Sounds of silence

You’d think a sailboat at anchor would be ghostly quiet. It isn’t. If there’s any breeze at all there is always a thrumming in the rigging that takes on depth the higher the speed. This can be disconcerting. With every gust you can feel her start to lift chain off the bottom and then the bridle ticks ever faster over the bow until she stops tugging and then the elastic effect of the stretched line bouncing back. Because of the Naval yards and Norfolk there’s a low end city rumble. In every anchorage there’s always a knucklehead that hasn’t led a halyard to a quiet place. I like the occasional tug whistle and one morning we awoke to that distinctive fire breathing rumble of large block twin V8’s of offshore speedboats. There were at least 50 of these things, all colors and designs, coming into Tidewater Marine in Portsmouth.

Sometimes a voice will reach you from a boat or shore, and for a second or two you’d think that they were right next to you. On weekends Norfolk often has bands playing in the park opposite us, But our favorite, because we’re anchored off Hospital Point, is that every night we hear a bugle playing Retreat and every morning Reveille. Kind of nice.

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