Life on the water
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Leeward Bay Marina

LIFE ON THE WATER: A Leeward Bay resident makes a short commute on his boat in the marina, which draws people looking for a low cost of living. About 75 residents live on boats floating in waters that are often a brew of debris, bacteria, pesticides and other toxic substances flowing from inland cities. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
HOME SWEET HOME: Sonja Massingill says she has enjoyed living on her 36-foot cruiser, Toujours Mon Amour, for six years. “There’s nothing like sitting out here at night with a few drinks and enjoying the lights on the refineries and drawbridges,” she said. “It’s like a damn fairyland.” (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
“If i didn’t have this boat to live on, I would be living under a bridge,” Stephanie Lajon-Griffith says, as she looks out over her home during a break from work. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
PART OF A FAMILY: Greg Ashley, a maritime plumber and electrician, cradles his roommate, a green-wing macaw. No one seems to mind when Ashley, after a long day at work, heads to the Chowder Barge for a beer with his bird. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
LONGTIME LIVE-ABOARD: Vernon Lovelace, an 11-year resident called “Tiny” by those at Leeward Bay, makes money by towing boats and scavenging the harbor for recyclables. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
LOCAL WATERING HOLE: Trash and debris collect by the Chowder Barge, the cultural heart and soul of the marina, where residents gather to carry on about funny boater mishaps and old times. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
Sunset over Leeward Marina. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)