Night Noises

2014 Gisborne, New Zealand 
In our tent, in the semi-rural outskirts of Gisborne, over three months, we experienced the following often disturbing sounds when trying to get some sleep:

  • roosters, who don't just crow at day-break, but alot through the night and when one starts up, the others in the area join in
  • crickets chirruping right next to our heads, but on the other side of the paper-thin walls of the tent
  • cows moo-ing, especially when on heat and there are fences between them
  • the raucous cackle of the neighbour's seven wandering guinea fowl, who know no boundaries or fencelines
  • helicopters before dawn spraying grapevines around the area-this had to be done before the wind picked up 
  • ducks quacking and the odd seagull squaking as they fly overhead
  • "morepork" says New Zealand's only native aptly named morepork owl
  • the neighbour's sheep making gagging/coughing sounds-gross!
  • the surf, when it's onshore and big-the beach is about 8km away
  • logs dropping by crane into the ships' holds down at the port, some 8 or 9 km away, again, when it is onshore
  • Dad's motorbike starting up at 3am as he heads off to work to drive a log truck
  • dog next door barking and barking at who-knows-what (I do wonder if he was sensing us making noises while we slept, 'cos he barked less and less the longer we were there)
  • rain and wind hitting the tent sounded horrendously loud, till we got outside and realised it's not that stormy after-all!
  • when the temperature dropped, the "roar" (that's what they call it, not how I'd describe it) of the stags

So much for peace and quiet in the country, we discovered it's a very noisy place if you don't live inside four thick walls and a decent roof!
Then again, it beats listening to domestics and parties in the neighbourhood.

2015, Trinidad and Tobago

As this is our first time living on a boat in the water, we have discovered we live inside an amplifier, we hear the clacking sound of props on motor boats long before we see them or they pass us!
Other noises we have experienced are:
-The low grumbling of massive cargo ships coming right past us, as we were anchored just off the shipping lane and port.

-The belly slapping sound of spotted eagle stingrays stalking their prey by flying up into the air and pouncing on them in the water!
-Seriously over-packed party boats blasting the music (usually the same five songs) along with the d.j’s yelling over the top (they often like to hang out in the early hours of the morning really close to where we are anchored).
-Loud blasts of the horns of the ships letting us know they are about to leave.
-As Chaguaramas is a commercial port, sand blasting of ships often would start at about 10pm and go through till the early hours of the morning.
-Crickets on land nearby.
-Bats squaking as they fly over the water searching for fish. (One night Salem was lowering his bait when a bat flew right by it. Salem lifted and lowered the bait about five times over and the bat kept coming back around!)
-Lapping of waves onto the shore (this was nice once I got used to the idea that we were safely anchored and not drifting ashore with the waves lapping against us!)
-Schools of fish, one time, all through the night must’ve been getting chased by something big down below ‘cos there would be a loud sound like rain as they jumped out of the water.
-For about two weeks before we left, well before dawn, there would be a lot of motor boats and chatting close by. 
Boys getting some bay sailing fun with local.
Looking out our window, there would be over a dozen boats in the small bay between us and three other boats. They would use a large net to chase schools of fish in close to the beach then every morning they would come by and collect their bait fish for the days’ fishing. 
-Every now and then, just before dawn, there can be a tinkling sound right outside the ports, by our heads. This is the sweet sound of our youngest relieving himself, usually followed shortly after by “fish, fish, fish!” Ah, he’s caught a fish, here’s hoping it’s an edible size.

I do love lifting my head off the pillow in the middle of the night to see the lights of the other boats reflecting on the sea. In the daylight, the port holes revealing a view of the ocean is at this stage, a nice comfort…here’s hoping it doesn’t fade.

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