Arctic Sea Smoke

Rockland Breakwater

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse flashes its guiding light just above the Arctic sea smoke as dawn breaks over Penobscot Bay (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)

On January 24, 2011, the Midcoast Maine region endured its coldest day to date this winter.

In Rockland, temperatures registered an icy -9 degrees by dawn, with a wind chill of -24 degrees that only served to add to the bitterness of the morning.

Frigid scenes abounded along the coast, but none greater than the appearance of Arctic sea smoke that reigned over Rockland Harbor and West Penobscot Bay at sunrise.

These pictures by Ann-Marie Trapani show Rockland Breakwater, Owls Head and West Penobscot Bay inundated by the presence of Arctic sea smoke.

For those not familiar with Arctic sea smoke, it is described by the National Weather Service as “a type of advection fog that forms primarily over water when cold air passes across warmer waters.”

Rockland Breakwater

The Arctic sea smoke was so thick at times it obscured Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)

Arctic sea smoke

A spectacular scene played out over Penobscot Bay on the frigid morning of January 24, 2011 (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)


  1. You two are too much! What fabulous images! I love seeing these; thanks so much!

  2. Jeri Baron Feltner says:

    Amazing scenes and photography capturing God’s creation.

  3. Deb McNeil says:

    These are really beautiful! Thank you for sharing…

  4. The lighthouse rising out of the mists – just like a dream. Wonderful photography. Be sure to enter this in some contest this year. It’s very special and a rare type of lighthouse scenery. Just beautiful.

  5. Cliff and Linda Trebilcock says:

    The Rockland Breakwater sea smoke pic is fantastic. Keep up the great work.

  6. Wayne&Gladys Grabner says:

    Look great guys!!!!.Make sure you print up some pictures as a keepsake.

  7. Bill Kitchen says:

    Truly stunning guys. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Dave Lowe says:


    OK, now let’s get to Spring weather.

    Cap’n Dave

  9. Melanie Howe says:

    Great photo’s!

  10. Skip Empey says:

    Beautiful photos, as always thanks for sharing…

  11. Charles Stevenson says:

    Great pics,Anne-Marie. Guess Bob was sleeping in?

  12. Dear Ann Marie & Bob,

    I’ve forwarded your latest to my WV contacts and on the Downeast as well. Thank you!

  13. Cheryl and Bruce Roberts says:

    Incredible, Ann-Marie. What in the world do you wear to keep warm in those kinds of frigid temps?!

  14. Dave Kelleher says:

    eresting and beautiful pictures.What was the temperature when you took these pictures?

  15. Bob Taylor says:

    fantastic pictures Bob. Your wife has a great eye there. It looks so surreal.

  16. Ann-Marie;
    Let Bob sleep in, huh? 🙂
    Those are AWESOME pictures, especially the sunrise over the ‘smoke’!
    Great Job………………… usual! (see, you’ve SPOILED me!)

  17. Ron Foster says:

    Simply gorgeous!!

  18. Ann-Marie Trapani says:

    Thanks for the great comments everyone, but I have to tell you…Bob was right next to me the whole time — freezing too! 🙂

    We decided to use these images this go round, but look for some other shots Bob took that morning coming soon!

    Take care & stay warm,

  19. Lou Brooks says:

    Great pictures Ann of the Artic Sea Smoke! We had thunder & Lightning tonight in our snow storm here in PA. The pictures look like clouds on the water with a bright redish backdrop! Only Mother nature could put on such a display for us to take in. Thanks for allowing us to see these examples! I wonder if your eye for taking pictures, your talent comes from your Dad!

  20. Ruth Africa says:

    Ditto on all the above comments!! Totally awesome pictures…You two are so amazing.They are all “blue ribbon” pics o be sure to enter them. It is snowing here at the beach tonight and cold, but nothing compared to your temps! Thanks for sharing. Stay Warm! Ruth

  21. Ron Sekellick says:

    I thought -13 was cold (in the Poconos). Great pictures!

  22. Jane D'Agostino says:

    The pictures are beautiful and I learned something new about the weather. We are cold in Buffalo too, but now a lot of snow.

  23. Ann,

    Thank you for these great photos.

  24. We had bitter cold in Gloucester, Massachusetts too! I have Ten Pound Island light in my “front yard” shot with sea smoke.

    You may also like to see the shots of Thacher Island on Good Morning Gloucester.

  25. Excellent, thanks for sharing!!!!!

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