Fifth World Art by Robert Neff
ebook - Reconnecting With Life by Robert Neff

ebook: Reconnecting with Life

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When I returned home to support my widowed mother's fight with breast cancer in 2002, I reevaluated my life's journey and direction. Read more...

7 Views of Downtown St. Petersburg

7 Views

Experience the seven views from walkabout photographer, Robert Neff as they offer unique views of St. Petersburg, Florida. The postcard set or prints make a wonderful gift for the home or office. Read more...

travel & tourism > st petersburg tourism

Time-lapse: Marine Layer Rolling Through Sunshine Skyway Bridge

by Robert Neff


Fog and marine layers are usually associated with San Francisco. However, Tampa Bay also experiences fast moving fog and marine layers — just not as often. However, local weather stations refer to our our marine layer as "Sea Fog'."

On this December day in St. Petersburg, Florida, I passed through the toll booth and headed to Fort DeSoto. The 20 minute drive takes me across the drawbridge, over Boca Ciega Bay and past Tierra Verde.

When I made the turn for Tierra Verde, I noticed a white cloud bank above the tree line. This marine layer originated from the Gulf of Mexico and stretched the horizon. This was rising fast and was beginning to think this would force me to cancel my adventure at Fort DeSoto.

As I was driving, breaks in the tree line revealed the marine layer. The fog was starting to cover Boca Ciega Bay. Just before the drawbridge, there is a small beach. I pulled over and parked on the hard sand next to the water. I grabbed my camera and photographed the approaching marine layer, which was swallowing the sailboats.

Marine Layer rolling through Sunshine Skyway Bridge - Timelapse 8/11
Marine layer is also called "Sea Fog"

This marine layer had just canceled my plans to explore Fort DeSoto. Now, I wondered if the marine layer would be swallowing the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. So I turned around and headed for the bridge, which separates the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay.

My objective was to drive onto the North Fishing Pier to photograph the approaching marine layer from the Gulf side of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. By the time I exited the interstate, the marine layer had already swallowed the main spans and the end of the North Fishing Pier.

I drove under the interstate to the Tampa Bay side of the bridge. This was sunny and clear, and offered a great perspective of the marine layer swallowing the bridge. There is a beach that extends into Tampa Bay and this area is known for world-class windsurfing. This area is also popular for kayaking, fishing, and jet skis. I opted not to go out to the beach, but pulled over onto the access road's shoulder.

The top of the spans were not visible. Cars were illuminating the bridge. I opted to stay and see if the marine layer would eventually dissipate. In the meantime, there was plenty of activity to photograph. There were bait fishermen casting nets, pelicans skimming Tampa Bay, crabs, egrets, a kayak, and the massive cloud formation to the southeast.

Once the top of the southern span started to show, I knew it was a matter of time before both spans would appear. I set up my tripod, took a few shots but continued to shoot the activity; hence, not all the time-lapse photography was taken from the same position.

Once both spans were visible, the marine layer continued to move under the bridge. This created an haunting effect. Very soon the marine layer disappeared and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge was clear — like the marine layer was never there!

Marine Layer rolling through Sunshine Skyway Bridge - Timelapse 1/11
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Marine Layer rolling through Sunshine Skyway Bridge - Timelapse 2/11
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Marine Layer rolling through Sunshine Skyway Bridge - Timelapse 3/11
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Marine Layer rolling through Sunshine Skyway Bridge - Timelapse 4/11
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Marine Layer rolling through Sunshine Skyway Bridge - Timelapse 5/11
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Marine Layer rolling through Sunshine Skyway Bridge - Timelapse 6/11
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Marine Layer rolling through Sunshine Skyway Bridge - Timelapse 7/11
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Marine Layer rolling through Sunshine Skyway Bridge - Timelapse 8/11
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Marine Layer rolling through Sunshine Skyway Bridge - Timelapse 10 /11
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Boca Ciega Bay from Tierra Verde drawbridge

Marine Layer rolling through Sunshine Skyway Bridge - Timelapse 11/11
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Sailing in the marine layer on Boca Ciega Bay, Tierra Verde Sailboat moored in the marine layer

Sailing in the marine layer on Boca Ciega Bay, Tierra Verde Sailing in the marine layer

Activity on Tampa Bay side of Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Fisherman casting a net in #TampaBay at Sunshine Skyway Bridge during marine layer Fisherman casting a net in Tampa Bay

Native Kayak and Kayaker  on #TampaBay Native Kayak

Egret on the rocks along #TampaBay Egret on the rip rap

Solution is right in front of you. Sometimes all it takes to succeed is to organize the chaos #Flickr12days Fiddler crabs in a bucket

Pelican skimming the waters of #TampaBay Pelican skimming the water


St Petersburg Kiosk, Abstract Panoramic Reflection: Downtown St. Petersburg, Florida

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