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Google Barge Cruising From San Francisco To Delta

Google's mystery barge is floating toward its new home in California's delta after being ordered to leave San Francisco.

The odd-looking, four-story vessel made of recycled shipping containers departed from Treasure Island early Thursday to comply with a Jan. 31 regulatory order concluding that Google Inc. didn't have the proper permits to build it there.

Google says the barge will serve as an interactive technology center once it's done. There has been speculation that it might be used as an aquatic store or party boat.

The vessel's new home will be Stockton, a city about 80 miles east of San Francisco on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta. The Port of Stockton falls outside the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, the agency that forced the barge to leave Treasure Island.

The attention and intrigue surrounding the barge since it was first spotted last fall has been a source of amusement for Google, which issued a playful statement about its new berth.

"It's been a busy six months for our barge and it's grown tired of all the attention, so we are moving it to Stockton where it can have a break, enjoy the city's delicious asparagus, warmer climate and get a bit of rest before its next chapter," Google joked.

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