Identifying SF’s Foghorns

I love foghorns.

There’s something so reassuring about hearing them while lying in bed — their consistent and dependable sound echoing over neighborhoods, reminding me that I’m near the ocean.

While listening to KZSU recently, I stumbled upon a show where they identified the major fog horns in SF. As a bonus, they taught listeners how to discern the different sounds of gulls in the Bay. Unfortunately, I can’t find an mp3 version online, but here’s a quick cheat sheet:

  • The loud, lower-tone sound comes from the South Tower of the Golden Gate and came be heard every 20 seconds
  • The higher-toned sound comes from the Mid-Span of the Golden Gate and can be heard every 40 seconds
  • The quieter, longer sound comes from Alcatraz’s foghorn

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