High-time resolution measurements of primary marine organic sea-spray physico-chemical properties reveal an apparent dichotomous behavior in terms of water uptake: specifically sea-spray aerosol enriched in organic matter possesses a low hydroscopic Growth Factor (GF similar to 1.25) while simultaneously having a cloud condensation nucleus/condensation nuclei (CCN/CN) activation efficiency of between 83% at 0.25% supersaturation and 100% at 0.75%. In contrast, the activation efficiency of particles dominated by non-sea-salt (nss)-sulfate ranged between 48-100% over supersaturation range of 0.25%-1%. Simultaneous retrieval of Cloud Droplet Number Concentration (CDNC) during primary organic aerosol plumes reveals CDNC concentrations of 350 cm(-3) for organic mass concentrations 3-4 mu g m(-3). It is demonstrated that the retrieved high CDNCs under clean marine conditions can only be explained by organic sea-spray and corroborates the high CCN activation efficiency associated with primary organics. It is postulated that marine hydrogels are responsible for this dichotomous behavior. Citation: Ovadnevaite, J., D. Ceburnis, G. Martucci, J. Bialek, C. Monahan, M. Rinaldi, M. C. Facchini, H. Berresheim, D. R. Worsnop, and C. O'Dowd (2011), Primary marine organic aerosol: A dichotomy of low hygroscopicity and high CCN activity, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L21806, doi: 10.1029/2011GL048869.