Seablog: Sounds at sea

In response to a question about sounds at sea – there are sounds always and everywhere. It never seems to be completely silent, even in the early days when we had a couple of pancake calm days.

Wind in my ears as I row
The whirr of the solar vents
Waves make allsorts of sounds depending on size, proximity to boat, frequency , whether its crashing, toppling, fizzing (my favourite just after it’s broken), slamming into the boat, crashing over us, slapping into the side to wash over the deck…
In the cabin there is only a 15mm wall between me and the sea so I hear gurgles, swirling and rippling of the waterround the rudder; the waves in proportion to their strength etc. A wave slamming right into the side of the cabin can be both exciting and a bit terrifying!
My favourite cabin sound is rain – it reminds me of being tucked up in a tent in the rain, one of my favourite sounds in the whole world .
My little netting holder on the wall creaks as it swings
The ‘Sea Me’ alarm goes off if another boat’s radar hits Dippers – we haven’t seen another boat since Day 16!
The oars creak in their gates sometimes and therre is the splosh and plop as they go into, move through, and lift out of the water
The seat makes a little sound as it rolls up and down – I find this soothing
Surfing sounds as we head down waves – sometimes accompanied by my whoops and squeals
The Gin Machine makes a rhythmic whining whir as it pumps water
Then there’s my singing, talking to myself , laughing and there’s been a few yellings, cursings too at times. Wave over your head first thing in the morning doesn’t always receive a laugh, for example .
Audiobooks /Music – I had 4 entirely musicless days last week due to lack of power and that was tough. Same old song remnants rattling round my head-gets painful. Generally I listen to something for at least part of the day. I’ve learned 4 poems by heart too, so they all get daily performances.
One of my favourite sounds is the Satphone saying I have a new message-I tend to switch it on for a couple of hours three times a day so they are exciting moments, unless its a ‘Message delivery failed’.

So while there are always sounds, it is all relative. Last night was very peaceful as there was hardly any wind; it was beautiful.

S x


Libby-Wohoo! Great news, that’s made my day. I’ll have an extra chocolate in your honour. Happy days!

Grant-You need to listen to my podcast from the other week! But I’ll tell you anyway…
Only put the sea anchor out if I’m going the wrong way – so far only 3 nights and one day.
Generally get up with the sun, finish at dark and row an average of 8-10 hours in between. Sometimes more, last week a bit less as the elements were so favourable so I took the chance to rest a wee bit.
Roger Is that an offer to air drop a burger out to me?!
Xtina /Kathryn/Tom/Amelia I was on such a high after FF called yesterday. Please may you email my Mum their number as it didn’t show up on my phone but I want to return the surprise later in the week.
Ian Brocklebank Yes music outside through speakers, providing there’s enough juice in the batteries.

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9 Responses to Seablog: Sounds at sea

  1. Marcel says:

    Great to see you in high spirits. I spoke to the Mauritian Ministry of Health yesterday and he is keen on setting up a branch(?) of Arthritis Care in Mauritius. Amy has been in touch with them.
    You will also be landing into his constituency!! Vieux Grand Port (Old Grand Port).

  2. Geoff says:

    Sarah I think I really would have liked to meet your dad.

    What you have set out to do is nothing short of extreme, and although so far you have ‘only’ got a third of the way, that is no less extreme (if that makes any sense).It is utterly extraordinary.

    Most people could train themselves physically to do the same as what you are doing, but very few would come anywhere near to the emotional capacity to do so.

    Such resilience must have its origins, and while taking nothing from mum, I suspect your dad was courageous, patient and optimistic in spite of circumstances that would have defeated many.

    So I think it would have been nice to meet him.

  3. Christine & Kathleen says:

    Hi Sarah

    Sorry but we have been out of action for a few days but have still been reading all your things. Its great to hear things are going so well and hope they continue. Spoke to your Mum a couple of days ago, so had the latest news of jelly for breakfast etc, hope you enjoyed it.

    Geoff, its good to follow all your comments too. Derek was such a great guy and what wonderful folks he and Helen were, it’s no wonder Sarah has the guts and stamina to do this, following in both thier footsteps. It was a real pleasure to know them and still is.

    Must get on, take care Sarah and happy rowing.

    C & K

  4. Sue says:

    Your blog today about all the sounds was wonderful, how you are doing this on your own is beyond me, but keep going! My son is behind you, as I write this they are just about to get to the 100 degree mark, and I’m sure they will be as excited as you were last week. It would be so good if you could all say hello, should they even catch you……me thinks the girls boat may, the boys I know would be happy to exchange something for some of your chocolate! I hope the weather stays fair, those sunsets, described by the boys on R4P, I do envy you all seeing, but that is about it! Keep rowing Sarah and I hope we maybe able to meet you in Mauritius.

  5. Jenna says:

    Hello hello sarah! I’m so pleased you’re reading all of these, I love listening to/ reading about your adventures every day at work (oops) It makes me feel that somehow your wonderfulness is rubbing off on me too, and life is some how all the more exciting! Keep rowing, there is a very long tall drink at the end of it for you, I promise. I’m glad you and dippers are safe and sound… You’re actually going to do this!!!!
    Jenna x x x x

  6. Reverend Steve Watts says:

    Sarah, Heard about you on Radio 2 when I was ill in bed. FOR WHAT ITS WORTH I think of you every day and you are in the prayers of my people at church – Burnley Central Methodist, Lancashire.

  7. ian brocklebank says:

    hi sarah,thanks so much for the response,do you i wonder have rowing and /or relaxing music?hope it heartens to have this blog traffic,i’ve watched the volume grow as you’ve gone on and rather chuffed that you picked mine out to answer,in the midst of doing an article about your epic voyage for a community group newsletter,hope to get you a bit of sponsorship and raise awareness of the cause you are toiling for,meanwhile hope you are going well,liiking forward to the next podcast

  8. Janet says:

    Hi Sarah

    well done, still in utter admiration for what you are attempting. Be comforted you have made it over a third of the way in 35 days. I am predicting you will be in Mauritius around the middle of July in a total of about 105 days if you manage to keep the pace,

  9. Amanda B says:

    Thanks so much for giving such a detailed answer to my question about “sounds at sea”, your descriptions are so vivid that they really make the whole thing real for us landlubbers! Okay, one more question – does your seat ever come off the rails?! I used to row a lot (badly – 2km was the furthest I ever went!) and if ever I ‘caught a crab’ the seat would ping off and add to my misery and humiliation! Onwards to Mauritius – brilliant stuff! Amanda x

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