Saturday, September 27, 2008


THE fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg

It was a beautiful Fall Sunday afternoon. Our crew had been volunteer helpers at Camp Obama most of the day and we were stealing a couple hours from the day, the light. As we left the harbor I could see a bit of haze on the water. Further out, I could see the skyscrapers shooting beyond a bit of ground fog. Something to keep an eye on, I thought.

We sailed straight out into the Lake via a Northerly breeze--steady at 10 knots. It was heaven. We talked of the day until the day was forgotten among the snacks and wine.

I took another look toward shore to see the sun and gauged an hour before it set. The order was given to come about and head toward the sun and harbor. We resumed our chatter. Beth gave the helm to Susan and relaxed. We spoke of boats. Bequia did well in the MAC. Allegro was sailing nearby.

Suddenly, Susan said she couldn't see Allegro anymore. In fact, we could see no more that a few boat lengths. The fog that had enveloped the skyscrapers was enveloping us. Thoughts were shared. Commands were given. The horn was retrieved. The jib was struck to slow us down. All hands were on watch. Chatter had diminished to whispers.

The GPS told us that we were 4 miles out. Then 3 and 2, but there was no sign of land. Our course was adjusted to trust the GPS rather than the sun, which was 30 degrees too far south. The jib furled to half for a bit more speed. Engines could be heard. A bell. The wail of the water crib.

As suddenly as the fog came upon us, it lifted somewhat. We could see a half mile. We could see lights on shore. We could see other boats. We could see the harbor. We were home.