There are quite a few things we have missed since hanging around in the Bahamas for the last six months. We missed Italian food, Mexican food, Chinese food, and well… we missed good food in general. The Bahamian Islands, or at least the ones we visited, are not well known for culinary creations. That is, unless it contains conch. With conch, they are very creative. They do a surprisingly great number of things with conch. However, we don’t like conch so 98% of the menu items were undesirable. Just in case you are wondering, the other 2% of the menu is chicken. There are surprisingly few fish dishes on the menus. I believe this is because there are no fish in the Bahamas. This is surmised by my personal experience of not catching a single darn fish in the entire 6 months we were there. But, enough about food. That is not what this post was intended to be about. Now we are temporarily back in the USA, we really miss the one thing we quickly grew accustom to in the Bahamas: Silence.
I think I might have mentioned our first night in the Bahamas at Great Sale Cay the most wonderful silence we encountered after crossing the Gulfstream. What I failed to realize at the time was how quickly I would grow to appreciate and worship this. Throughout the Bahamas, most of the islands we visited were sparsely populated. We stayed away from Nassau and Freeport. Reports of crime on Noonsite are keeping a lot of cruisers away from these destinations. They probably don’t care cruising sailors are shunning them since the massive cruise ships stop there and unload ravenous tourists armed with credit cards. Our destinations had so few cars we often walked down the middle of the street. We could hear cars coming from miles away. We could hear birds singing in the distance.
When at anchor, pretty much the only sounds we heard were waves gently lapping against Cream Puff’s hull (unless of course it was blowing a gale). Occasionally we heard the sound of an outboard motor. Or, perhaps an aggressive seagull begging for some food. But in general, we had long periods of dead silence. Sweet, beautiful silence. Lying in bed at night with the hatches open to capture the ocean breezes we could hear absolutely nothing at all. Sitting in the cockpit with a morning cup of tea and the daily crossword brought more blissful quietness. Once in a while we had noisy neighbors. Some had kids and others had musical instruments. And then, there were the naked Swiss people.
Now we are back in the USA, we are both having a tough time adjusting to the amount of noise. We never realized how incredibly noisy it is in this country. Granted, there are areas in the boondocks where noise is non-existent. But, we are not in the boondocks. We are at the boat docks. And here at the docks, it is noisy. I think emergency vehicles rev up the siren when the “hot” light goes on at the local Krispy Kream doughnut shop. Airplanes desperately need mufflers. Drivers need to lay off the horns. Restaurants need to turn down the music and turn off the televisions. Seriously! The number one complaint against restaurants is the loud noise. Yet they insist on blasting music at a volume making table conversation impossible. Most restaurants nowadays also have hard surfaces making it noisier forcing people to yell louder and louder. Traffic is both noisy and smelly. The pollution smell is something else we didn’t realize until we were away from it for a while. And what’s up with cars having a subwoofers so loud it throws off my heart rhythm as they pass? On the positive side of this, at least we hear the car coming. We have to keep reminding ourselves to look for traffic before crossing the street.
Cindy told me I need to get my hearing checked during our time in the USA. She insists I am losing my hearing. Apparently, I say “huh” a lot. She is getting tired of saying everything twice. I think it is because it is so darn noisy, I just can’t hear anything anymore. As I write this, I am thinking that sitting in a sound proof room for a few minutes to get a hearing test might not be such a bad idea. Perhaps I can close my eyes and for a few seconds and pretend we are anchored off an uninhabited Bahamian island and enjoy the heavenly silence.