Thursday, March 19, 2009
The Point Lonsdale Foghorn
I hear three moaning foghorns tonight,
Probably at Bainbridge Island,
Point No Point, and Alki.
I can't detect a pattern.
The foghorns sing to each other
Back and forth across the murky Puget Sound. . .
There will come a time
When we will likewise
All sing to each other.
[ed's note]: Foghorns are really just audio lighthouses. Modern foghorns send out laser beams to test for visibility. If the laser indicates that visibility is low, a computer activates the foghorn, which sounds until the laser shows conditions have cleared. The notes of foghorns are extremely low because low sounds carry better, providing more of a warning. For large ships which do not turn or move rapidly at all (ask the Titanic survivors), the sooner they know of objective hazards. . .the better.