Paddling where the islands float above the sea

I recently started reading a book my daughter gave me by Philip Marsden, titled The Summer Isles. She saw it while in Scotland and thought I would enjoy it. I had read 41 pages before heading out on a three-day kayak camping trip on the SC coast. In the first pages of the book the author writes about how “tricks of the atmosphere” can cause what I think of as mirages of islands floating in the air or even appearing upside down. Apparently, light under some atmospheric conditions can be refracted so that you can see over the line-of-sight horizon. He then suggests these sightings have been the fodder for the imagination to create so many mystic islands of lore. Lands you can see but never reach, lost lands, islands of plenty, and islands of doom. So, to my surprise I found I had paddled to the shores of a sea with islands suspended above the water!

Then to add to the mystery of this seascape in the far distance a light is sometimes seen to be shining from the top of the long-abandoned lighthouse. Always at the break of dawn or fall of night when the vail between this world and the otherworld is at its thinnest.


I’ve seen that phenomenon on Georgian Bay. Pretty fascinating!

I saw this in an article about the topic.