Mainely fog: Mystery morning at Castine harbor

The view from Acadia Dock in Castine, Maine on an unexpectedly foggy morning.

The view from Acadia Dock in Castine, Maine on an unexpectedly foggy morning.

Before I started taking pictures so fervently during our travels, I thought that a foggy day would be an unfortunate happenstance.  But a true photography expert who vacations with us at Pawleys Island each summer told me he welcomes foggy mornings, describing the gift of fog as “a godsend.” “Fog,” he said, “is something we can’t duplicate or even plan to see, an unexpected gift from heaven.”

Each morning, a group of guys meets at the dock in Castine to greet the sunrise -- or, in this case, the morning fog.

Each morning, a group of guys meets at the dock in Castine to greet the sunrise — or, in this case, the morning fog.

Each morning we stayed in Castine, Maine, I was up before dawn, anxious to watch the sky turn orange, then pink, then blue as the sun rose and bathed the harbor in light.  It became a ritual of sorts, as I talked with some of the locals who met at Acadia Dock each morning and watched the day unfold.  But one morning, we received that “godsend” my friend at the beach told me about:  gray, all-encompassing fog.

Boats appeared moody and lonely as fog isolated them in my camera’s eye where they competed with nothing else on the horizon. The dock became mysterious as familiar regulars — like boats tethered at the dock and the usual lineup of larger vessels — were enshrouded.


Waiting to launch: boats at Castine.

Waiting to launch: boats at Castine.

Even the closed-for-the-summer Yacht Club dock appeared as a walkway to parts unknown.  A movie set in the making perhaps.

The long dock at Castine's Yacht Club.

The long dock at Castine’s Yacht Club.

And a glance to my left and then to my right revealed two welcome views.  On my left, I could make out the other side of Acadia Dock with the Maine Marine Academy tugboat on the far left of the lineup.

The view from Castine Yacht Club of Acadia Dock enshrouded in fog.

The view from Castine Yacht Club of Acadia Dock enshrouded in fog.

On the right, gray shingled houses with their reflections shimmering beneath them, awaited the unfolding of day.

Houses along Castine's waterfront as seen from the Yacht Club dock.

Houses along Castine’s waterfront as seen from the Yacht Club dock.

But the more I looked, the more I noticed something I didn’t expect to see so clearly — the color red.  The juxtaposition of one single red boat added a focal point to this already intriguing lineup of waterside homes and sheds. And the photo is now one of my favorite from a month of snapping sunrises in Maine.

One red boat stands ready on a foggy morning in Castine.

One red boat stands ready on a foggy morning in Castine.

The next time I’m in Castine peering out from the bedroom window to see what kind of day is in store, I’ll grab the camera even faster if I see gray skies.  As fleeting as foggy mornings can be, I want to catch that “godsend” before the lift begins!

— Rusha Sams

For more on our month-long trip to Maine, click onto Travel Series: Autumn Down East.  And then share with us what you’ve enjoyed most about the lovely state of Maine.

About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
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33 Responses to Mainely fog: Mystery morning at Castine harbor

  1. penncosect24 says:

    These are beautiful photographs. I feel as if I’ve been on a personal tour!

    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment. We’ve been in Southeast Asia, so I’m slow in responding to folks, but we really appreciate your taking the time to look at Maine. We loved our month there and wish we could return. There is beauty at every turn!

  2. Beautiful photos, Rusha! 🙂

  3. Martha Gill says:

    I want to purchase two of your photos to help recall our brief visit to Maine. Have you thought of putting together a book of your wonderful photos to benefit the Friends?

    • Just let me now which photos you want, and they’re yours! I even have some that aren’t foggy! It was so fun to snap away in such a lovely setting. Thanks for the compliment and for the interest you take in me and in everyone you know. You are one special lady!

  4. Those are beautiful, very moody shots, and I’m with you, that little red boat picture is tops!!

  5. Very atmospheric! Loving the fog effect

  6. Amy says:

    So beautifully captured! You can feel the peacefulness. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  7. prior.. says:

    the gray blue color throughout the post is calming, enriching and fits the vibe of your sharing — and Castine harbor is amazing in fog… ha

    • You nailed it. It really is a gray-blue color — I couldn’t quite describe it. And it’s thicker in some places than others. We were fortunate to stay a while in Castine, getting accustomed to the privilege of walking down to the harbor from our house and staring at the horizon as we waited for the sun. I miss it . . . a lot!

      • prior.. says:

        Oh what a nice season – sounds like such a great way to start the day like that 😊and at least the memories will always be with you! We used to live beachside and had similar short walks to catch the sunrise and so funny how I actually complained about how much seaweed was across the sand – well not major gripe – but a little (cos some beaches have more of it) anyhow – looking back I see even more of the gift those months were – ahhhh

  8. Beautiful photos of the fog and the water and the boats. They look like paintings. We have always enjoyed the fog and its mysterious ways during our visits to San Francisco.


  9. cynthiahm says:

    Love all the boats.

    • We loved those boats, too. And this is a small harbor. We saw a number of harbors many times larger. We became familiar with the boats, and when we’d go down to the harbor, we’d look for ones that were in different places. I could get used to living near a harbor!

  10. twobrownfeet says:

    Haunting and beautiful! Great captures. Loved them all. 🙂

    • Great term — “haunting.” So appropriate. Now, I know why horror films shot in cemeteries always have foggy nights with full moons! Funny how that fog casts a whole new atmosphere over a familiar scene.

  11. kzmcb says:

    Beautifully narrated. ‘Languid’ shots.

  12. I agree, Rusha, fog always adds another dimension to photography, as you have captured above. I also like the sounds of fog along the coast: distant fog horns, boats restless in their moorings, a lonely seagull, etc. The red boat did add an interesting touch in contrast to the grey. –Curt

  13. Sue says:

    Well, you have some great results here, Rusha!

  14. Nancy Stanley says:

    Rusha–These photographs are more beautiful than any coffee table book on Amazon!

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