Silence is Deafening…

Sailors often remark that they love the silence of sailing.  No rumble of engine noise to shatter a peaceful afternoon of sails flapping while changing course through the wind, loose halyards drumming against stays or wind whistling around the mast, echoing down through to the mast step below.  Pause for an afternoon nap and the wind buffets the hull while waves slap gently, rocking the sailor into a peaceful slumber.  Or, wanting a restful night after crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas, the sailor releases the anchor, paying out enough chain to hold through the strongest of breezes.  Yet, as the tide changes, chain can be heard shifting across the sea bed as the vessel swings with the tide.  But restful it is because without the sound of the chain or lap of the waves, a cautious sailor knows to check his position.  Dragging an anchor can be the most silent of all.

Oh, I have come to appreciate sound.  While crossing the infamous Drake’s Passage from South America to Antarctica on an expedition ship, powering through heavy seas in 35-45 kts, the rhythmic drum of those diesel engine injectors and pistons driving the steel vessel gifts the sailor with peace of mind.

Enjoy the sound of your vessel.

Solitary Pied-Billed Grebe in a pond teeming with life. Jekyll Island, GA, 2018

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