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.