Our marina is a neighborhood within a neighborhood. When people ask where we live, I still pause slightly before answering. According to our mail, we live in Charlestown, a Boston neighborhood. According to my mind, our neighborhood is Constitution Marina itself. There are around one hundred boats with full time liveaboards here, including nearly a dozen kids.

When you all have to walk the same docks to leave the water, you can’t help but run into neighbors. We wave to some, stop and chat with others, and nod to many new faces of marina guests in the summer. We begin to learn one another’s schedules and who to expect to bump into when.

We’ve made friends in our funny floating neighborhood. Kinsley loves to chat with wonderful liveaboard who takes care of all the marina plantings. She and Kinsley talk about flowers and bees whenever they pass. We snip basil and chives from the herb boxes to spice up our summer meals. We’re close with many of the other parents, taking turns watching the kids along the Harbor Walk or in the pool and sharing birthdays.

On our way off the dock each day we check to see if the other kids are in the marina or not. Kinsley always announces which kids are out having fun, depending on the lifejackets clipped to the fence.

Over the winter, our neighborhood grows even closer. Liveaboard boats are clustered together, closest to the gates. Adults meet at the pool on Friday nights, after it has warmed up to hot tub temperature. The families then take over on Saturday mornings, to enjoy the bath temperature water. We leave our radios on during storms, just in case someone needs help.

I know there are extra adults around to help me out, just in case. I’ve watched other kids sleep so laundry can be finished late at night, other parents have busied my kids so boat jobs could be finished.

The marina organizes a turkey roast, holiday party, and spring potluck. There’s a facebook group and email list to keep us connected. These help organize open mike nights, borrowing tools, selling parts, and sharing of marine related news. We’ve joined together for birthdays, baby showers, and bon voyage celebrations.

Alex and I chose this marina for its location but we stay for the community.