Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Boat Whispering

When it is very quiet, Eolian whispers to us.

Even when there is no wind, there is motion, and with that motion, the boom swings back and forth a tiny bit.  Oh, we sheet it in tight, but eventually, it works just enough slack that it can move.  And when it does, the sheet blocks creak, ever so slightly, rhythmically.  You might think it would be irritating, but it is not, no more so than your own heartbeat.  She is talking to us, saying, "I am alive, and everything is good."

The solar vent chuckles to itself, moving air thru the bilge.

And when the wind picks up, as it has tonight, there are new voices.  The wind sighs past all the wires that hold up the mast - each hums with its own voice, but somehow they are in key, in harmony.  And now the staysail boom moves back and forth (tho also once sheeted in tight) adding a rhythm, syncopated with the mainsheet blocks.  Occasionally, a halyard will tap against the rig somewhere, making a hollow echoing kettle drum sound as the impulse travels up 60 feet of 3/8" wire and down the other side.

With rising wind, there is the occasional liquid splashing sound as a wave meets the hull and says hello.  And the fenders begin to speak, creaking as the hull compresses them against the dock.  And now we can hear the harp of our neighbor boat's solid rigging.  Being rod rigging, it makes a different sound in the air.  On our starboard side, our other neighbor has a wind generator - it adds a kind of brush-on-a-snare-drum sound.

So it is never actually silent, living aboard here, Eolian is never speechless.  Even in a calm, she whispers to us as we sleep,

"Everything is good."

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