Even Foggier

Laurent says it’s called brouillard in French. Well, we had a heap of it today, Sunday, July 6th.

We had eaten our Dunkin Donuts’ breakfast overlooking Magnolia Beach at 8:30 AM and the water was so flat that the boats on their moorings were pointing every which way. No wind. No waves. We decided to come south with the full charter of six people because the conditions looked so good that way.

By the time everyone was on board – customers Ilya and Leni, Laurent, Andy, MIke and the other Polish guy whose name started with M, plus crew Veronica, Pat, Pete, The Captain and me – the sun was dimmed behind hazy overcast. As we powered down the Annisquam to the Blynman Bridge, Peter called down to look at the fog bank that was cloaking the marsh to our right. Oh, no. Not again.

Sure enough. As we pulled into Gloucester Harbor, we couldn’t see past the last can marking the channel for the bridge. No rocks at Stage Fort Park and no Ten Pound Island.   It was coolish and the mist sliding across your face felt wet. The sun wasn’t visibile above and everything on all sides was white. This was not going to be good for diving.

We won’t put people into the water if we can’t see them when they surface away from the boat.  Sound is muffled and its source’s distance and direction unreliable when there’s heavy fog. No one wants to feel unsafe when they’re diving.  So we putt-putted over to the transient mooring at Half Moon Beach and hooked up. Now what?

I was taking a beginner into stand-up water with Veronica, so we got dressed and jumped in with just our suits and fins. Leni seemed eager to get started with her class and so we fin-kicked to the beach. The rest of the customers were getting geared up as we left, but I knew we wouldn’t be charging any of them for the trip because it’s free when we can’t leave the harbor due to weather conditions. That way we don’t put anyone at risk and they don’t feel they’ve been short-changed by us.

Veronica is a great co-teacher. She is just about Leni’s size so her examples and demonstrations are very pertinent. We got through the snorkeling skills quickly and proceeded to scuba rig donning and doffing, and scuba regulator clearing and retrieval. Again, great progress. We determined that her weights were going to need to be somewhere between 15 pounds and 22 pounds on her next dive.

We were working with mask clearing and breathing from the scuba tank on the surface with no mask when The Captain hailed us to return to the boat. The other folks were done with their dive and, since the fog hadn’t lifted, voted to call it a day.

As we returned to the marina, the fog bank was being blown on shore and into the parking lot. It still hadn’t burned off by 1:30 when we left Magnolia for Pete’s place in Waltham and his cookout.

Oh, well. Let’s hope everyone can come back another time for better conditions.

We saw Cathy Myers and her family and friends as well as Dr. Don and Ken, Dino and Lynn with Christopher and Nicolette, Pam and Chandra, many of Peter’s family plus Billy and Frankie at Pete’s.

There were also many, many lobsters all bright red, steaming and ready for eager fingers with nut crackers.

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