I Can't Believe How Quiet It Can Be

By Iris Clyne

Sep. 29, 1998. For the size of this ship, I can’t believe how quiet it can be. I’m sitting on the bow soaking in some rays and listening to the ocean sing. The only other sound is a gentle hum that I think are the blowers or some other exhaust. It’s not annoying like the motors of fishing boats can be. And you can’t tell there are instruments in the water gathering data unless you’re in the control van or on the aft deck. When you’re anywhere inside you can’t even tell you’re really on a ship.

For example, last night and early morning I heard some very intense swooshing sounds from my bunk. Since my cabin is on the first platform, just barely above the water line, I thought it was pretty strange. There must be some extremely strong winds out there. I guess the trades must have filled in. There wasn’t much more of a rock ‘n roll then usual, but the more I thought about it I assumed we were in the midst of a full blown storm. Well since it must be pouring on deck, I’ll just stay in my cozy little bunk and read. After awhile, I went next door to the exercise room to workout. Time went by and soon it was lunch. I climbed the stairtower one flight and decided to peak outside. To my amazement I found the most beautiful blue skies and the calmest of seas. There wasn’t a whitecap to be found. So what was that intense swooshing sound all night? The bow thruster giving us a little extra power to maneuver our position more accurately. I guess there are two ship realities - one inside and one outside.