As many good sailing yarns start, the fog had crept up out of nowhere, devouring our chartered 2013 Hunter 40 and making even the bow appear a distant place. It seemed all too cliché, fog engulfing the sailboat with no radar, but that was just the start of the drama. Soon it would be dark, adding to the sudden stress. Our crew, along with those on five other boats behind us in the Unsalted Island Hopping flotilla, had just entered the shipping channel in the Straits of Mackinac. Frequently, 1,000-foot lake freighters funnel through these waters at a pretty good clip. Even on sunny days smart sailors steer clear of them. It would be a long, tension-filled night until we exited the shipping channel at the south end of Gray’s Reef about 27 miles ahead. The Mackinac Bridge loomed ahead of us; at least that’s what the chart plotter was showing, and Mackinac Island was only several miles to the north, making for a good option to ditch. While our three other crewmembers were below getting some rest, the captain and I had a serious discussion about our next move. Decision time. Push on or ditch at Mackinac Island — it was that bad. Four of the boats trailing behind called in to say they had had enough and were headed to the island and a liquid dinner to settle their nerves. As safety was always our first concern, we also concluded the intelligent call was to pull the plug — the fog had trumped us. However, the one boat still behind that hadn’t turned north hailed to tell us he saw our boat on radar. He offered to be our eyes through the soup if we wanted to keep going. Suddenly the decision was easy: Press on.