Walking the Beach in Massachusetts in Winter

RJ Carr
4 min readJan 18, 2022
Photo by the author

I am walking on the beach heading straight towards the afternoon sun. This means, of course, I am heading exactly west — 270 degrees true. North is to my right where large waves tower above the shore and then pound on the sand. Surf blows into the air and back from the powerful wind that extends over the waters of the North Atlantic.

They seem to raise over the other people scattered around the beach. There was a storm earlier, I don’t know if that is why the waves are so big as the tide goes out or they are always big here. I think it is my first time on this part of the beach.

We are all dressed warmly, it is January, and we fight gale force winds on the easternmost point of mainland Massachusetts in Provincetown.

photo by the author

One would expect colder temperatures for a New England January. I think the storm brought warmer air up from the south. The radio suggested today it would be in the forties; of course, the wind chill must be high.

Huge sand dunes of Race Point Beach raise above us on the left, part of the National Sea Shore of Massachusetts. The last time I saw such towers of sand, I lived as a hermit in the high deserts of the Western United States down near the New Mexico, Colorado line.

The sky extends over the waves and the ocean all the way to the horizon. Memories of the many days I spent at sea in the Navy flow back into my mind. I miss those days, the adventure. I was in during the Cold War. The only arms I fired then were pistols aiming at the ocean. It was a regular exercise called fam firing, they made sure you could actually shoot the thing. I hit the open ocean every time. Never missed once. Today, though a veteran, I refuse to carry a weapon.

I lean into the wind as I continue walking toward the west. I am not sure I will go to the end of the sand. Probably not, it is a long walk and chilly, though not super cold, however, it is an adventure. I was last in that area albeit…

RJ Carr