Your Survival Guy and Gal were returning to Newport by boat Sunday and ran into some thick fog. Having spent the weekend seeing good friends for the passing of a father, it was a bittersweet reunion. At the celebration of his life, one of his sons reminded us of what his dad considered a pentathlon day: fishing, golf, tennis, hockey, and sailing. He taught us through example what it means to live life.

Sitting on my parents’ deck Sunday morning, talking about the weekend, and taking our last sips of coffee, it was time to get ready to head back to Newport. It was a typical hazy, hot, and humid New England morning. Once underway, we put the Mattapoisett lighthouse to stern and set our course.

When we ran into the first fog bank, we turned south toward Cuttyhunk, aiming for clearer air. But after a while, having done this trip dozens of times, we knew the fog was not going to lift, and we adjusted accordingly. With the radar spinning and the chart plotter overlay, we confirmed both were in synch with visual confirmation with red and green Bells (floating markers). Then, it got so thick portions of the fog bank appeared as rain on our radar.

When you’re in the fog, there’s times when there’s movement by other boats and ships where you’re not 100 percent clear of what’s going on. That’s when it’s better to keep your heading but power back until you know the situation. Keeping your heading allows for other boats to see your course, helping them adjust accordingly. You don’t want to be zigging and zagging like a stock trader.

Then, we passed the blob on the screen, which was a tugboat pulling a barge 50 yards off its stern. There are horror stories of boats getting caught up in between the two when both can’t be seen—not understanding there’s a cable ready to clothesline them.

What was unnerving on this trip, as usual, was the fog, plus merging current and wind right off Newport’s Brenton Point, which created the most challenging conditions—not to mention the increase in boat traffic. We couldn’t see other boats with the naked eye, but we could hear their engines. Then, we passed Castle Hill, exited the fog, and just looked at each other with raised eyebrows. Wow, that was crazy.

Action Line: You want to get out there and live your life. To have your own pentathlon days. Some will be better than others. The fog comes and goes. You just need to be ready to navigate with the patience and skill it requires. When you’re ready to talk about living your best life, then let’s talk.

Originally posted on Your Survival Guy.