Saturday, January 31, 2015

Things that go bang, click, clank, slap in the night.

January 31, 2015

Who knew there was a rhythmic orchestra of sounds on a boat?  We didn’t.  That first night we were excited to finally be on the boat but rather than being lulled to sleep in our lovely new queensized bed, with a nice gentle rocking motion, I lay there stiff as a board listening to the new orchestra.   It’s not that we don’t have sounds in the country: mice scurrying around the house, the occasional bat that thinks our sleep time is its "swoop and dive-bomb" time, a very smart raccoon who decides to have her litter in the space between the chimney and the casing next to our son’s bedroom, squirrels in the attic, owls, eagles, pheasants, wild turkeys, cows, dogs, cats and mosquitoes.  We live in a log home and it has its own set of creaks and groans. 

But that first night on the boat was startling!  The first thing I heard sounded just like a family of mice exploring the inner-workings of the hull or what you hear when you pour cold milk into a bowl of Rice Krispies!  I like Rice Krispies, but I don’t like mice, despite having lived with them for many years in an admittedly adversarial relationship.  I had looked forward to relegating them to my past.  The clicking continued all night and all day.  After listening to them for several days and not seeing any signs of mice aboard, I finally asked someone in the know.  Popcorn shrimp!!  But someone else said it was mussels or barnacles.  The internet seems to focus on the culinary delight of popcorn shrimp!  So who knows?  Actually, who cares as long as a) they are not mice and b) they are not destroying our boat.  The clicking has now become a rather playful accompaniment to life on a boat

The second night became even noisier as a front passed through.  The marina was rocking and rolling.  A few halyards were clanking against masts and some unknown objects were banging other unknown objects.  But the kicker was the slap of the water on the hull, right by my head.  No gentle rocking, no soothing waves, but noisy slaps at frequent intervals.  Ear plugs didn’t do a thing.  My ipod at full volume with earphones did not cover up the noise.  Jim, of course was unfazed by any of these noises!  

The third night the front was still hanging around but now the motion of the water had changed.  It was no longer quite so noisy, but the boat’s stern was rising and falling with great energy and enthusiasm.  I, on the other hand, began feeling worse and worse and wondered just how I could explain to anyone how I could possibly have gotten seasick at the dock!!  Fortunately at my most desperate moment the winds died, the seas calmed down and I finally fell asleep.