Thursday, April 22, 2010


Boats are a noisy business. The wind plays a soulful, murmur overhead answered below by the random clanging of water, a constant reminder that I'm sitting in a floating fiberglass tub. The lines groan in the cleats, and the occasional halyard raps a metallic drumbeat, the boom squeaks on its hinge. Throw in rain clacking onto the fiberglass deck, and it raises quite a racket -- especially on your first night alone at the end of a long dock.

Chip returned to the Outer Banks yesterday to take care of the wine shop for a few days, leaving me and Good Company to take care of each other.

Once the darkness settled over us, and the storm moved in, the volume went up.

CREEAKK. "Oh no, what's that?"

SPLASH. "Oh no, is that a leak?"

POP. "Oh no, are we hitting a piling?"

That was how my night was going.

Along about midnight, I was lying in bed when a sharp KNOCK, KNOCK brought me straight up, hair standing on end. For all the world, I could swear someone had just reached up out of the water and knocked on the hull -- right by my head. BWAAAAAHHHHHH.

Forcing myself to think through what just happened, I realized it was the spring line rubbing against a stanchion, something that happened several more times in the night. Each time it knocked, it was a little less frightening.

The noise is part of this very big learning curve I'm climbing. I don't know yet how to filter the sounds, which ones are just your run-of-the-mill, regulation boat noises, and which require my immediate attention. So, for now, they all do.

That's me. Relaxing in the din.

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