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Old 06-12-2007
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"Sounds like Rice Krispies"

When my 15 year old son asks me a question I try to always have a confident answer at the ready, even if it's not right.

This past weekend we were at dock in Norfolk and there was an odd crackling sound that sounded like something crackling on the hull. It didn't bother me, but he said it made it hard for him to sleep.

He said it sounded like Rice Krispies sound when you pour in the milk. So...to make sure I had a confident answer and didn't show any sign of weakness, I told him it was likely that one of our neighbors in the marina had thrown some of their leftover Rice Krispies into the marina waters and that he should go on to sleep.

Needless to say...he didn't accept my explanation. Does anyone have an idea what that crackling sound is? I am afraid someone else will give him the correct answer and I will look weak in his eyes.
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Old 06-12-2007
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At times, when our double braid dock lines are tied tightly to dock cleats, a cracklin' creaky noise occurs as they stretch against the chocks and teak toe rails. I actually enjoy these sounds - reminiscent of wooden sailing ships.
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Old 06-12-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue
At times, when our double braid dock lines are tied tightly to dock cleats, a cracklin' creaky noise occurs as they stretch against the chocks and teak toe rails. I actually enjoy these sounds - reminiscent of wooden sailing ships.
I dunno TB....I think the neighbors throwing Rice Krispies in the water is more likely.

Seriously, I don't think that's it - The sound really was more on the hull and was at the same intensity regardless of wind. I was thinking even it could be some sort of stray current, but I hope not. Probably something much more benign.
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Let's hope it's not stray electrical currents - not a good thing.

We've never heard it at our slip, but sometimes while anchored in sandy bottom coves, we hear an odd clicking, cracking noise through the hull - especially while trying to sleep. I've been told that it may be caused by scallop shells as they propel themselves along the bottom. Perhaps your noise is caused by sea critters, dancing and playing during the night.

I like the explanation you gave to your son much better though . . . stick by it.
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Old 06-12-2007
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The noise is made by pistol shrimp snapping . Google pistol shrimp and you'll know all about them.
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Old 06-12-2007
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Likely crustaceans - shrimp.
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Old 06-12-2007
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YouTube - Pistol Shrimp
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My two theories so far:

It is really dirty water and there is a bubble and pop when submerged gasses rise to the surface. The water did appear dirty with fuel and trash.

Snapping Shrimp. I have read about snapping shrimp creating loud sounds. I don't know if these exist in that area or not, and I would wonder if they could even survive in that water.

Any other theories or opinions anyone?
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Old 06-12-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamlicotraveler
When my 15 year old son asks me a question I try to always have a confident answer at the ready, even if it's not right.

...I told him it was likely that one of our neighbors in the marina had thrown some of their leftover Rice Krispies into the marina waters and that he should go on to sleep.

...I am afraid someone else will give him the correct answer and I will look weak in his eyes.
Why all the BS to your kid? Just tell him that you've never heard it and you will ask around and find out what it is. Better yet, try to figure it out WITH him.

Eventually he's going to figure out you been BS'ing him all these years and then you'll really be weak.

As for what the sound is...I don't know as I've never heard it but I'll ask around and see if I can get you an answer.
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Old 06-12-2007
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Read an article by the Boat Doctor in Sailing Magazine a short time ago.

The same noise was keeping people up at night.

Darn Shrimp, all I want is to get a good nights sleep.

If I remember, the shrimp were picking at the growth on the hull and enjoying a nice meal.
Not like the pistol shrimp video provided by Blue. These shrimp were simply feeding off of the hull.
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Last edited by sailortjk1; 06-12-2007 at 09:06 AM.
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