Friday, January 7, 2011

Fog chasers

On a boring errand today (involving tyres and light bulbs, zzzzzz) in the drylands of Wynberg Main Road, one of us looked up and said, is that fog? It could have been smoke, hanging low and dusky below the mountain towards Muizenberg. But it behaved like fog. It seemed unusual enough to warrant a dash home to pick up Vince's camera ( I had mine, ta-da), and off we went towards the rolling mass in the bright sunlight.

Up Boyes Drive and we were enveloped in cloud - sun behind, grey ahead and above, small patches of pure blue above the mountain, caught within the shifting white cloud; all the cars traveling out of it with fog beams switched on, another world behind us, pines and flowering gums appearing from the shadows all around.

We chased it to Fish Hoek, seeking higher ground and climbed some residential roads, higher than I've been, seeing that the homes here must have spectacular views. Barely above the fog we watched it insinuating itself in and over the spit of land that connects Fish Hoek and Sun Valley to Noordhoek on the other side of the thin peninsula. It was full of motion and beautiful.

We drove back down to sea level again and chased it some more, heading for Simonstown and the hill behind it, to see if we could get higher than the fog bank. A big white bakkie had the same idea and we played tag all the way, eventually stopping on the same piece of gravel on Red Hill Road. The sea below was blue, the sky was blue, the fog was a massive deepening creature silently moving in on the land from the wide mouth of  False Bay, and climbing up and over the mountains to our left.

At last we headed back the way we had come, but turned left at Glencairn to cross the mountains and drive up the back of Ou Kaapseweg, which would bring us onto Silvermine and hopefully  a view down onto the spreading fogbank. Far to the west we could see another major body of whiteness rolling up out of the sea towards Long Beach and Noordhoek, making this a phenomenon which was enveloping the peninsula, not just the False Bay coast of it. 

This is the top of Ou Kaapseweg.

The tongue of the fog had just reached the outlying suburbs and by this evening, when we sat outside to eat, (which would be beyond the left edge of this picture), it had crept below the top of the mountain, before rising to encompass and obscure it completely.


  1. Cool! You all have just raised storm chasing to a new level.

  2. All of this without even breaking a sweat, nice ;-)

  3. Wow - you really did the Peninsula runaround!The fog was magical. But I was a bit miffed it didn't clear enough for us to go sailing - the Fish Hoek hobie club wouldn't let anyone go out. No vis, they said. And at 7pm it finally cleared...

  4. went to the Milnerton market this morning early - the LAST thing I was expecting was fog. but there it was, thick as soup, deliciously cool.

  5. Oh, GORGEOUS! I was amazed to hear about the fog in the south as no sign of it anywhere near the city yesterday. Cape Town's weather is endlessly fascinating to me.

  6. I've never seen fog from this perspective. It's like it's alive, creeping in to envelop everything in its path.

  7. Oh do I know that experience. I used to sit on the cliffs at Flamborough Head UK and watch the fog roll in until you could almost put out your hand and touch it.

  8. Ok, so I was caught without my camera. Mea culpa. I had planned on buying tire tubes. Glad we went back for it.

    Next time we go chase virga...

  9. I love the fog - everything gets quiet(er) and slightly mysterious. PS Your route must have taken you right past us!


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