Paddle Tip 1224 : when there’s a fog advisory, hug the shoreline.

It was a foggy Christmas Eve. There was no wind. It was going to be a magical paddle with two good friends. We agreed, as we paddled out, that we needed to stick close to the shore because the fog was so thick. The water was like glass. There were a couple fishing boats out, but as soon as you could see them, they would disappear again. 

Time seemed to stand still. And paddling took so little effort.

Before turning around to go back, I thought… “it would be so cool to paddle out just far enough not to see anything but the fog around me.” One friend was all in, the other a little wary of my decision (and for good reason!). 

As soon as the shadows of the trees disappeared the fog seemed to get thicker. I could see my friends, but nothing else but white around us.

We paddled toward the general direction of the shore… but before long we were all paddling in different directions. My friend was sure we were going in circles. Then a plane came in for a landing. I’d listen to it land and then point in the direction we needed to go. 

This was how it went for the next nearly 2 miles. As long as the planes were landing behind us, I knew we were pointed in the right direction. But there was nothing else to guide us.

There came a point when I was starting to get a little nervous. And then, instead of a plane, I heard birds! I knew land had to be nearby! We paddled towards the noise of the birds. And then I saw a buoy appear out of the fog ahead of me. 

While I knew a buoy was a good sign, and the sound of the birds were getting louder… you still couldn’t see any landmarks. I still had no idea where we were. Then another buoy… then, finally. I could see trees. And rocks. 

“We’re in the marina!” I exclaimed. We had paddled almost 2 miles completely blind. And we ended up exactly where we were supposed to be! 

I don’t always make the best decisions… But it’s always an adventure!