On vacation here in Marathon, in the Florida Keys, sitting on the patio facing a canal, I feel like Jimmy Stewart in Hitchcock's Rear Window as I watch the neighbors across the canal hefting a cooler onto their boat, leaving, and returning with their catch. They celebrate a big wahoo, clean it, grill it and eat it all the while in full view. Of course, they also see my family and I while we eat our meal on the patio.
In Marathon every house has a boat. The car is parked in the driveway in front and the boat is parked in the canal behind. The house faces neighbors across the street and the back yard faces the neighbors across the canal. No one expects privacy in either direction. Perhaps that is part of the spirit of the salt life. A fantasy of leisure, fishing, and socializing, without the hard edges of trying to make a living. I imagine that salt life is lived almost in quotes, as a demonstration of the good life, a spectator sport that invites others to watch.