Michael Richard Smith Lives in 14-Foot Canoe in Boston Harbor

| by Michael Allen

Michael Richard Smith, 49, has lived in a 14-foot canoe in Boston Harbor for about two months.

Authorities say they're keeping an eye on him, even though he isn't breaking any laws, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Smith paddles to small offshore docks after dark to pitch his tent and sleep. He hates the word "homeless" and describes himself as a "fellow citizen."

Smith told the Houston Chronicle: "It's about as safe as I could be. Anybody who would want to hurt me or take my things, they have to have a boat. And boat people stick together."

Coast Guard Lt. Joe Klinker said Tuesday: "What it really seems like is he's trying to figure out whether it's feasible to live out there. It's not a major concern for the Coast Guard right now. A lot of people who don't have a place, live by the water, but on the water is unique."

The Boston Police Department's harbor unit has offered him city services, which Smith declined, but he did accept a new life vest with reflectors and a whistle. Police also told him not to operate his canoe at night because it doesn't have lights.

Smith plans to sleep in Boston Harbor all winter.