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Fearsome Fog


Quinn Harper, Expedition Guide, Wilderness Adventurer

Alaska is famous for its fickle weather but neither rain nor wind nor dark of night can keep us inside when we can be outside exploring.

However, when we wake up to fog that limits visibility to 30 feet it becomes tricky, especially when we can see fishing boats nearby on the radar. Kayaks in the fog are hardly speed bumps to a fishing boat that is underway and distracted setting gear.

Fog Alaska

So how do we go out on an adventure when were socked in with fog? First we make sure the fishing boats aren’t setting gear where we mean to kayak. Next we pack a compass, map, GPS, and foghorn.

Once the gear is ready to go, we set out leaving the safety of the Wilderness Adventurer behind. Using our charts and compass, we check the orientation of the boat so we know which direction to paddle towards the invisible shore.

Kayaking in Fog

Then we double check so we don’t end up paddling towards Siberia. Then we head off into the fog, quickly losing sight of the ship as we grope our way through the endless white until we catch a glimpse of the trees on the coast.

We follow the coast closely to our take out beach and confirm our location on the map using our GPS. Once on shore, navigating in the fog is a little easier. The map and compass are enough and the risk of hiking into the Pacific Ocean is rather low.

Kayaks on shore in Alaska

As we hike to the top of the coastal hills, the fog lifts, unmasking Alaska in all her glory. On the other side of Cross Sound, the mountains of Chichagof Island are still cloaked in clouds and fog.

Vista Views in Alaska

But here on the mainland, our view is clear over Taylor Bay and all the way to Cape Spencer. It's a grand Alaskan vista indeed.

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