at it again.
Those millions upon billions of grains of sand, that is, upon
Coast Guard Beach in Eastham. Every hour ... every day ...
every week ... every month ... and every year -- it just goes
through another phase of Nauset Renewal.
The shifting sands of Nauset have been moving about since
the glaciers formed Cape Cod thousands of years ago. Both
Henry Beston (The Outermost House) and Nan Turner Waldron
(Journey to Outermost House) both made note of how
much the landscape of this barrier beach changes.
Traditionally, the sea takes sand away during the winter months
and then gives it back during the summer. During the fall,
as the ocean turns back to a shade of cold gray, the ocean
begins the cycle all over again.
Yet, this fall Nauset Renewal has taken a different look.
A November stroll down the spit, which took a beating in storms
last winter, has shown considerably more real estate, even
as the duneland ran out. The low tides have revealed an almost
moon-like surface, stretching wide into an area once filled
by Nauset Marsh water and further south toward the other side
of the marsh. In fact, warmer waters would make for an easy
swim to the other side.
The sand is still somewhat damp here, but provides solid footing,
even with the nooks and craters that have been carved out.
At this southern most point, a look out to the east shows
the other side of the inlet's opening, where an occasional
four-wheel drive vehicle makes it way up from Nauset Beach
Heading back to the end of the Eastham side of the spit, the
sea has done some more wondrous work. A natural Olympic-sized
swimming pool, originally a deep cove area carved into the
marsh side of the spit, has filled in with sand all around
it, but its depths are at least 10 feet deep in its middle.
A strong northwest wind blows the fine particles of sand toward
the pool's edge.
For now, the project is complete. However, another phase of
Nauset Renewal will begin -- just like it always has ... and
out into the new wide out area. Straight ahead is the inlet
moon-like surface along the opening to Naust Marsh.
a short swim over to the other side.
at the edge of the new expanse of sand, looking toward the
across the vast stretches of open sand toward the northeast
and smaller dunes of Nauset Spit.
new natural Olympic-sized swimming pool near the opening of
southern end of Nauset Spit in Eastham
strong wind blows the sand across the pool.
following a March 2001 winter storm.
by Don Wilding)