Friday, January 27, 2012

What?!...I can't Hear you!

      It is a sunny January day in the marina.  I love crisp, bright winter days after a long spell of wind and rain. However, the down side to calm seas and sunny skies is the increased noise level around the docks. (I remember from my land-lubber days, the equivalent lawn-mower and leaf-blower noises did the same thing to my senses).

      I sit at my desk and work on my Zodiac paperwork, occasionally jotting down a few pages on my manuscript, and suddenly the boat begins to vibrate. Strong wind? Nope... My neighbor's generator? Nope. Typhoon? way.

      It is Guns and Roses blaring at 11 notches on the amplifier--straight off good ol' Debra D over on the saw-tooth dock.  Ah, the fishermen. God love 'em. What would we do without them... Debra D's old glory flag is fluttering proudly from her mast forward of the deck house... Jeff calls it the "America--eff-yeah!" flag. Their sodium lights glare 24/7 in the marina and I am still trying to figure out if they think it is a security issue or they just want to keep ol' glory lit up just because they can, dammit.

      Anyway, if it weren't heavy metal, then I'd be treated to Howard Stern on their Sirius radio at top volume. I reckon that when you're out crabbing in the middle of Rosario Strait, nobody really cares if you play things at MAXVOL. (maximum volume for all you non-hipsters).

      Once, I took it upon myself to go bring this issue up with them--up close and personal.  (I mean, we couldn't hear the dialogue between Mary and Mr. Crowley on Downton Abbey over their Aerosmith marathon).

      This tete a tete involved me walking all the way down C dock, turning the corner and walking three quarters of the way down D dock and rapping on the side of their hull.  I quickly assumed my most authoritative and yet open-for-negotiation look before they came up on deck... As one of the deckhands approached, I could see over his shoulder that three or four of them were sitting around a bonfire drinking Heineken beers. Fishermen! Only they would light a bonfire in a pot on a wooden deck... I thought to myself.

     "Hey Guys.  Nice sound system you got there. Dya' think you could turn it the fuck down though?"  (I figured complementing initially, would disarm them and then throwing in a 'fuck' or two would let them know I spoke their language.)

     "Oh, yeah. No problem."  he said amiably and shuffled off.

     "Thanks--appreciate it!"  I called after him.  Walking back to my boat, I felt I'd accomplished a lot... diplomacy amongst the fleet, et cetera... Once I punched the numbers into our dock gate and began to make my way down to Kwaietek, I realized that turning the volume from 11 to, maybe a 9 hadn't really made a bit of difference.

      Damn I muttered.

      Passing by the Beth of Bellingham, I spotted her live-aboard, Josh eating lunch in the cockpit.  "Afternoon." I said in passing.

     "Hey there--did the angry middle aged yachtie act work for ya' over there?"  he inquired jokingly.

     "Well in theory, yes it did.  In reality, not at all."  I replied.

      I climbed in the deckhouse and interrupted Juliet before she could get her complaint out, "Turn up the TV and we'll just deal with it."

      Ever since my failed attempt at diplomatic negotiations, I just grimace and bear it...Jeffery laughs it off and thinks it all kind of humorous. "They're just thoroughly convinced they're the biggest Deadliest Catch fish boat out there", he says."You gotta give 'em a break, they are only crabbing for dungeness out here in the San Juans with itty bitty little pots. Let em' have their dream--and that includes their rock and roll.  Ya' see, right now to them, it's blowin' 70 knots and there's 35 foot seas bearing down on 'em!"

      Well, Bering Sea bad asses aside, these guys and their throbbing sound system can't leave soon enough.

      So, here's to an early season... whatever they're fishin' for.

      ...and peace and quiet in the marina so Juliet and I can watch our Downton Abbey uninterrupted.

Sign me, Deaf and Dumb at Squalicum.

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