Fog

PITBoat

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
209
We got out in some really significant fog one morning this season, some weeks back. I wasn't sure we were going to be able to do it, but there were very few people there so we had a go.

It was eerie looking down the ramp from the parking area and seeing the buoy offshore in the fog below us. It looked like it was suspended in midair.

I forget what I estimated the forward visibility at, but it was enough that if we went slow on plane and kept our eyes open, and with the very small number of boats, especially moving ones, it felt safe enough.

We got out into one part of the lake where we couldn't see the land to either side or in front at all, and just barely behind. That was really kind of cool, using the compass and sorta needing it.

We found a nice place in a sheltered area to shut down and just enjoy the conditions, and by the time we headed back it was partly to mostly sunny. Really smooth water too.

Benign stuff for people who have to get out and boat or fly in all kinds of weather I'm sure, but I'm glad we went and experienced it. There aren't too many days like that.
 

dwco5051

Lieutenant Commander
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
1,621
Benign stuff for people who have to get out and boat or fly in all kinds of weather I'm sure, but I'm glad we went and experienced it. There aren't too many days like that.
I have boated, flown, and drove tractor trailer in my life time and all three have increased the pucker factor by a thousand percent when a quick dense fog has came up unexpectedly. Thick fog is never benign.
 

PITBoat

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
209
I was coming back from a long cross country one time, and the weather deteriorated. I could still see the ground below me, but I really don't remember or couldn't even estimate at the time what the forward visibility was. Suddenly a couple of lights materialized out of the clouds slightly off to one side and below me. I thought it was another airplane, and I instinctively started to turn. It turned out to be the lights of a football stadium, hah. Weird feeling.

It was a VFR flight, and I suspect there mighta been a small part of it toward the end that was questionable. Things were a little better back at the airport, at least on the side they gave me an approach to land on.
 

dwco5051

Lieutenant Commander
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
1,621
It was a VFR flight, and I suspect there mighta been a small part of it toward the end that was questionable. Things were a little better back at the airport, at least on the side they gave me an approach to land on.
My home airport was known to have fog rise up come the valley on it's East end in a matter of minutes and completely obscure every thing on the approach and the end of the runway some mornings. It was a non-controlled airport back then so basically below minimums for the ILS on 24. We used to come in on the ILS and perform a go around and then turn back and come in on 6 with 5500' of crystal clear runway. Now it has a tower they may frown on that.
 

KJM

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
370
Even with gps and compass etc., i really don't like being out on the water when I can't see land in any direction. A lake i could handle, but the ocean ain't so forgiving. I almost hit another boat one time in those conditions. I was concentrating so much on my gps trying to get on a good fishing spot that i nearly hit another boat that appeared out of the fog. frightened the you know what out of me (and probably the other boat too!). Won't make that mistake again.
 

Grub54891

Rear Admiral
Joined
Jun 17, 2012
Messages
4,578
Fog can be a real bugger. I was out on our 340 acre lake years ago, we are about five miles from lake superior. Well that day a fog bank rolled in, watched it swallow up peoples docks one by one. Couldn't see shore from the middle where I was out there. Of course no compass as I've been on this smallish lake since I was ten years old knew it like the back of my hand. I rememberd where the waves direction was so I headed back home slowly. Well, I missed that the wind had switched and I ended up on the opposite end of the lake. Turned around and followed the shore to the cabin. Out on the big lake could have put me miles off course, lesson learned that day. Have good navigation equipment with you at all times!
 

Sea Rider

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
10,663
Last year went for a 15 mile far away island cruise located at open sea, when returning to Terra Firme a dense fog rushed in fast over the water, could not see the island nor the coast, just the bow. Started up my GPS which has all the view points I usually boat at. Some minutes latter while the unit was conducting us in the right direction to the coast Low Batt appeared as a ghost on the display and shut down the GPS minutes latter.

Luckily found a navigation buoy and tied the boat there for an hour, time it took for the fog to clear. Lesson learned, always take spare fresh batteries with you. What scares me is that you could run into any boat while boating at dense fog scenarios with fatal consequences..

Happy Boating
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
11,979
What scares me is that you could run into any boat while boating at dense fog scenarios with fatal consequences..

Happy Boating
Not to mention a good way to get run over or swamped if your anywhere near shipping lanes......

A small fiberglass boat is next to impossible to see on ships radar. Good argument to broadcast AIS

The worst I was ever rocked was by a Virginia Class submarine. Saw him on radar......smallish return, didn't think too much of it.... broadsided by 6+foot rollers coming out of the fog.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1713.JPG
    IMG_1713.JPG
    481.2 KB · Views: 8

dwco5051

Lieutenant Commander
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
1,621
The worst I was ever rocked was by a Virginia Class submarine. Saw him on radar......smallish return, didn't think too much of it.... broadsided by 6+foot rollers coming out of the fog.
It is amazing how something one hundred and twenty five yards long can have such a small radar signature. Back when I was teaching boating safety classes I might have students that would be boating on the Ohio and Mon rivers. When we got on the subject of lights I would explain that when you would see a yellow flashing light it wasn't a tow truck but 600 of so feet of barges being pushed and if you are right close to the shoreline hold on. I would throw in if you are on the Thames River by Groton CT it could be that long and hard to see at all in low light conditions.
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
11,979
It is amazing how something one hundred and twenty five yards long can have such a small radar signature. Back when I was teaching boating safety classes I might have students that would be boating on the Ohio and Mon rivers. When we got on the subject of lights I would explain that when you would see a yellow flashing light it wasn't a tow truck but 600 of so feet of barges being pushed and if you are right close to the shoreline hold on. I would throw in if you are on the Thames River by Groton CT it could be that long and hard to see at all in low light conditions.
Size is relative.
The radar signature of a 40’ tall conning tower on a sub is “small” compared to the 12 story (180’) tall super structure of the 1,200 foot long container ships that lm normally on the lookout

We have lot of barge traffic well but they stay in the barge channel, well away from the shipping lanes

Hardest part of dealing with barges is finding the tow cables at night. Pretty common to have a several hundred feet of tow cable between tug and barge.
 
Top