Over the holidays this year, my family and I decided it was time for a trip beyond Downeast Maine. We crossed the border at Calais and drove on to Black’s Harbor, New Brunswick (Canada) to catch the ferry to Grand Manan, an island at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. I’d been to Grand Manan on a few occasions, once for a wedding ceremony overlooking the sea and its fishing boats. On Grand Manan, life is still timed by the sea.
If the air is still and cold enough, great wisps of sea smoke hover and drift above the water surface. That “smoke” actually is water vapor that forms when really cold air moves over relatively warmer water and the thin boundary layer of warm air just above the surface. When the evaporating water rises, the cold air can only hold so much moisture, forcing the liquid to condense into fog. Clouds rise like smoke from the sea’s surface, dispersing and reforming, turning bays and coves into ephemeral cauldrons of submarine fire.