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I heard the foghorn (or is it called a ship’s horn?)  for some time before I saw the vessel, but I knew I’d see Americas Spirit because of  the AIS app on my phone.  If I’d had my VHF with me, I’d also know from that which vessel approached and with whose assist.

With these and other elements of redundant technology, any vessel–like the small one below– in the vicinity would have slim chance of being surprised by a massive bow like this appearing unexpectedly out of the fog.

So if the question is  . . . why do ships still use these spectacular horns even with all the others means of “seeing” through the fog?   I suppose the answer is that redundancy is a good thing.

Click here for fog horns in San Francisco, but I believe the sounds from Americas Spirit were even lower pitched.  Even at a quarter mile’s distance, I felt it as much as heard.

Once the docking rotation began, the horn ceased…

and Barbara and Responder pinned Americas Spirit to the dock.

That horn booming out of the fog, though, stays with me.  It sounded almost human, like the breath wafting through and resonating within a wind instrument.

Next foggy day, head down to the Kills.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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