Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Maine Fog

Wrote Walter Cronkite in North by Northeast <http://amzn.to/2dYRaNP>:
A Maine fog can come up in minutes with smothering density.  The bow of your boat and the top of your mast disappear, and you are cast adrift in an impenetrable sea of white. 
However, the old-time sailors in Maine, and particularly the lobstermen, go plunging about in the fog with unearthly ability to find their way.  I asked a lobsterman how in the world he did it. 
"How do you know where the rocks are?" I asked. 
"Don't," he answered.  "I know where they ain't."


  1. I don't know if Walter Cronkite named his book, but there's no point on the compass that's "North by Northeast":

    The First 32 Points of the Compass Rose:

    0 North
    1 N by E
    2 NNE
    3 NE by N
    4 NE
    5 NE by E
    6 ENE
    7 E by N
    8 East

    1. North by northeast is a real direction. The azimuth is 22.5 degrees. Also, compass do not have points. They depict angles from north.

    2. I disagree. It's North Northeast at 22.5 degrees, not North BY Northeast. There is, however, Northeast by North. And my compass is a exactly like this one. With compass points https://www.google.com/search?q=compass+rose+points&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjSz-SL-uDUAhVBdz4KHTJZCOEQ_AUICigB&biw=1265&bih=775#tbm=isch&q=kelvin+white+compass+&imgrc=8hEWsb-j7y-1LM:

    3. That's true. It should be north northeast without the "by." Good point.

      I don't buy the compass points. A compass measure angles from north. A GPS provides points in the form of coordinate pairs.

  2. Maine fog. Nostalgic. Cools the air. Mystifies. Summers past in ME bring fond memories. Summers sailing in ME, in the fog, on instruments and one person at the bow and one at the stern looking out for other boats. The fog lifts and boats appear. Surprise, surprise. The joys of ME. Susan

  3. I went to a seaside church service in an outdoor chapel two Sundays ago in Kennebunkport. The fog gave everything a lovely ethereal quality even though it obscured the view. Talk of boaters and rocks came up after the service. "How do they know?"

  4. Someday I aspire to sail the Maine coast. Among the many pleasures of such an experience would be to wake up in a harbor, among the gentle movement of the sea, in a deep Maine fog, make a pot of coffee, and watch the fog slowly burn off and give way to a crisp bluebird sailing day. Someday....

  5. Headed to Maine this holiday weekend. Can't wait. Supposed to rain, but maybe that means fog! :) I just want to smell the ocean, maybe dip my toes in, depending on how cold, eat some lobster, and do absolutely nothing...except perhaps look for a possible retirement spot.

  6. The photos reminds me of the fog that blankets the Chesapeake Bay area in Maryland. Absolutely beautiful!

  7. There is a rock in Blue Hill Harbor, named 'Bailey's mistake', after one of my Great great grandfathers. The story is that bringing while bringing his schooner into the harbor in a fog, the mate shouted "Captain Bailey, there's a rock ahead', to which my Great Great Grandfathr rplied, 'nonsense, lad, I know every rock in this harbor...' Crash.

  8. Looks very much like the fog leading from the Bolivar Peninsula toward Galveston Island.

  9. Totally different context I know but just hearing or seeing the word "fog" takes me back in time to Miss Moody's 10th grade American Literature class and "... on little cat feet...".

  10. These photos rival Mr. Ellis's illustrations.