Drizzley Fog

or was it foggy drizzle? Plus a north wind. Yuk.

We had a full boat and knew we wouldn’t be able to get out of the harbor because, in our drive to look for good water, we hadn’t even been able to see 10 Pound Island from Stacey Boulevard. That’s thick fog. No one wants to dive where they can’t be seen by passing boaters or by the charter boat itself if they drift away from the dive site. That’s just dangerous.

The north side of the island was similarly socked in. Plus it had an onshore wind from the north that had rollers churning into Folly Cove. That was definitely not the way to go.

So, we gave the customers the option of:

  1. staying dry and coming another day,
  2. coming out for a boat ride into the harbor as far as we could get, or
  3. diving one tank in the harbor in the shallows for free.

Catie and Tom Childress had come all the way from Amherst, MA and wanted to at least get wet. Larry and Al were fine with just the boat ride. Paul and Laurent wanted to see what there was down there, no matter where we went.

So, we put-putted our way down the river and under the Blynman Bridge with inches to spare (thanks to Peter). I think the bridge tender said there was 10 feet of clearance in the middle. The white measuring placard on the right as we went under said 8 feet.

Then we ghosted slowly towards the first can in the harbor after the red and white “AR” can at the mouth of the cut. Couldn’t see anything. Peter and I picked out the point of Stage Fort Park on our right.

Then we saw the dim outlines and heard grunting shouts from two seine boats that were racing parallel to us. They were being escorted by inflatables with blue flashing lights to keep onlookers far enough away. No problem with that because we were the only onlookers, due to the fog. We didn’t know which boat was which, but could tell that the one nearest to us was winning. Its rowers were working in unison while those in the other boat were not coordinated and there was even an oar out of the water at its bow. This was part of the St. Peter’s Festival that was happening this weekend.

We continued around the point and anchored in about 20 feet of water near three large boulders off Cressy’s Beach. The anchorage felt safe because we could see land through the fog on three sides, with the boulders becoming more and more exposed as the tide receded.

Pete, Catie and I went exploring. There was lots of dusty kelp around the boulders, but I saw sea vases and a large black sea bass. Kathy Cardinale said she was watching our bubbles and saw two harlequin ducks on top of the biggest rock wobble out of our line of sight as we rounded it. They kept trying to get to the opposite side of the rock and away from our bubbles.

I found a hermit crab whose shell was coated with fuzzy, pink growth. It reminded me of an angora sweater or a pink marabou negligee. Catie took its picture in a mask full of water to keep the fuzzy stuff puffed up. As soon as the shell was out of the water, the pink coating collapsed into merely slime.

The day wasn’t a complete loss, but it was pretty close. It was only due to the great people we had with us that there was lots of laughter, teasing, joking, and general mayhem among everyone. And Catie got some more experience in the water in less than great conditions: 61 degrees on top, 59 degrees on the bottom in 20 feet, 5 feet of visibility.

Docking was easy as Pete backed into our new slip with new white bumpers on the corners.

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