When The Fog Rolls In

We’re fog-bound this morning. The thick fog crept in like a living thing, blanketing the harbor, oozing up the hillside, and invading every nook and cranny to the point where even our neighbor’s house was rendered distant and indistinct through the foggy wisps.

I like the fog because it’s a tangible reminder that we’re in a seaside community. I also like the cool spritz on the skin that the fog brings. But I can understand why the lobstermen hate it. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be out on the water with this grey haze shrouding the normal landmarks, without knowing what rocky outcropping or boat might be lurking nearby. It’s one reason why lobstering is a dangerous, tough business.

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Aboard The Frenchboro Ferry

I’m a fan of the Maine State Ferry Service.  That’s because the MSFS provides regular ferry runs from points along the mainland to the islands found up and down the Maine coastline.  If you’re a landlubber like me and just want to get out on the water, you don’t need to charter a boat — you can just hop on a ferry and move from point A to point B the same way the locals do.


Yesterday morning Kish and I took a ride on the Bass Harbor to Frenchboro ferry. For a mere $10 a person, the ferry takes you away from the harbor, past islands and working lobster boats, to the tiny island town of Frenchboro.  If you’re just along for the ride, like we were, it’s a pleasant two-hour trip.  And if you see a porpoise, as we did, it’s an even better deal.


When the left the dock at 8 a.m. sharp, some morning fog was still hugging the islands, wrapping them like a moist gray blanket, as shown in the photo above.  On the open water, though, it was a brilliant, blue sky day, with lots of activity from the lobster-catching contingent.  


After we cruised into the snug harbor at Frenchboro, a gaggle of locals came on board.  For them, the ferry is routine stuff, and they sat up front, chatting away without a second glance at the no doubt familiar scenery.  Kish and I, on the other hand, sat in the back, the better to get unimpeded views of everything going on around us.  How often do flatlanders from the Midwest get a dockside view of a real working harbor and fishermen who think nothing of knocking back a can of beer at 9 a.m., the better to kick start their trip to the mainland?


When we looked into taking a ferry ride, the woman behind the desk at the ferry office recommended the Frenchboro ferry as more scenic than the Swan Island ferry, which uses a much bigger boat that also carries cars and trucks.  It was good advice.

In The Midst Of The Mist

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We took the mailboat run out to Isle au Haut yesterday.  After we started the trip a dense fogbank rolled in, moving toward us like a living creature and then finally enveloping our small craft in its damp, blank embrace on our return journey.  It was like being in a dream, with small islands silently sliding in and out of the thick mist and bobbing lobster buoys adding the only dabs of color to the monochromatic scenes.

The Fog Rolls In, The Fog Rolls Out

IMG_4465Yesterday morning Mahone Bay was covered with a pea soup blanket of fog, so dense we couldn’t see the end of the dock in front our cottage.  By late morning it had burned off, and by afternoon it was bright and hot along the bay.

When I went for a bike ride toward the ocean at about 3 p.m., however, I noticed that the fog was still shrouding some of the barrier islands leading out to the ocean.  It was out there, looming, like some wild creature waiting for the campfire to burn out before moving back in again.  Sure enough, when I woke up this morning the fog was back.

Morning Fog

Fog is a relative rarity in Columbus.  When it appears on an otherwise clear morning — as it did this morning — it is a treat.

Everyone who, as a child, watched clouds scudding across the summer sky and wondered what it would be like to be in a cloud will inevitably be attracted to a low-lying bank of fog.  Who wouldn’t welcome the chance to disappear into the mist, like a trenchcoat-clad character in ’40s movie who just spoke a killer line?  On a day that promises to be a hot one, it is a joy to be enveloped in the mist, feeling its dampness on your skin and smelling its pleasant, slightly acrid odor.

Of course, clouds can touch the surface only briefly, until the sun rises over the treetops and shoos them away.