|A rolly anchorage can lead to a Kurtz-like madness|
Due to squally weather and strong counter-currents, we did not make it to our destination of Iles de Saintes yesterday evening as planned. Which is why we found ourselves in a less than desirable anchorage on the southernmost tip of Guadaloupe. "Looks like it might be rolly" Scott said with defeat. The aggressively tick-tocking masts in the distance confirmed his suspicions.
We dropped the hook, had our friends over for dinner and turned in for the night early. I fell asleep easy, which falsely led me to believe that maybe just maybe I'd get a good night's rest. The fact that I am writing this post running on fumes with bloodshot eyes and a bonafide dreadlock from my head tossing and turning so much on my pillow might indicate otherwise.
I first awoke two hours into my slumber to the boat rolling very aggressively side to side and all the wonderful noises that accompany this sort of movement. Clank clank CLANK, clank clank CLANK. Tap tap, tap tap. Slap SLAP, slap SLAP. Tink, tink TINK, tink, tink TINK. Bump bump, bump bump. Creak, craaaack, creak, craaack....All these noises greeted me with exhuberance. In case my onomatopoeia didn't do the trick, this boat - unlike our last boat - makes an incredible amount of noise when she rolls and before you suggest I try ear plugs or white noise - save it. They don't work. The boat noise always wins. Believe me, I have tried.
There are very few things that are more annoying than irregular noises on a boat when you are trying to sleep. I've been thinking about this for a while, and I think the only thing that even comes close is the vexatious sound of a mosquito (or ten) buzzing around your head. Both of these things are super annoying and, depending on their severity, border on maddening. Last nights cacophony of rolliness was the latter.
I sprung out of bed to try to isolate the noises one by one. Of course by the time I made it into the salon, the rolling would subside slightly and the noises, as if they couldn't taunt me any more, would temporarily abate. I stood there in darkness; silent and still as a deer in headlights waiting...waiting...ready to pounce on the noise. Finally, we'd start rolling again and I could get to work. First, I isolated the culprit of the creaking. It was the door to the forward head. I jammed some paper towels between it and the jam trying to quell the squeak. Nothing. I tried more paper towels. Nothing. After ten minutes of fiddling in complete darkness, I decided the only way to shut this damn door up would be to keep it open. So I grabbed some twine and suspended it mid-swing by tying it off to a small pad eye that we use for our lee cloths. Success! No more creaking. I went back to bed.
Not an hour later I was jolted awake again. This time, it was a rhythmic and muffled "bump, bump". Muttering my favorite curse words I clamored out of bed made my way back into the salon. I repeated my method of discovery, which is not unlike a hunter awaiting it's prey: stand still, listen intently, wait. Knowing that it was only a matter of time before the noises reared their ugly heads again, I laid down on the settee and waited for the next surge which came within five minutes. Bump, bump, bump...I isolated the sound to a cabinet. Took off my shirt and shoved it inside in an attempt to wedge any void that was causing the noise. No dice. Edgar Allen Poe would have felt right at home on this boat, with each sound taunting me like a hushed "nevermore". I listened closer. The muffled bump, bump, bump continued. Dammit. I opened the cabinet again, looking more closely this time. Ah ha! A can was rolling and hitting the wall of the bin it was in. I took my shirt, jammed it in the bin and went back to bed. "Victory" I thought.
Two hours later I was awoken, yet again, by a more agressive banging sound. This time, however, it came from outside. "The halyards must have come loose" I thought to myself. Halyards clanging against a mast suck. Period. I grabbed some line (wasn't about to dig for the bungees) and tied them off with masterful precision. I stood in anticipatory silence, yet again, to see if my efforts worked.....they did not. More super sleuth listening indicated the sound was not the halyards at all - but the roller-furling mainsail banging around in the mast. There was nothing I could do about that. Defeated, exhausted, and utterly pissed-off, I went back to bed and threw a pillow over my head.
I awoke two more times after that. One to jam our gimbaled stove *just so* so it didn't make the deplorable "ting ting" sound that ate my brain as we rolled. Another to tie off yet another creaking door in Isla's room. If you are counting, that is five times I got out of bed between the hours of 10pm and 6am. Each time I was up at least 15 minutes booby-trapping our boat and playing McGuyver. That doesn't include the time I spent laying awake in bed, wide-eyed as I drifted slowly into a Kurtz-like madness. If you carry the two, this means I got - at most- about four hours of sleep last night. This is no bueno.
You might wonder where Scott was during all of this? If your guess was "sleeping", you would be correct. When I asked this morning during breakfast how he slept last night he replied in a chipper voice, "Pretty good. I mean, I woke up once or twice, but all in all I got a good night's rest". Typical. I took no haste in pointing out that he had me to thank for that.
We upped anchor at 7am and got the hell out of there. I am happy to report we are now in "The Saintes" in a beautifully idyllic spot in a perfectly un-rolly anchorage. AMEN to that.