Monday, June 26, 2017

1982 (8) – Voices at Sea

St. Lucia.  An art quilt.  37" x 46"

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

We left Bermuda in mid-June.  Another week of sailing, and we would reach our destination on Long Island, New York.  Some people assume that sailing north from the Caribbean means hugging the Eastern U.S. coast - it doesn't.  We were well out to sea, 1000 miles east of Florida, and (at our closest), 650 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, when we passed that latitude.  

We saw birds throughout the trip, and were visited once by dolphins that were traveling south, but our main "company" came from the voices that were audible throughout the passage.  We’d heard them on the trip from the Virgins to Bermuda, and now they were with us again.

St. Lucia.  Detail.

Sounding like both male and female in tone, the voices constantly chattered, sometimes letting out a laugh or a yell, but never distinct enough for us to pick up any words.  We could hear them throughout the boat.  At first we were continually asking each other, "What did you say?"  At one point I was on my bunk and Ed was in the galley.  He came in to take my hand and ask me what was wrong.  Why was I crying?  I hadn't been making any sound at all. 

Eventually, I discovered the source of the voices.  I was sitting on the head, one foot braced against the back of the door, to compensate for the heel of the boat.  The loud chattering was making me nuts.  Without realizing what I was doing, I slapped my hand against the overflow hole in the sink.  The voices quieted substantially.  It was one of those Oh-My-God moments.  I pushed the rubber stopper into the sink drain and put my hand back to cover the overflow hole.  Near quiet…

St. Lucia.  Detail.

Tropic Moon had three sinks.  One in the head, and a large, deep sink in the galley – both of which were midway through the boat.  The third sink was in the aft cabin (back end of the boat).  I went through Tropic Moon, putting stoppers in the sink drains, and covering the overflow holes with masking tape.  The source of our voices?  Seawater gurgling in the pipes...  Needless to say, Ed was impressed with my discovery. 

We were happy to reach Long Island, where Ed's parents lived.  For the month of July, we moved ashore into Ed's childhood home in Baldwin, New York.  We enjoyed real beds, hot showers, and Ed's mom's delicious home cooking.

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