Final Light / by Michael Johns

Summer weather offshore of Central California typically falls into three categories: wind, fog, or both. This often catches tourists off guard, where people expecting a warm July whale watch outside the bay end up wearing shorts and a t-shirt on a 5-hour long cruise in cold pea soup fog. Occasionally, however, the fog vanishes and the wind subsides, setting the stage for a fleeting phenomena of pleasant weather. On these rare clear evenings, usually towards the end of summer and into fall, lofty stratocumulus clouds paint the sky brilliant shades of sunset colors during the final minutes of remaining light.