We frequently had chain noise
. It was almost completely subdued by using a snubber. We just got our new boat and in the first two weeks I made up a new snubber to use and kept the old one as a spare.
But boats are inherently noisy and the environment
is noisy - waves slapping the sides/bow, rigging
creaks, critters like porpoises/whales/clicking shrimp, wind
, drunks next door, roosters on shore, etc. etc. As many have said, you do start to tune out many of the routine noises - but - if a noise wakes you up, it is good to get up and check it out. We always did that. You are awake anyway and you will sleep better when you get back down below. Double ditto when you are sailing or motoring. Strange noise ---> check it out!
We saved our boat one dark and scary night in Fiji
. We had a stern anchor out (did I mention I absolutely hate stern anchoring
?) towards the sandy beach, with our main anchor put out in 70' of rocky coral
. The anchorage was crowded and there was a steady swell coming in from the north so everyone put out stern anchors to point that way to cut down the rolling, except a few in the middle who were swinging and rolling. There was a light breeze off to the side at 10pm when I went down below to sleep. The Admiral had taken a sleeping pill to get a solid sleep after some sleepless night. It was pitch
black outside - no stars, no moon.
At 11pm, I heard a strange noise that woke me up. It was barely audible but it was strange and I had never heard it before. So I get up to the cockpit
and the noise is much louder. It was a gentle and regular swishing sound. The other thing that I found out was that the wind
had shifted and was blowing like stink. The sound I heard was the swells running up the beach and rushing down the gravely sand. I should not have been able to hear that 30' out from shore especially over the wind. That got my attention.
Turns out our main had drug (dragged?) since the wind was on our beam and our stern remained dug in to the sand off the beach. We had swung parallel to the shore and almost on top of our buddy boat next door. They were about 50' away when we turned in but were now about 10'. I didn't figure this out until I grabbed my flashlight and shown it around. They didn't have an anchor light on to save power!!!
I immediately started the engine
and screamed at the Admiral to get up on deck. Shear terror at this point as we tried to figure out what to do to keep from (a) hitting our friends' boat and (b) blowing on to the rocks only a bit farther. I put it in gear
and motored out some short away from the beach. The stern anchor would not come up so I put a fender
on the line and tossed it over. We motored out above our anchor and brought it up. Now we are in a crowded small anchorage with a bad deep bottom and boats without anchor lights in pitch
black and a brisk wind. We tried resetting several time but each time we ended up just feet from our friends so finally we motored out to the middle where a couple of Dutch boats had their anchor lights on and dropped our anchor right off their stern as they swung in the increasing wind.
We stayed up all night watching our position and hating anyone who didn't have anchor lights on. Never again will we anchor anywhere near any boat without a visible anchor light. And - I will always get up and check any strange noise. I do love to go to sleep hear whales blowing ad singing out near the boat though.