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It was a Dark and Foggy Night

by Doerte Mann. From Buzz, November 2008

It was a dark and foggy night when four of us launched from Bodega Bay last night for a coastal paddle to the mouth of the Estero Americano and back.

It was after sunset and long before moonrise, and a thick layer of fog prevented any stars from shining through to us. The only light was coming from the ocean itself - the brilliant bioluminescence churned up with every paddle stroke.

Navigating by the sound of the surf, the direction of the wind, and the very homy sound of the fog horn; hearing splashing and heavy breathing behind me at times; anticipating something unexpected out of the dark—to be lifted by a wave or bumping into a rock; having trouble to keep track of paddlers that weren't even three boat lengths away; they all sharpened some senses that are not normally part of my paddling experience. And a new blister on my hand testifies to the fact that I must have been tenser than usual.

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