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Old 25-08-2008, 13:19   #1
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What Is that Clicking Sound ?

We had just spend the better part of three months sailing in and around San Francisco Bay getting boat and crew ready for points further south.

Despite a minor gear failure that rendered auto pilot an expensive dead weight (but vane steered beautifully!), the passage to San Diego went off without a hitch. Bolstering the confidence of this small and somewhat inexperienced crew of two.

We entered San Diego on a strong beam reach with the rail of our Hans Christian down in about 23 knots of breeze. Wonderful!

Even managed to pilot up to the Police docs without mishap (no small feat given how challenging a full keel boat can by to maneuver in tight quarters).

I shut everything down and got the paperwork going. While sitting in the salon I noticed a clicking sound that I had never heard before.

I started listening closer. Moving around the boat. Putting my ear to each area to try to localize the source. Thing was, every place that I moved to seemed like the new origin of the sound.

Frustrated, I went for a worried walk.

Came back, looked some more. Started taking things apart. Tried to sleep, worried some more. Looked more. Arrghhh!!!!

Two days this went on. I felt like an insane person that hears voices in their head.

Finally said to heck with it and went for a beer with some fellow sailors I had met up in the Bay area.

Started telling the tale to them. Grins started to creep across faces. Then outright laughter.

It seems that there are shrimp that make a clicking noise and the sound was resonating through the fiberglass hull. No wonder it sounded like it was coming from everywhere....it was!
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Old 25-08-2008, 13:41   #2
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I heard the same thing the night after I launched my boat, and fell into the bunk in utter exhaustion. I couldn't drop off to sleep because I kept hearing the pops and cracks. I thought the boat was falling apart beneath me. The next day I told my fellow boat builders, who had previously launched their own craft. They all smiled and winked at each other. They had thought the same. I guess it's a rite of passage thing.
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Old 25-08-2008, 14:26   #3
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This has come up quite a few times. Pistol shrimp. Go to YouTube and do a search on pistol shrimp, there's an amazing video there.
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Old 25-08-2008, 14:47   #4
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Yep, Shrimp.
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Old 26-08-2008, 07:24   #5
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Wow, I never knew how they produced the sound. That video was amazing. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 14-04-2010, 14:54   #6
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Wow! I remember a night dive...The sound underwater was just short of deafening..I never thought the sound could travel through a hull...TKS
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Old 14-04-2010, 15:08   #7
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Poyestermites eating your boat! No - shrimp.
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Old 14-04-2010, 15:12   #8
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I had the same thing

Here in Florida I get that noise sometimes. I went under the boat once to find out, because like you guys I thought it sounded like the fiberglass was spider cracking or something. It turned out to be little tube worms growing on the hull where it needed some more antifouling paint. You couldn't hear them outside very well, but inside it was pretty loud, especially when trying to sleep. I still don't know how they were making the noise. I thought it was from the shells when they go in and out. They were each only the size of pencil leads, but there were many that grew in a large patch the size of the average hand. Heck, maybe it was some shrimps trying to eat them or something. But I didn't see any shrimps.

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Old 14-04-2010, 15:30   #9
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'lot's of noises from underwater life! Sure, the shrimp are ticking. Drum, the fish, are making sounds like a snare drum and why do you think they call some fish "croakers"? Sound carries well in water and there's a lot of communication going on down there.'take care and joy, aythya crew
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Old 14-04-2010, 20:50   #10
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While we were in Mexico, sometimes the Croaker fish made so much noise we had to either speak louder or turn up the stereo.
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Old 19-04-2010, 14:13   #11
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If you're around the Gulf, I wouldn't worry about pistol shrimp or croaker fish.

I'd worry about finding this beastie hanging on the bottom of the boat.
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Old 19-04-2010, 20:16   #12
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In addition to pistol shrimp, mantis shrimp in the caribbean WILL stun the heck out of your finger. They have been known to break glass aquariums. They hurt like...
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