For two anglers, an average Lake Michigan fishing trip suddenly transformed into the movie trailer of either the Godzilla sequel or the latest Stephen King adaptation.
Andrew Ballard and his dad were drifting on the Platte Bay in Northern Michigan when an enormous wall of fog approached, and eventually engaged their boat. Ballard’s video footage of the experience quickly went viral on Youtube.
As reported by The Detroit News,
“We saw these low-lying clouds about 20 miles off in the distance,” said Ballard, a resident of Waterford Township who is working toward a Ph.D in administration and policy at Rutgers University.
“They crept up on our boat and then we could see that it was a cloud that was really close to the water. We thought about pulling in our lines and heading to shore but we were curious, so we decided to see what it would be like inside.”
“The wind was about 20 mph, the waves got bigger and the temperature really dropped,” Ballard said. “Visibility dropped to about 30 feet, and you lost direction.”
According to the National Weather Service, what the Ballards experienced is known as advection fog.
“The fog develops when warm moist air moves over really cold lake water,” meteorologist Deb Elliott said. “Fog develops as the air is cooled and is then moved along by wind. It can very thick and extensive; if they were swallowed up in it, their visibility could drop to almost zero.”
The Ballards made it safely back to the boat launch, but what would you have done if you were in their shoes — keep your line in the water and stay put, or tuck tail and get the heck out of dodge?