|Sir Douglas Quintet|
The pretty town of Sausalito was a favorite R&R spot for bands playing dance concerts in San Francisco. The Ark, an old converted Ferry boat (the Charles Van Damme) at Gate 6 in Sausalito, served as a sort of "after-hours" club for many of the San Francisco bands, much as The Sweetwater in Mill Valley did for the likes of Jerry Garcia years later. Bands would slip over to Sausalito after finishing their gigs, play an after-hours set at The Ark (popular in part because it was one of the only clubs around and open), and then crash nearby.
In fact, Sausalito became a regular 'staging' area for bands booked or hoping-to-be in the bigger concert halls, and The Ark benefited early on as both a rehearsal and 'test' site for new or re-worked numbers. The Ark tended to have shows running from midnight to six in the morning, and rarely paid the groups playing. They were however all fed a complimentary Huevos Rancheros breakfast in the morning in exchange for financial compensation. Moby Grape used the venue as a practice site as early as 1966.