Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A different kind of quiet

In theory, one of the beauties of a boat is the chance to get away from the noise and distraction of everyday life and get some real peace and quiet. In practice, of course, it doesn't always work like that. Boats are also great for working on, socialising on, and indeed living on - and bringing much of that noise and distraction with you. The days you can sit, alone, just looking out across the water, are few.

So you might think that having an engine like Warrior's, which could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be called quiet, would be anathema to someone who craves tranquillity and solitude; that it would be the cause of stress rather than relaxation. I possibly even thought this myself in the past, much as I love the engine. But on my last visit I realised how wrong that was. What stops you being alone with your thoughts isn't noise per se, but speech - conversation (even one sided!), or the radio, or other people's conversations overheard. Even most music, especially with words, demands attention and breaks the thread of your daydreams. Start the engine, however, and all that fades away, and you're surrounded instead by an entirely rhythmic and (provided nothing goes wrong) utterly predictable buffer of sound between you and the outside world. Lack of quiet, but not of peace.

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