We frequently walk along the breakwater in the evenings after dinner out. It’s our “us” time—a quiet time in a beautiful area, frequently all alone with the gentle surf, the clanking tack of the sailboats, the barking seals and the caws of the seagulls. Sometimes we get to hear the fog horns in the area as well.
This particular walk had its own personality as the weather was changing dramatically. A storm from the Pacific was on its way into the Bay Area, and the fog was behaving unusually. It’s typical style is to cling to the ground as it spills over the hills and down through the canyons—always a gorgeous sight to watch. But this evening, as the sun was setting, the fog rapidly blew in over the hills and, very out of the ordinary, remained up in the air.
A significant amount of the fog/clouds gushed from the Pacific toward the bay. But, oddly, as if an invisible line were drawn in the sky, the bank of moisture never went beyond a clearly defined point. No matter how much fog or how many clouds poured, no spewed over the hills into the sky, they dissipated in the same place.
This looked so bizarre as to be fascinating, even mesmerizing to watch. A lot of “weather” was going on, but it was up along the line of the hills and in the sky, probably a half mile away.
As we were heading back to the car, when we were in the very same area as the evening we heard the kayaker screaming at God in the darkness, I heard a very unusual roaring sound. I couldn’t identify it. For several seconds I was wondering what this very loud rumbling sound was—an earthquake in the distance?!
Suddenly, the tack on the sailboats stopped their gentle clanging and began beating violently against the boat masts. We also heard a high pitched siren-like whistling sound as wind ripped past all of the guy wires on the boats. The sound was the wind!
Now we could see it stirring up the surface of the water in the cove. This was a violent, powerful rush of wind reminiscent of our experience at the south rim of the Grand Canyon! We could see it coming at us because of the way it created extreme turbulence on the surface of the water in the cove as it moved across.
“I think we need to get off of this breakwater before we get blown off of it and into the bay!” I said just before the wind hit us, almost knocking us over. Oddly, it was over as quickly as it arrived.
I love the weather of the North Bay. It’s completely different from the South Bay. I certainly wouldn’t want to be out on the Headlands when a storm actually hit the the coast.