foggy shoreline

Skull Cove, morning

Along parts of the British Columbia coast, boaters refer to August as “Fogust”, for good reason. As warm, moist air moves over the colder sea surface, fog forms overnight, and often doesn’t dissipate until the next afternoon. It can make for some tricky traveling.

I was thankful for our radar, GPS and chart plotter this summer, as they enabled us to travel in relative safety on foggy mornings in Queen Charlotte Strait (unlike the old days when we’d be stuck in our anchorage until the fog lifted).

But even with the aid of such electronic gadgets, fog requires you to stay on high alert, especially when you’re traveling in unfamiliar waters or areas frequented by cruise ships, tugboats with barges or log tows and other large vessels. It’s an understatement to say that it’s challenging to steer a straight course – not to mention disorienting – when you have absolutely no visible landmarks or even a horizon for reference. It’s definitely not a relaxing way to cruise!

Nevertheless, there’s something profoundly beautiful about the fog, with its ethereal light and mysterious hints of hidden shorelines. As a cruising boater, I loathe fog – but as a photographer, I love it. Such are life’s dualities.

We’re off the grid for most of the summer, with only occasional access to the internet. I welcome your comments, but it might be September before I can reply.

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About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Focused on nature on the BC coast

8 responses »

  1. Simon C says:

    Good reeading this post

  2. drawandshoot says:

    That is a gorgeous photograph, Laurie. Fog is so photogenic!

  3. […] Fogust: Love It or Loathe It – the natural mystery found in a fog-enshrouded environment makes for wonderful photography, as discussed here by Laurie MacBride.  As she explores the coast by boat over the summer months, Laurie finds shots like the one posted here to share that really express the special beauty and magic found on the west coast of Canada. […]

  4. Thanks so much for your kind words, Sherry, ehpem and Toad! Our trip has been great, though it’s coming to an end soon. I have a lot more fog photos (along with other subjects too of course) and am looking forward to posting a few more of these in the fall. We’re back in the Strait of Georgia now, where it’s lovely and sunny – hopefully done with fog for this trip!

  5. Sherry Galey says:

    Wow, Laurie, this is a magnificent photo! Totally ethereal..I can really identify with your torn feelings as a boater and photographer. I’d be scared silly as a sailor too, but revel in the photo opportunities!

  6. ehpem says:

    Hi Laurie – looks like you are having a great trip. I have the same mixed sentiments about fog, and very definite opinions about deadheads which never show up on a GPS or radar screen. I love the colours in this photograph, makes me itch for a bit of northern coast time.

  7. What a great sentiment and a most lovely photograph, Laurie! Hope you’re enjoying your summer there and we look forward to your return!

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