I live in the most publically viewed neighborhood in San Diego. Just about every tourist pays us a visit, there are photographers here every day, and YOU have probably been here,too. I live aboard a 45' ferro cement sailboat in one of the many floating neighborhoods in the San Diego Bay! Among my neighbors are all walks of life from seasoned sailors to weekend warriors. From people with fixed incomes to the working classto the independently wealthy. The boats vary just as much..there's the 22' fixer upper, the 100' blinged out mega yatch and every other boat imaginable..no really! Put all this together ( over 55,000 registered boat owners in San Diego County) with the multiple military agencies fleets that puruse these waters and i'd say this is a busy bay, we boaters call home! breaking it down into the different neighborhoods there are mooring fields( where your boat is attatched to a mooring ball), anchorages( where your boat is anchored out0, and marinas( where your boat is in it's own slip). Each of these neighborhoods have counterparts ashore that adds a multiple layer to the mix. Laurel St. Roadstead has Little Italy and Downtown, America's Cup has Point Loma and Harbor island, Shelter Island Roadstead( aka Rock n Roll) has Shelter Is. and The Tidelands Mooring has Coronado( and these are just the mooring fields!) The last one is where we call home! Aside from being ridiculously expensive and on seeming lockdown for new artists to enter the scene ( Please, correct me if I am wrong!), Coronado is lovely and well taken care of. The library is awesome with a killer travel section, friendly librarians, and walls( yes, plural!) of movies( many new and up to date..unlike the 1950's musicals many libraries have, you know it's true!). Coronado is very bike friendly and I see people of many ages cruisin' around all over. The beach near the Hotel Del is sweet, too, the sunsets are unbeatable. Our dinghy is our mode of transport from boat to shore and back again. Here we pull up to the beach at Tidelands Park...high tide or low...and sometimes it is REALLY low! We don't even put on our shoes until we get to the park, just slugging through the muck barefoot. Most of our neighbors , however, don black rubber , which some days I envy like when the water is FRIGID or after a storm when the water is suppose to be a toxic slew for 3 days. A great thing about the boating community is that we seem to know more of our neighbors. There are common threads living aboard as it is a labor of love ( and here i stress the word 'labor') . The maintenance of a boat is constant due to the sun, wind and rain along with the natural degradation of any structure over time. We meet one another on the beach or in our dighys as we row back and forth. Occassionally folks will stop by the boat to introduce themselves, usually offering assistance if it is ever needed. We get to enjoy nature in the heart of the city and be one with the elements. This said, boaters also have to pay special attention to the weather because it does impact us on a very personal level. We usually get the heads up before a storm as many of us have prepping on our minds, you know, putting the pots and pans under the leaks, etc...that is real! On the water we have all the same conveniences at our disposal- fuel stations, restaurants and stores that have docks for easy access. We have our own parade, our own festivals, and the best view of the fireworks to be had! As traveling by dinghy is way more cost effective, albeit a little longer, it is a great way to get around the bay. As well as dinghy power, many boaters walk, ride bikes, and use public transportation. It is a very green way to live, out of neccesity more than anything, but as the world dependancy on oil and other finite resources comes to a screeching halt, the boater is there..or mostly there( there are gas generators..).Look closely at the boats you pass and you will notice the solar panels and wind generators onboard. So the next time you are walking Embarcadero, going over the Coronado Bay Bridge, or purusing an area near a marina or anchorage, know that these are neighborhoods. Real neighborhoods with real people going along with their day-much like you are going along with yours. Here i go signing off and reminding you, as a boater, that there is never a better time to " Live The Dream!".

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