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post #1 of 25 Old 09-07-2011 Thread Starter
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caught in fog

I was moving my 23 footer to a friends dock about 10 miles away this morning due to extreme high tides coming our way. I listened to the vhf and checked weather on my phone like always and it said patches of fog with storms in the afternoon.. I started the motor and made it to the middle of the bay, started feeling a cool breeze and found myself completely smothered in "fog" within about 10 minutes. Immediately i get on the vhf to try to contact any boats in the area with no response. next step is every minute or so using the airhorn. Now I am at a point where, do I turn and head back? or keep going. I decided to head on.. I establish contact with the bridge tender about a click from the bridge, no suprise he cant see me, then half, still cant see me. He tells me all is clear and to continue the transition. Finally about 300 feet out he can see me. On the south side it only got worse, no one responding to the radio and now i can hear an engine and see wake rolling my way. Now at this point I really am out of luck I check the gps and see where I am but still cannot see anything more than maybe 200 feet away. I make an announcement on the radio to be advised i am headed into the mouth of the river to my destination via the north side of the Barnegat Bay. About a mile later within ten seconds everything had lifted.. i punched through the fog after the mouth of the river and it was overcast but clear! I have handled many a boats in such conditions, but when you dont have a proper GPS or Radar it really gives you a reality check. Im not reckless or careless, I knew there would be fog but weather said it was patchy fog, not the completely zero visibility that came in. luckily all was well as I was not nervous of my capabilitys, rather the other people who might not see or hear me until it was too late. I got back to the dock where I was greeted with a spot between two ensigns leaving me 6 inches bow and stern which was more stressfull than the fog! When it started to lift I even set the jib and killed the engine to relax a bit. A little while passed and my friend called me from the yacht club asking if that was me. He said everyone claimed it was such an eerie/awesome sight with light winds, no sound, a wall of fog and a boat under sail popping through it! Had I known it would have been that bad I would not have gone and waited till later.. After docking ten minutes later it was absolutely clear.. go figure!
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post #2 of 25 Old 09-07-2011
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Welcome to Maine and New Brunswick.

Oh, it wasn't Maine or New Brunswick - well, it could have been.

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post #3 of 25 Old 09-07-2011
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Horn? Paper charts? Those things can be handy if you know that fog is a possibility.
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post #4 of 25 Old 09-07-2011 Thread Starter
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ive got them both anthem. used the horn but no need for the paper charts.
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post #5 of 25 Old 09-07-2011
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Fog, we was in fog so thick we couldn't even see the paper charts!

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post #6 of 25 Old 09-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtterGreen View Post
I started the motor and made it to the middle of the bay, started feeling a cool breeze and found myself completely smothered in "fog" within about 10 minutes.
A very slight breeze, under 5 knots, is idea for creating fog suddenly. It stirs up the air right over the water, causing the warm moist air to have more contact with the cooler water and suddenly lower the air temp to the dew point, hence fog. If the wind picks up over 5 knots, it blows it away.

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post #7 of 25 Old 09-07-2011 Thread Starter
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it was fairly windy, then died as the fog rolled in . as far as the paper charts, i couldnt see anything around me so it was impossible to dead reckon on any landmarks, there were no markers around either .
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post #8 of 25 Old 09-07-2011
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Do you have a depth gauge on your boat? You can use it to help figure out where you are on the paper charts. You can start with where you knew you were and work your way around.

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post #9 of 25 Old 09-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhays View Post
A very slight breeze, under 5 knots, is idea for creating fog suddenly. It stirs up the air right over the water, causing the warm moist air to have more contact with the cooler water and suddenly lower the air temp to the dew point, hence fog. If the wind picks up over 5 knots, it blows it away.

Dave
Haven't sailed Maine much eh.... We sail in soup fog very often with good 10-15 knot winds. While it does pile up on the windward side of islands and leave the lee of them in a clear pocket it can still be very thick, less than 250 feet vis, and still be windy. Fog and wind are not mutually exclusive in Maine & the Maritimes.

Often there are light winds when it is foggy but we do get nice sailing in the fog too. I prefer to sail vs. no winds and running the motor when you're unable to hear your surroundings.

The scariest thing about fog are the yahoo's guided by nothing but a GPS doing 30 knots in their Sea Ray's..

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post #10 of 25 Old 09-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb32863 View Post
Do you have a depth gauge on your boat? You can use it to help figure out where you are on the paper charts. You can start with where you knew you were and work your way around.
When I fished commercially, as a lobsterman, my number one navigation instrument was my depth sounder. I always knew right where I was based on depth. Barely ever looked at the compass and early on did not have radar. This was before "fish finders".. Charts were so full of fish guts & blood they were mostly useless, but I had them..

If I ever got disoriented when pulling a string, which happened on occasion, when there was dead calm & no wind, I would glance at the compass and head NE. This always put me back on a bottom contour I knew then I was back on track. Depth is a very valuable asset in the fog if you know the bottoms and tides and the bottom has enough variability like we have here in the NE.

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