Associated Press catches up with Michael Richard Smith, the Maine man who's been living in a canoe and tent on Boston Harbor. He prefers to be called a "fellow citizen," rather than homeless.
"And hillbillies want to be called "Sons of the Soil," but it ain't gonna happen."
He's set up camp on one part of the floating dock next to the Aquarium (between NEAq and the Harbor Towers). He has the tent set up and a camp chair from which he is taking in the splendid harbor views. I didn't see any police / coast guard presence in his vicinity.
Not sure who "owns" that dock - there is a gated entrance to the slips between NEAq and the Harbor towers - but the part he is on is only accessible from the water, as other pieces of it have been removed (presumably for the winter).
Hippie. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
I don't want to demean him or chip away at his autonomy, but I don't want to log in here and learn he was found dead and floating.
Seems Fellow Citizen Smith won't have to worry about where he's going to vote: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/11/03/boston_election_officials_rethink_the_phantom_precinct/
Now, if he starts multiplying loaves and fishes, maybe the Mayans were on to something ...
The harbor views are splendid but when taking them in constantly, they lose their impact. As Thomas Paine said, "What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness that gives everything its value." My guess is that once the media moves on to its next quirky person story and the cold weather sets in, this guy will abandon ship, much like the majority of the Occupy crowd did. Perhaps a job/shower are in order?
Doesn't seem like he's adverse to work, given his choice of adaptation, and I'm sure the shower in your house will do.
As for cold, the dude's a Mainer. This is the tropics.
Guy's been out there since October. The only reason the media found out was because of a lengthy thread on Reddit the other day, not because he's busy writing press releases (he's too busy writing up reports on how to reform Boston public schools - really).
"Smith did accept a new life vest with reflectors and a whistle from police."
I want a free life vest and whistle, dammit!
I get that it's cheaper to give him a vest than to fish his drowning carcass out of the water and ambulance him to BMC. On the other hand, he's voluntarily chosen a life on the sea... inherently comes with some risks, right
So unless there's a sled in his canoe, this will all be rendered moot during the January cold snap we always get.
What parts would those be. The Chuck doesn't even freeze much anymore, but that's fresh water.
Salt water + gulf stream = freezing is rare.
So rare, in fact, that the only article on Boston Harbor freezing over that I could find was from 1904, and it was remarking on how it was the first time since 1855.
Considering that 1855 was during the multi-century cold snap, ice in Boston Harbor's salty waters is pretty uncommon, generally.
I can only think of a couple of times in my 28 years here that any ice anywhere has been an issue for more than a day. Fore River ferries, maybe, but only rarely.
back in the 60's I remember walking on ice from Southie's Carson Beach over to Columbia Point. A friend walked from Kelly's Landing over to Thompson's Island. Considering it was frozen saltwater, it wasn't thin ice by any means.