Morning Promise

Morning Promise
Sunrise over Penobscot Bay

Sunrise begins to take hold over Penobscot Bay (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

When morning breathes frost and the seascape offers not a glimpse of sail, only then is the secret beauty of Penobscot Bay at sunrise revealed in its entire splendor.

For now that the veil of summer’s haze has been banished from the sky, the majesty of dawn is free to display its unsurpassed radiance through clean, crisp air afforded by the approach of winter.

With such a backdrop in place and my vantage point at Rockland Breakwater staked out, I recently enjoyed an opportunity to admire a sunrise over Penobscot Bay where morning’s magnificence cascaded down upon the frigid seascape with stunning clarity and boundless coloration.

Standing amidst this outdoor theater and silently observing every unfolding moment of vibrancy, I sensed a gripping quiet and solitude complete. Not a single boat stirred the becalmed waters of the bay and scarcely a gull was seen swooping earthbound.

Owls Head Light at sunrise

Owls Head Light shines like a star against an orange horizon (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Commanding attention against an orange-colored horizon was Owls Head Light shining like a star to the south high above a bluff whose solid feet dipped well below the surface of the chilly waters.

It was then that I contemplated the irresistible allure of daybreak as each gulp of icy air filled my lungs.

Sunrise is a time when the shadows of dissipating darkness turn their face to the power of morning’s eastern glow. While volumes of light and color build to a crescendo at sun-up, fleeting shadows defiantly refuse to permit definition to anything their clutches can blot out on the westward face. But resistance is futile, for the light of unrestrained daybreak will not be denied.

Adding to the drama being played out in the sky and on the bay was the unassuming ebb tide whose subtle presence was felt only by what it revealed in its wake. But not all escaped. Close inshore, rocky indentions captured seawater in pools that the outgoing tide could not whisk away.

Sunrise over Penobscot Bay

Seaweed and kelp fight to remain buoyant during an ebb tide (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Just a stone’s throw away from this collection of tidal pools turned liquid mirrors was a field of seaweed and kelp fighting to hold on to its waning buoyancy. The vanishing water beneath was slowly robbing the growth’s dancing movement, and soon enough, would strand it to dry upon a rocky bed of slippery brine and brazen barnacles.

Just above the horizon towards Vinalhaven were a handful of stray clouds that appeared as little puffs adorned in a dress of violent cotton. Like baby gulls, these puffs seemed fearful to venture too high in the ever-changing sky without a reassuring presence to accompany them.

Even the waters of the bay seemed to defer to the grandeur of morning by foregoing its usual rambunctious behavior in favor of a more placid mood that permitted the horizon’s pastel colors to rest upon its shimmering shoulders for a moment of reflection.

Rockland Breakwater Light

Rockland Breakwater Light still aglow as sunrise takes hold at dawn (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

One more glance about the harbor revealed the continuing beams of light shining forth from Owls Head and Rockland Breakwater lighthouses, but their guiding gleams grew weaker by the moment as the light of daybreak assumed a more exalted position high above in the blue firmament.

By now, the show of changing colors on the horizon was about to relinquish its hold on center stage and give way to the star of dawn whose arrival was most anticipated.

When the moment arrived, all feelings of chill that by now had numbed my fingers and face, vaporized like sea smoke. The grand entrance of sunrise began with an incredible yellow hue that enveloped the southern end of the islands, and in the process, ignited a new day.

The hue had seemingly no sooner spread out in splendor over the seascape, when without hesitation; the sun suddenly peeked above the islands and splashed its warm radiance about Penobscot Bay in breathtaking fashion.

Morning promise had arrived!

Sunrise over Penobscot Bay

A yellow hue ignites the atmosphere above the islands moments before sunrise (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Sunrise over Penobscot Bay

Morning promise shines over Penobscot Bay (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)