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 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.
Even the closed-for-the-summer Yacht Club dock appeared as a walkway to parts unknown. A movie set in the making perhaps.
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.
On the right, gray shingled houses with their reflections shimmering beneath them, awaited the unfolding of day.
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.
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