This morning I woke up early (for a Sunday anyhow at 7a) to sneak uo to channel islands harbor and grab me a waverunner ride before I had to get to my responsibilities for the day.
The ocean had swells about 5 feet but they were 18 seconds apart so its a pretty smooth ride. The conditions as I headed down the Camarillo grade were so clear that I could see both Anacappa and Santa Cruz Islands as if they were just a few miles away
By 8:15 I was on the waverunner and headed out to the ocean. I didn't have a lot of time so I planned a quick roundtrip to Arch Rock on the southern tip of Anacappa. As I approached Arch Rock I swung around the back of it just for a second (that gives me the feeling I went "past" the island :-) and turned to head back to Channel Islands Harbor
At that point was when I noticed and was surprised by the massive fog bank to the north which was heading my way. It was several miles wide and moving quite rapidly. It looked so dense that you could not see into it at all. Ocean, ocean, ocean then just a several mile wide wall of fog.
I hate being out there and getting stuck in the fog. I have logged thousands of miles on my waverunner. I am not afraid of sharks. I am not afraid of the rough conditions. I am not afraid of being knocked off in the middle of the ocean (yeah it does happen), I am not afraid of breaking down and getting stuck out there. I take precautions on all of the things i can and frankly if my time comes while I am out on my wave runner because I am knocked unconscious as a whale that breaches and lands on top of me, well that will be a fine way to go. BUT I hate the fog.
I hate it for a few reasons. For one its just feels ominous. You get into the middle of it and when its bad you cant see more than about 50-100 feet around you. Its as if you could be anywhere and nowhere at the same time. You are 100% isolated and your eyes do you no good at all. I do carry a GPS so I know which way to go but I don't have portable radar so I don't know what's coming at me. That is the second thing that scares the shit out of me. There are massive tankers out there. Ships of all sizes. And when the fog rolls in like that you simply cant see if something is coming your way until its about 100 feet from you, not a lot of distance to react to a 30 m.p.h. tanker.
So I raised back across the ocean literally trying to beat the fog bank from swallowing me up. I was heading across the ocean at about 40 m.p.h and thought I might make it. However just about 4 miles into the 12 mile crossing the fog caught up and I disappeared into its mass.
I was still about 8 miles offshore which was cause for concern. That's still in the tanker shipping lane. I proceeded on my course following my GPS (without it you would for sure go in circles) and crawled along at about 10 m.p.h so I could keep my eyes and other senses tuned for any objects
About 5 miles off shore out of nowhere came a rather large fishing vessel. It appeared through the fog heading the opposite direction I was, just off my starboard bow. I was going slow enough and noticed it soon enough that there was no danger as I swerved to the left to avoid it. I continued on and once I was only about 1.5 miles from shore the fog disappeared just as quick as it had come. The sky was blue. The sun was crisp and I cruised back into the harbor
So am I afraid to go out there given all the things that could happen/go wrong, I am not. I honestly believe driving on the 405 is much more dangerous.