Blue sea and skies with layers of fog and boats in distance

Morning Run (Queen Charlotte Strait) - click to enlarge

In the summer, overnight fog forms frequently along much of the BC coast, and it often doesn’t dissipate until the next afternoon. Even if you have radar and GPS, navigating is tricky, especially when time constraints or distance require you to make a morning passage.

Sometimes you’re travelling virtually blind with no landmarks whatsoever – a disorienting experience that makes it challenging to steer a straight course.  At other times nearby shorelines can be just visible enough to help guide your passage, but boats and even large ships can be hard to spot until suddenly they appear, alarmingly near. Even while maintaining a 360-degree watch and using our radar, we’ve had some close encounters we’d prefer to forget.

Yet despite such anxiety, I appreciate the profound beauty that fog can bring. As it drapes its soft white shawl over the sea and land, it creates an almost otherworldly hush, an ethereal light and ever-changing hints of mysterious shoreline textures.

The photo above is from the God’s Pocket area of Queen Charlotte Strait, looking towards the BC mainland. If you click on the image to enlarge it then look closely, you’ll see two ghost-like boats travelling through the mist – making a morning run across the Strait, as we were doing that day.

This image was one of the 38 prints in “Reflections on the Coast”, my photography show which took place recently on Gabriola Island. In case you weren’t able to see it, here’s a narrated video of the show (be sure to have your sound turned on).

About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer and writer focusing on nature and the environment

11 responses »

  1. That’s so beautiful, Laurie.You and I think alike about loving how fog muffles sounds. It cuts out the moise we’ve come to expect from the world around us. I’m sure my blood pressure decreases when the infrequent (here) fog rolls in. Snow storms are also great for deadening sounds. WE’ve had lots of those lately.

  2. […] A Confounding Beauty – Laurie MacBride finds herself experiencing a natural phenomenon here on the west coast of Canada, that is a thick fog that sits over our low-lying areas including shorelines.  This shot takes on a distinctly abstract feel, with great layers to provide depth and wonderful tones to captivate the mind. […]

  3. Sherry Galey says:

    I’m back! We have our new mast on order and now it is a waiting game. But this simple life suits me just fine for now as I recover from the hectic activity of the trip to the Bahamas.

    I’m so glad you are sharing these beautiful images from your show. This one makes me feel calm to look at. It is indeed magical. I can’t wait to see the image of yours I bought in person!

    • Thanks Sherry, and happy new year – welcome back, it’s great to hear from you! I have your photo here, ready to send to you once you’re back home. Glad to hear your mast repair is proceeding – hope it goes well (not to mention, quickly). Look forward to seeing your images of the Bahamas.

  4. Just wonderful, Laurie, I love the abstractedness of this shot, really lovely!!

  5. Robin says:

    Stunning image, Laurie. I think there’s something magical and mysterious about fog. Wonderful how you captured the ghost-like boats. :)

  6. Beautiful shot Laurie! I remember my first fog experience. I needed to cross a mile wide channel at night in a small boat with just a compass. Once out of the harbour I looked at the compass which seemed to be spinning in circles. I gave it a light smack to get it working right and then realized that the compass wasn’t the problem. In a thick fog at night there is no sense of up, down, direction or speed. It actually caused me to have vertigo and it taught me to REALLY trust my compass.

    • Thanks Kenneth! Glad you like the image. You’ve really described it well. It is such a strange experience to have absolutely nothing for visual reference, in any direction or dimension. Under those conditions – even in the daylight – it’s hard to steer in anything but circles.

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