Australian Weather Calendar
May: Meredith's Flying Dutchman sails the fog
Meredith Banhidi set out one winter's afternoon to photograph a waterfall—and instead came on what she called her Flying Dutchman, a container ship among sea fog on Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. The Flying Dutchman is a sailor's superstition, a ghost ship doomed to sail forever. Leaving Melbourne in cloudy conditions, Meredith was thrilled to look across 'magical, freakish' sea fog when she stopped half way up Arthur's Seat, a 305 metre bayside hill. 'Bright blue sky above, with the roofs of bayside houses peeping from the fog,' she says. 'Spectacular … then the ship appeared, apparently floating in the clouds. I'll never forget it.' She had photographed the Japanese container ship Kitano. Meredith, a medical records officer from Doncaster, is an enthusiastic photographer of scenery and wildlife. She always carries a compact camera. That day she went on to photograph the waterfall and finally a dramatic sunset.
Sea fog forms when warm, moist air passes over cooler water. The air cools, and its water vapour condenses as tiny water droplets or fog. During the day, the sun's heat evaporates the water droplets and the fog gradually clears, but sometimes very thick fogs persist all day. Inland sites often record their coldest winter days in these conditions.