Over the course of time I’ve gone to some pretty substantial lengths to get away from noise. This past week has been no exception, but the process has yielded some interesting information. After the boat went in the water on May 2, a little over a week ago, I stayed for several days at my friends’ dock in Deep River. The plan was to be at that spot until everything was organized and in order with the boat. It’s a handy place for receiving visits and for doing the remainder of the necessary projects before really setting off.
Deep River is a little noisy, with a combination of occasional machinery and young adults who like loud engines (boats or trucks). There is even a steam train that runs alongside the river carrying tourists, with attendant engine/track rumbling, whistles, and whooshing releases of steam, as the train stops to load and unload passengers for the riverboat at the nearby town dock. In spite of all of this, ordinarily there are lovely pauses in the activity, and the surrounding wetlands are often peaceful, filled with birds and their songs. At night, it generally goes completely still, making for good rest, and for gathering of resources to go forward with the next day.
This year is different. The first couple of days were fine; being so early in the season, the train had not even begun its regular schedule. Then on Tuesday some kind of substantial engine started, with the varying rhythm of a generator, a little through the trees from Warren and Margo’s dock. Once started, that engine never stopped. Day and night, something to do with a sewer construction project on the adjacent street. This was in addition to piledriving at the neighboring marina, where they were making repairs from the exceptional winter ice. I could deal with the piledriving; it was intermittent, and at three in the afternoon they all went home for the day. The generator, or pump, or whatever it is, was another story: constant, loud in the daytime, idling all night long, until it geared up again to full, raucous force when the folks went to work in the morning. By the second night of this I was making plans, and at 0600 on Thursday morning, early to catch the southbound tide, I was off.
This departure was ahead of schedule, and not everything was in order. But there was enough. All the fussy little lines were not in place for the junk rig, but happily, in the very light morning breeze, that didn’t matter! Halyards put the sails up, lazy jacks held them when they were down, and tack hauling parrels were in place, keeping both sails oriented correctly on the masts, front to back. Also crucial, sheets were in place for hauling the sails in or out.
Most of the batten parrels on the mainsail, on the other hand, were not attached, but the top two were in place, which was helpful. I remembered friends telling me that they once forgot to attach the batten parrels and went sailing, with general success. The redundancy of the junk rig is a beautiful thing, meaning that if one part fails (or is otherwise unavailable), there are plenty of others to keep things in order until there is a chance to make it better. Some of the various lines for this rig were still coiled, hanging from their attachments somewhere up the sail. No matter: off we went.
Down the river a little ways there’s a small island, with a tiny yacht club on the shore behind it. A friend had once invited me to tie up there if I needed, and with a plan for shore support on the following morning, I headed in that direction. The friend indeed came through (thank you David!), and by the end of the day on Friday, Amanda and her sister Alaina had been and gone, with many more rigging lines in place afterwards, and the mast wires run through the deck seal, so that the anchor light could work. Supplies had come and gone, and I was in business. There are a couple more shore support visits to be done, but the necessities are in order for being off the dock.
The most beautiful part of this accelerated schedule is that now I’m anchored in my most favorite creek! Amanda and Alaina cast off the dock lines on Friday afternoon, with a good southwest breeze and the current going back up the river. By half an hour later I was inside Selden Creek, setting the anchors. Here I’ve been ever since, resting and getting things in order, and happily away from the river traffic.
Now and then folks pass by, in kayaks or small motorboats, sometimes stopping for a chat, but otherwise it’s me and the birds, and a beaver that likes to whack its tail on the water as everything is getting dark in the evening. The owls have been busy calling, and with the leaves just starting to come out, once the light comes up in the morning it’s easy to see the gorgeous colors of the spring warblers. It’s great to have a rest, in the beautiful stillness.
Auggh! Noise! Your post rang a bell with me… ugh, sorry. I just had a hearing test last month in regard my tinnitus (the VA doctor agree that hearing has nothing to do with tinnitus…). Anyway she reported that I have lost some hearing in a few ranges, but that my hearing (voice discrimination, volume, etc is very good). She was very empathetic and we had a good chat about tinnitus and hyper- acusis (irritation at loud noises). She recognized how I suffer from noise which I don’t create. (when I drum my spoon on the cup it’s ok, when someone else does it I wanna strangle them…)
She tried to find out if my work or hobbies led to my situation — with an occupation as librarian and hobby of sailing — she couldn’t find that as a cause of hearing problems.
Find a quiet harbor, sail with the wind in your face (and ears), stay happy my friend!
Helen Opie said:
Billcanoe: There is a homeopathic remedy for tinnitis that helped me; unfortunately I’ve either used it up or lost it, so cannot tell you its name. A friend got it for me at our local drug store – but this is in Nova Scotia. Homeopathic remedies are so dilute that they either help or do nothing, and have no recorded reactions. I find B-complex also helps.
Noise pollution is the bane of my life, too! So glad to hear you got away from all that pounding and pumping!
Chubba Kane said:
Background noise, especially when you are seeking just the wild sounds of mother nature, can be especially irritating. The implications can be severe, as the noise isn’t what you expect. Finding a peaceful place and the serenity it provides is appreciated and rewarding, more so after confronting the unpleasant distractions. Those places seem to be getting rarer in today’s world, but once found, provided such a pleasant episode. I hope your voyage finds many of these treasured moments.
There’s nothing like quiet places, to remind one what’s possible. Here and there I find another one, and it’s always a treat. Lately there’s a lot of lawn care going on, but sometimes it’s good to not get too cozy – it’s amazing how much ground one can cover, with some good inspiration!
Sure would love to know the name of the homeopathic stuff that worked, if you run across it again. The work with brain retraining seems to be making a difference also, which makes sense with what Whalen referred to above, about tinnitus being a brain issue rather than an ear issue. Here’s to stillness!
Helen Opie said:
This is all I can tell you: it is made by Homeocan, a Canadian homeopathic remedy manufacturer in Montreal, Quebec. They put the store’s name on their labels; South Shore Natural Foods, or PharmaSave, for instance. The label simply said Tinnitus. Next time I am over the river to Annapolis (Royal) I’ll see if they still have it.
You might find it at some well-stocked natural foods store or alternative-medicine-oriented pharmacy locally. Maybe google “homeopathic remedy for tinnitus”. I have two helpful layperson’s books on the subject and neither one has tinnitus in their index, nor anything under ears or hearing, other than earaches.
I’m sorry I cannot be of further help, though if I knew you were coming this way and they do not have it in stock at the local drugstore (which changed name from PharmaSave to Guardian Drug) I could get it for you and have it on hand if I knew you were coming. If I knew your were coming I’d a’ baked a cake”…Tinnitus remedy is more to the point.
All that information does the trick – listed on US Amazon, no less: http://www.amazon.com/Tinnitus-Pellets-1tube-Tinitis-Homeocan/dp/B0032GX6AK/ref=lh_ni_t?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1NWHVG6ZRL80
But under hobbies, did you tell her boatbuilding?? Good thing the traditional boat builders you hang around with don’t use power tools! Though I’ll bet that some of the hammering can be a bit much. I’ve taken to putting scrunched up bits of toilet paper in my ears, to take the edge off. And have big earmuff style ear protectors on the boat, for occasional noise vacations. I could live with the noise, more or less, but I hate that afterwards the ringing is so ramped up. The vision of putting up with that for ages after the initial racket is quite enough to get me into travel mode!
Stay floating, my friend :-)