Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Walking Out to Sea

There's been a folder of photos on my computer desktop that's been hanging out for the past two years that I meant to turn into blog posts and never did, so I'm doing it now (sorry for that overly long sentence, which I've just made longer). These pictures show perfectly the low tide phenomenon that happens on the northern shore of Cape Cod that I've been fascinated by ever since I first experienced it a few years ago. This particular outing was the lowest I've ever seen it in all of our ten summers at the Cape. It was amazing to walk out on the ocean floor for what felt like at least half a mile, chasing after the ocean waves that we could see in the distance. 

You've got to compare these pictures to the pictures of the same beach at high tide that I posted last week to see the difference. (Click here to see them and compare.)

~Low Tide, Summer 2013, Brewster, Massachusetts~

It's funny to think about the confusion newcomers who don't know about low tide must feel when they get to the beach and find that there's hardly any water there. 
I'd be like, "Whaaaaat just happened?? Where'd it all go?? So much for Cape Cod's supposedly great beaches!" 

Boats that normally float and bob on the waves are instead now grounded on the sand.

There's the rock wall that John enjoys climbing out on whether or not it's surrounded by water.

As Moses and the ancient Israelites discovered, it is indeed possible to walk out to sea on the sea floor itself. Thankfully for us there aren't two huge walls of water on either side of us as we do it! 

Sam was 3 years old and was not thrilled when we'd encounter big puddles as we walked. 
This picture always cracks me up!

We visited a colony of oyster cages that are normally hidden under the water.

 View of the shoreline from quite a ways out.

The further you walk out, the closer you get to the ocean waves. 

This is the ocean floor that usually lays under several feet of water.
I just can't get over that!

After about 15 minutes of walking, we finally reached a more significant amount of water. The waves are still in the distance with a makeshift beach in front of them. It's like the ocean is being held at bay and a new temporary beach has been created. It's so cool.

Sam and the ocean way behind him.
It's terrifying to think of losing a child out here. What if they wandered away and got lost and the tide started coming in again? 
Keep your little ones close!

The rippled pattern of the sand on the sea floor is beautiful.

 Boy oh buoy! 
(Sorry, I couldn't resist.) 

The tide comes back in surprisingly quickly. Water was already starting to cover the sand again as we got closer to shore. Much of the sea floor was still visible, though.

John and his cousin Andrew climbing the rock wall.

 The tide was coming back in...

Now you can see more clearly the ocean waves in the distance since they're getting closer... 

And closer...

The little skiff that was pictured previously is no longer immobilized on the sand.

Sam still didn't want to get his feet wet. He was like, "Where'd all this water come from?"

(This is one of my favorite pictures from the whole summer.)

 The hermit crabs and other sea life that the boys (mostly John) collected.

Peter and the boys. It was almost a normal beach again.

This was the view from the parking lot when we left. An hour or so earlier, the scene would have been an endless sand sea floor with the ocean waves barely visible way out in the distance. 

It's a phenomenon of nature that is truly fascinating, and it's something that I'm looking forward to experiencing again and learning more about in the summers to come.