hard to rebuild the island to bring it back to its former glory. It's been operating as a bed and breakfast since 1980.

But in its nearly 40-year run as a place for guests to stay, never has there been this much attention at who the operators are.

Viral meaning thousands upon thousands of applicants from around the globe, as far away as Mexico, Korea, and Iceland. But out of all those applications, only a handful had the credentials needed for the job, like a special boating license that gets guests to-and-from the island, among other things, as the newly appointed innkeeper, Tiffany Dance, and Tyler Waterson soon learned.

The couple's unique backgrounds, including living on a 30-foot boat in Napa, helped them stand out.

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Tiffany smiles and says "It's a multifaceted position. I'm an occupational therapist so I'm good at taking care of people."

Tyler nods and echoes "I worked on day boats for the last 15 years or so and I have a really deep love for the Bay and the wildlife here," as he points to a group of seals, basking in the spring sunshine below the bed and breakfast.

In addition to shuttling guests four nights a week, pretty much everything that needs to be done is taken care of by Tiffany and Tyler. From cooking to the cleaning, care of the grounds and answering guest questions and keeping them entertained. It is truly a 24-hour-a-day job that also comes with a mission to uphold: preserving the island's natural beauty.

"The more people come to stay the most we have to work with to take care of the island. We don't get funding from anywhere else, it's the bed and breakfast that take care of the island."

The previous innkeepers Che Rodgers and Jillian Meker held the position for the recommended two-year stint.

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Jillian says there are many things that they had not expected.

"In all honesty... we thought we would have a lot more downtime!"

Their recommendation as Tyler and Tiffany embark on their new life adventure on just under an acre of unobstructed splendor?

"You get to meet some incredible people. It's important to take moments you can really appreciate and make the most of it because it's a lot of fun," Says Che.

It's something Tyler and Tiffany are ready to embrace with open arms.

"So for us to be able to share the history and share what a special place this really is is really important."

Rates for the East Brother Light Station vary depending on the time of year but range between $300 and $400 a night.
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