I'm of two minds about all of this.
I live in San Diego
and I'd been out to the A8 anchorage when it was around. It was half abandoned boats, some sunk at anchor
. It was a real mess. I went out there once to look at a boat because I wanted something big and cheap
, but it was pretty disgusting having been an unkempt live-aboard for years. I'm sure there were some good people there but the bottom line was it had become a hazard to navigation
and was making the south bay completely unusable. While I bemoan the lack of a truly free anchorage inside the bay, the bottom line is it will attract freeloaders every time.
Now you can anchor outside the bay at Zuniga point, in the shallows off North Island. Yes, it's directly exposed to the ocean, but it's calm 90% of the time. When the weather
comes up, you can move into San Diego Bay and anchor for up to three days. We've never had a storm here last longer than that. Then go back out.
In my opinion, if you can't move your boat, you're freeloading, not living aboard, and you're a hazard to navigation
. Those boats come loose in storms and do harm to others that the owner isn't going to remediate. There's no reason why that should be acceptable.
I think San Diego's solution strikes the perfect balance by naturally requiring the boats to move, thus proving that they're in fact seaworthy
vessels. Viola. And guess what? There's maybe a dozen boats that do this, down from the 60-odd that were in the A8 anchorage.
There are a few others that live on the hook by rotating around amongst the various free 3 and four day anchorages
, and I'm also perfectly fine with that. As long as the boat can move and the owner can move it, that's a live-aboard, not a freeloader on a derelict.
I know guys that live in coves up and down the coast and in Catalina
. If you're living on the hook in a remote
cove, nobody is going to bother you and you aren't freeloading because there's nothing to freeload from. But it requires a real sailor and a seaworthy
vessel. Not a house atop a barge that's taking up dock space from real boats.
Same thing for RVs IMHO: They're the perfect way to live on the cheap here in So Cal
. As long as you can move it, go ahead and park at the beach for 72 hours. Then move to another beach. Just don't think that you can camp out in the commons in a broken-down wheeled shack and think everyone else should put up with your appropriation of the commons.
I believe there should be no requirement that people participate in society, and reciprocally, there should also be no requirement that society support them. Those who take nothing and give nothing, I have no problem with. Freeloaders are the people who take and give nothing back, and for them, I have no sympathy.
I spent a few weeks homeless as a young man, after wearing out my welcome on the couches of my parent's friends. I slept in parks, with other homeless people. I realized after a few days that there weren't any kids
or families around, because we homeless folk were taking up all of the space and the park had become notorious for petty crimes, which I did see happening. I felt kind of bad about that. The cops would come around sporadically and hassle people, but we'd wander back after a few hours as soon as they were gone. After a week of freezing on the grass knoll of a public park at night, I figured out a way to make a few bucks painting house numbers on curbs and rented a room at a $40 week hotel
, where the guy took your cash from behind a grate. I did that until I could take advantage of a government
jobs program called the U.S. Navy
It's important for people to have a way up and a way out, and that's what is often times missing. Also missing are the mental health
services that used to exist. Now we've just turned people with mental illness out onto the street and blamed them for being unable to keep a job. I have a tough time being sympathetic to addicts though. That's the definition of just taking.