Its 23:30 and a dense fog is rolling through the midnight air. Aside from the halo of evenly placed street lamps, visibility is challenging. Predictably, but without warning, a booming crescendo refracts through the dense fog.
I’m in The Presidio. San Francisco.
The Golden Gate Bridge is architecturally iconic but for me, the foghorns are far more captivating. Since 1937 they’ve helped sea-going vessels safely navigate the Golden Gate strait during foggy conditions. A series of horns, tuned to different frequencies, sound at varying intervals alerting the captain of a ship the location of the bridge’s piers.
For the denizens of San Francisco, it’s a soothing soundtrack for everyday life.
“Walking through The Presidio that evening I was transfixed. The entire occasion was remarkable and the eerie, yet tranquil, sound of the foghorn blasts added a powerful tone, no pun intended, to the memory.”
Today, I often listen to the soundtrack whilst working at home as I find the white noise incredibly relaxing. In the evening, if I have trouble sleeping, I’ll listen to the foghorns as the precise intervals of their chime make for a great sleep aide. Like counting sheep, you can tune out the “noise” of your conscious mind by counting down to the next blast. One, two, three...
San Francisco is a beautiful city but of all its merits, the Golden Gate Bridge’s foghorns are near the top of my list. Have a listen...