By 10am yesterday it was clear in False Creek, so I ventured out into English Bay and was confronted by fog that limited visibility to less than 100′ at times. For those of you who’ve been to English Bay by boat, you’ll know it is almost always littered with dozens of cargo ships waiting to load grain or coal or whatever. I ran the gauntlet through them navigating by radar and GPS. It was a bit like trying to avoid being eaten by magenta blobs in a real world video game. Once I got past the cargo ships, I had ferries, fishing vessels, and some foolhardy folks like me on pleasure craft to deal with. The bigger vessels are easy to spot on radar, but the smaller blips of pleasure craft are harder to track. The small blips come and go, and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish a real target from an echo. At least twice I had major sphincter-tightening moments when small boats appeared out of the mist 100′ away.
I kept hoping the fog would clear farther out, but it never did, and soon I was past the point of no return. So I went all the way to Point Roberts in the fog. It was not a relaxing trip. Even though I used autopilot, I never dared go below for more than a minute or two for fear that I’d miss something that would jump out on the radar screen.
So today might be a rerun of yesterday. I was hoping to go all the way to Seattle today, but the longer I sit here, the less likely that becomes. I’ll probably end up in Port Ludlow or somewhere nearby for the night.