Thursday, February 4, 2016

Lost in the Fog, Again!

    When I woke up last Sunday, I was greeted with a fine layer of fog blanketing the town. I wasn't really surprised. The night before it was clear and cold out, and this time of year when that happens, if the moisture content in the air is sufficient, we end up with fog.  Of course we get fog at all times during the year, summer, spring, fall, and sometimes winter.  If the conditions are right it can set up, and oftentimes it can be a real pain. On Sunday the fog dissipated out over the bay, but looking back towards Ear Mountain it was so thick you could just about gather it in buckets. Because I was on the land and I didn't have any place that I needed to be, I kind of enjoyed it. When I'm out in the boat it's another story all together. Even though I have a GPS to let me know where I am, it doesn't tell me if I've got another boat in front of me. For that I need my radar. Unfortunately the radar crapped the bed last year. Of course it was foggy at the time. It was kind of like the old Randy Van Warmer song-Just When I Needed You Most-the main lyrics are- you left me, just when I needed you most. Go figure. Of course it's going to quit when I'm facing thick fog with boats all around me. There would be no drama if it quit when I was sitting in the harbor checking all the equipment. I remember being out off of Hocktaheen on the outside coast fishing. It was the fourth of July and I was catching a few kings. Off in the distance I could see a fog bank, and I kept praying that it would remain where it was or dissipate, but ohhhhh nnnnoooooo..... that's not going to happen. It came settling in around me like a wet blanket. I was fishing by myself and was in the fleet of boats. My trolling springs were hammering from big kings striking my lines, but I couldn't leave the radar to go pull them in. Hours later when the fog finally lifted and I was able to pull the gear, almost all of the lines were empty. That's kind of the story of my life. Fortunately I didn't run in to anyone, but then I wouldn't have had to worry about that if I'd just stayed in the harbor either, so it wasn't a great deal of consolation. I remember hearing about one fellow here in town who was fishing off the coast of Yakutat I believe. It was August and the fog had set in on the coast. He was in the middle of a great bite of cohos. It was just him and one other boat in the area for miles around. I guess both captains were out back pulling fish as fast as they could and ended up running in to each other. There was some damage to both boats, but they agreed that they were equally guilty of not paying attention, so each fellow just paid for the damage to their boats and didn't bother to call the coast guard. I can't blame them there. Once the feds get involved, the most minor incident can become a full blown national disaster that will have consequences for all future generations of boaters.  In the last picture you can see that the tide is really low. A few years ago I was down in the harbor area with my boat hauled out. The tide was low and had left a few tidal pools. There are a fair number of Dungeness crabs in the area, and sometimes they get under the grass in the pools that are left when the tide goes out. I heard an eagle carrying on something fierce. They often cry really loud if they have caught something. I don't know if they're proud of themselves or what, but when they make so much racket, other eagles usually come to investigate and then you have two or three screeching like banshees. Anyway, I was watching this eagle. It had caught a good sized crab and was trying to fly off with it, but it looked like the crab had hold of the eagle as well. I'm not sure if he just had the leg or some part of the under carriage. Either way, the eagle wasn't any too happy. Of course I'm sure the crab wasn't whistling Dixie either, I don't know. I've never heard them make a noise. Anyway, I'm not sure what that has to do with fog, but I have to mention these things when they come up. I'm never sure when the fog will descend again in my brain and I'll be wandering around lost, looking for an opening.

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