Monday, February 09, 2009

Frozen Foam at Duck Harbor

The big thaw has begun. Two nights ago, I could hear a steady drip, drip, drip as icicles and snow from the roof melted to form several large puddles, which again froze overnight. Yesterday Sven and I journeyed out to Duck Harbor for our walk. High tide had deposited a bank of snow at the top of the beach, a sight I had never experienced before and quite beautiful. The waves had sculpted the bank into whirls and soft angles. Examining it closer up, I realized most of what I had taken for snow was actually frozen foam. Gingerly we stepped across and the top layers crunched underfoot. Since the moon is full, creating extreme tides, waves were breaking further out than either of us could remember having seen before. The empty sea basin reminded me a bit of Mont St. Michel. Cape Cod Bay had retreated into the distance but the roar of the waves could be heard up and down the beach. Here, I thought, is an adventure worthy of the trained eye of naturalist Robert Finch. He should come and document extreme low tide for Cape & Islands Radio. After our walk, Sven noticed hang-gliders on the horizon, so we set off in the car to investigate. Two men with boards and sails were skimming along Cape Cod Bay at breakneck speed. They were highly skilled, not beginners, soaring off the water from time to time and able to negotiate what appeared to us as gentle landings. It looked like fun, but cold fun. Standing on the beach, we felt thoroughly chilled by the wind, and happy to head home again.