Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sounds of French Polynesia

In all the pictures you don't imagine all the actual sounds. 

Sounds of Nature:
Of course, there's the  soft sound of distant surf on the reef.   And the wind ruffling the palms and waves lapping on the sand.  There's the sound of wind in the rig, wave lapping against the hull and sometimes the sound of fish jumping or splashing.  On shore, you hear the birds in the trees sometimes.  There aren't many seabirds and they don't make much sound..

(In Mexico's Sea of Cortez, the waters teemed with fish and you could hear them at the surface all the time)

Sounds of Man
On the boat we usually have the VHF radio on, so sometimes you hear the neighboring boats hailing each other.  Sometimes, Mahina Radio, Tahiti's coast guard radio announces weather, boats in trouble or snotices of special events (manifastions) like the Rendezvous.

There are the engine sounds of passing dinghies, motor boats and jetskis.  This part of Moorea's lagoon is a protected environmental area,  the jetskis don't play around the anchorage.  However, there are jetski tours.  So a couple times a day, a line of 4-6 jetskis pass through.  These islands are mountainous, so settlement and roads are on the shore.  So there's the ocasional sound of a passing car, truck or scooter.

Near our anchorage, somebody runs a disco in their home or yard on Saturday and Sunday nights.  They play sort of techno-lite.  Of course they have a nightclub quality sounds system.  It starts in the afternoon and runs until...3am, 4am, or 5am in the morning.  Ugh.

Other Sounds
Under water you hear the constant sound of your own breathing through the regulator.  On a calm day, when I come to the surface, it sounds so quiet, until someone speaks or an engine starts up.

The sounds you might not expect are constant crowing roosters.  There are chickens everywhere.  Also, the sounds of barking dogs.  There's a huge overpopulation of dogs in the Tuamotus and Society Islands.  A few stray dogs live in the park at the anchorage.  During the day, they're quiet and docile.  At night, it sounds like another pack of dogs comes around and there's lots of barking and fights.  You can hear the smaller park dog yelping.

In Cooks Bay, there's a big dog that starts barking in the evening.  Later some of his neighbors join in.  Sometimes, it sounds like a pack of dogs comes around and they all start in.  It makes you wish for the disco instead.

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