Why Won’t the Fish Let Me Sleep?

  • Since we are working hard at getting everything set to “sail,” we go to bed every night exhausted. I’ve always been a light sleeper, however, and have worn ear plugs every night for the past 24 years since I sleep next to the loudest snorer on the planet. (Although now that the dog is gone, I no longer have to listen to dueling snores.) But it’s ¬†weird the things I can hear even with the plugs in.

I’ve written previously about the tapping we hear at night. Fish feed off the disgusting stuff that clings to the boat hull. I guess I’m glad we are helping the fish out, but you can’t imagine the volume of the tapping without experiencing it yourself. It’s like they are sending Morse Code directly to my brain by tapping on the side of my head all night. I was practically in tears the other day because I hadn’t slept at all the previous night.

So bucking for the Most Wonderful Husband Award (he gets it every year, by the way), Rick set out to solve the problem and did a little research. Apparently it is a consistent problem in fresh water (so I can’t wait to get to the ocean). There are many ideas thrown out to solve it, but some seem a little far fetched: place salt licks in the water, create a food source (like a feeder) that is placed away from the hull, etc. Heck, one guy devised an elaborate fencing that he placed in the water each night and pulled up each day when he was underway. (Basically, the marine version of Trump’s “wall” to keep out undesireables.)

All of the suggestions seemed, well, a bit much. Rick suggested we try playing music at night as a sort of white noise to cover up the tapping. Much is still in boxes, but we did have our iPod and it was loaded with hundreds (literally) of CDs. Unfortunately, not the ones we wanted. Listening to Aerosmith or even the B-52’s as a sleep aid seemed to be counterproductive. We hadn’t got all of our music downloaded yet, so no instrumentals and no new age meditation music was available. So the first night, he starts with just a random mix of everything. I still put my ear plugs in and heard the music slightly. I couldn’t stand the mix–I was singing along in my head. I’d never get to sleep. So I found the one Enya CD we had and looped it. It was pretty effective at lulling me to sleep. But I kept waking. The light from the docking station was so bright it was as if we had an alien spacecraft bearing down on us. I put a book in front of it and went back to sleep. But I woke many times during the night. So was it Enya that now kept me up?

The next day we tried some CDs I’d bought the last time I had trouble falling to sleep but never got around to using. They are designed to put you to sleep and keep you asleep. I searched for several hours at the storage locker to come up with these, then downloaded them. Crazily, it worked for a while and then there was a piano piece that was SO LOUD it woke me up. The CD was called “Time for Sleep” for gosh sakes.

So it’s 2:30 a.m. I am sitting in the aft deck listening to the music emanating through the floor, the wind jostling us around like a rag doll (the storm is¬†pretty bad), and yes, that incessant tap, tap, tapping on the hull. I ask you, “Why won’t the fish let me sleep?” I’m a nice person. I’m an animal activist. *Sigh.*


2 thoughts on “Why Won’t the Fish Let Me Sleep?”

  1. They’re inviting you to eat! They know you don’t like them, but they can’t understand it–you live on a boat!

    But yes–that tapping is traveling through the hull and into your body. That’s why you hear it even with the ear plugs.

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