Also known as sea haar, sea mist or sea fog, they are a very common occurrence on the east coast of the UK. They are caused as pockets of warm air are cooled as they pass over the cold North sea, coupled with the breeze that blows this condensed air back onto the shore, it is only as the day warms up, that the fret disperses. More info here
Oh yes, I can remember the sea frets that lasted all day when, as a child I spent my summer holidays on Yorkshires’ coast.
We’d walk the half mile down to the beach from my nans’ house, which at the time of leaving, was bathed in sunshine, only to find the whole of the sea front was covered in a fret.
There were several other families in our ‘gang’. Undeterred, we’d all plonk ourselves down on the beach, get the deck chairs out and windbreaks up. The adults sat huddled under blankets, while my friends and I were off building sand castles, which strict instruction, ‘don’t go out of sight’, which sometimes meant almost sitting at our parents feet .
A post sea fret day.
More often than not, the fret would be gone by midday, but I remember times when, well after lunch, and everyone deciding to call it a day, we’d trek back to my nans’ to be told, ‘it’s been sunny here all day’.
So, on my recent holiday on the North east coast, waking up to a sea fret on some of the mornings was the reason we decided to move inland slightly.
I learnt a little about kelvins (colour temperature) when I did my photography course, and also how light travels, so I’m guessing this has something to do with why sunsets are often red, but I think this article probably explains why.
Even as a small child, I loved looking at photographs of sunsets over the water, all my childhood holidays were on the east coast, and I never really understood why I never got to see one in real time.
In my teens, I went to night class to try to learn how to paint in oils. We had to take a photo/postcard to copy, my choice? a silhouette of Whitby Abbey against a bright red setting sun.
I never really took much notice, until later years when it started to puzzle me, as how an Abbey on the East coast of England had been photographed against a sunset. Quite odd really, and obviously caused by the lie of the land.
Here are my very own east coast sea frets and sunsets.