canada -

Coastal Fog

I took this in British Columbia while returning from a whale watching trip at a group of islands just offshore. Patches of fog started to form in the afternoon as we made our way back to port. The coast of BC can be treacherous and only the most experience sailors have any right to navigate here. There were buoys with bells and fog horns everywhere. The fog renders your eyes useless and so without electronics you must navigate by ear; not for the faint of heart. Even so it makes for ethereal scenery, especially from a boat.

There is an automated lighthouse in Ucluelet not too far from here. Basically the horn begins sounding whenever the fog rolls in. I'm sure it's reassuring to sailors because from what I saw the fog rolls in pretty fast. I was told the month of August is also known as "Fogust". Standing safely on shore I could hear the bells of the buoys and the horn of the lighthouse for miles around. When I first arrived the sounds were new and unusual but by the time I left they'd become an integral part of the sights and sounds of these costal communities.

There are many forms of water in nature but perhaps not so often do we think about it in it's gaseous state. Yet it can shroud the sky, land and water in a cloak that despite it's willowy nature, becomes impenetrable to all but the most skilled among us. It was after staying here a week that I gained a whole new respect for sailors and, for that matter, pilots too.


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