Sailing into Freedom - When Your Primary Residence is the Ocean

Legacy Part 10 – Cecil and Marisa – Mariners

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By Jason Murphy, Co-Founder & Creative Director

I have been on my fair share of sailing boats the size of Amber IV in my life, and while each one is different, the well organized boats - the ones rigged to sail long distances in relative comfort and safety - have a familiar atmosphere: one that is welcoming, orderly and comfortable in a traditional sort of way with a light dusting of hi-tech safety and navigational equipment.

And Cecil and Marisa are typical cruising types. Their boat is their home and their commitment to a life of freedom rolled into one.

They don’t like the label “liveaboard” because they feel it has been given a bad name. They see themselves as mariners with as much right to their way of life as anyone else, a right that they feel is under threat.

On the Fringes of Land and Water

They’re not alone there. Just about every person I spoke to in, and around, Echo Bay, including Marisa and Cecil, get the impression government would prefer no one at all live in the wilderness full time. But what makes Marisa and Cecil’s situation somewhat unique is they feel like this kind of institutionalized passive aggressiveness extends to some of the people living in the surrounding coastal communities where they need to anchor, moor or dock from time-to-time.

In particular, they feel that shore dwellers see them not as they really are but as potentially threatening itinerants - a problem exacerbated by a boat dwelling criminal element that they admit does exist.

Searching for Liberty Under the Law

Our conversation focused mainly on the balance of personal freedom and the law enforcement required to keep both boat and shore dwellers happy.

Marisa emphasized her view that she should not be bothered by the authorities as she goes about her life until such point that she ever did anything wrong. Cecil told me his view that municipal governments who have jurisdiction over coastal waters of their communities just don’t have (or want to spend), the money needed to look after the issue properly.

Staying Connected to Coastal Communities

The conversation ended with a discussion on the idea of tagging all vessels electronically so that their movements and activities can be tracked at a relatively small expense. It’s an idea I’m going to look into more as I go forwards.

Cecil mentioned while we talked that people who live on boats are just as tied to the land as anyone else – for supplies, income and administrative needs. I have a feeling it is a point I will keep returning to throughout my travels.