Cape Cod – Day 4 – North Shore
On our third full day on Cape Cod,Ryan and I finally made it out to the North Shore… and I got to see seals!!! Visible from our hotel, the North Shore is an ongoing evolution of land. Roughly every 150 years the beach grows, breaksdown and regrows.
It was rather windy that day which led to some short term and long term unpleasantries. Short term, sand would be blown against your exposed skin. I could briefly forget about the pain by making the repeated “insight” that it was simply “exfoliation”. The long term downside of the wind was a direct result OF keeping your mind off your surroundings. The wind kept the temperature cool and made it extremely easy for one to lose track of how much sun exposure one was getting. I got sunburned. Not only that– I was wearing sunglasses. So I got one of those attractive sunglasses sunburns (more on that to come!).
On the upside, the wind gave us opportunity to fly things in the wind. Towels. Seagull corpses. You know, all the usual stuff.
Clint in Wind
With close exposure to the Altantic’s whims and a 150 year erosion and regrowth lifecycle, the terrain is not only harsh, but also dynamic. Not surprisingly, there were large sections of the island that were void of vegetation.
The plants that were on the North Shore did look particularly equipped for the environment. Some of them appeared to be succulent-like.
Fauna – Birds
There were plenty of shorebirds on the island. I saw some seagulls bathing on the Atlantic side. Even though water is not in short supply in a seagull’s daily life, I was struck by how happy the birds looked at they dunked themselves in the shallow ocean water. They looked just as thrilled to be bathing as robins do in surprise street puddles.
Some species, such as terns, do find parts of the North Shore to be desirable nesting spots. Those sections were roped off accordingly, but there were plenty of human-friendly spots to catch a glimpse of flocks.
Fauna – Seals
On the way back, the boat shuttle (named the Bar Tender) took a little detour by the resting seals. FINALLY! After days of hearing their haunting evening nasal calls– I got to see a whole bunch a seals up close.
This is not a maintained beach. The sand is not groomed nightly and trash is not picked up. That means there are plenty of seashells to find…. and dead things. We saw dead horseshoe crabs, dead seagulls and even a dead seal. Of course, pictures HAD to be taken. And it follows that pictures of people taking pictures of dead things had to be taken as well.