JusJoJan — Early to Rise

08dba28b-bfee-4cde-a3a3-3a4522c0143bToday’s jot for Linda G. Hill’s Just Jot It January prompt was suggested by Toortsie. The word is “sunrise.” As Linda noted, Toortsie’s native language isn’t English, it’s Afrikaans. When I opened up her post using the Chrome browser on my iPhone, I was asked if I wanted Google to translate the text from Afrikaans to English and voila! I could read every word.

So now on to my jot for January 10th.

When I lived in the east, I used to love to go to the coast and watch the sun rising up and over the Atlantic. It was breathtakingly beautiful. But also when I lived in the east, the nearest ocean coastline was easily 100 miles from where I lived. And, as a younger man, I typically stayed up later at night and slept later in the morning. So my opportunities to witness the sunrise at the ocean were few and far between.

Now I live on the west coast, and even though, in my old age, I often wake up before dawn, I’m 3,000 or so miles away from being able to see the sun rising over the ocean.

But there’s no need to feel sorry for me. No indeed. Because now I live only a few miles from the ocean and I can go watch the sun setting into the Pacific anytime I want.

What I’ve discovered is that, whether you’re looking east at the Atlantic or west at the Pacific, both the sunrise and the sunset at the ocean’s shore are breathtakingly beautiful. And if you show someone a photograph, and ask them if they’re looking at a picture of a sunrise or a sunset, they’ll be hard pressed to give you the correct answer.

F is for Foghorns

5CA697E3-CDA5-4F21-89D8-9F95001A30B3I was originally going to title this post, “F is for Fake News,” when I read that 77% of Americans who participated in a Monmouth University poll said that traditional TV news networks and newspapers were involved in reporting “fake news.”

But then I decided, in the interest of controlling my blood pressure, I would post about something far less controversial: foghorns.

I live in San Francisco, which is located on a peninsula bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east by the San Francisco Bay. My house is almost equidistant from the ocean and the bay — about three miles from each. At night, when I’m walking our dog, I can hear the haunting sounds of foghorns as ships pass through the Golden Gate.

img_1018The Golden Gate is a strait that connects the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. It is defined by the headlands of the San Francisco Peninsula to the south and the Marin Peninsula to the north. Since 1937, the strait has been spanned by the Golden Gate Bridge.

img_1020The Golden Gate is often shrouded in fog, especially during the summer. Heat generated in California’s central valley causes air there to rise, creating a low pressure area that pulls in cool, moist air from over the Pacific Ocean. Because it’s the largest break in northern California’s coastal mountains, a dense, persistent stream of fog enters the bay from the strait. It’s hauntingly beautiful to hear the lonely blaring of the foghorns each night.

Below, you can see a mesmerizing time-lapse video of the fog rolling over the Golden Gate Bridge. (Note: there is no sound in this video clip.)