THE sea mist that blanketed much of the Far South Coast on Sunday had locals stumped.
Sea mist or fog is relatively common on calm, early mornings but it was most unusual to have a think bank of fog roll in as late as the middle of the day on what was otherwise a warm, sunny day.
There were reports that the sea mist extended from Ulladulla in the north all the way down to Eden.
Witnesses in Merimbula said it was not that bad while a Tathra the mist only rolled in mid-afternoon.
It was particularly thick at Tuross Head, Narooma and Bermagui with the fog bank rolling in all of a sudden.
The Narooma Sport and Game Fishing Club reported that the majority of fisher persons coped well with the conditions, but one couple in a “tinny” who ventured out to Montague Island had a problem getting back as they were disorientated by the sea mist.
Club publicity offer Terry Vincent said luckily they were able to attract a larger vessel and followed it to across the bar.
"A few concerned persons at the entrance observed their progress across the bar and reported their safe passage to Marine Rescue," Mr Vincent said.
"A disaster was averted and I hope that they gave thanks to the good Samaritans.
"Another vessel almost ended up at Surf Beach but discovered their misdirection, and finally safely navigated the bar.
"Overall, a good, but lucky result that shows the necessity of logging on with Marine Rescue when going out to sea."
A Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson confirmed a warm air mass moving over a cold current was behind Sunday's mist.
"It was quite significant and quite unusual," she said.
One of those stumped was former Bureau of Meteorology weather-watcher Ken Parkinson from Batemans Bay.
In all his years of observing the weather, Mr Parkinson has never seen anything quite like it.
"It was spectacular," he said.
"Usually sea mist forms when you have cloudless skies and warm moist air passing over a very cold ocean. I don't think the water is that cold at the moment and the very fact that it lasted at least 12 hours is also unusual. They usually burn off within a couple of hours.
"Maybe there was a particularly cold current out there at the time."
In Batemans Bay, the mist rolled down the main street, and obscured the bridge. It reportedly reached inland as far as Nelligen.
Old habits are hard to shake and, after many years as a weather observer, Mr Parkinson and his wife Raelyn found themselves documenting the sight with photographs.
As did many others with photos published to Facebook and other social media.