As we look at heading into the Memorial Day Holiday and the preseason to the Cape's on-season, it's time to start looking at beaches. And with over 600 miles of beaches between the Cape and the Islands you have so many choices to be sure you have the right beach for tastes and desires and what meets your needs. Now I will have to say right from the start my favorite is the south side beaches off of Old Wharf Road, and specifically the Campers Haven beach. The reason for this is easy, this is the beach that I grew up going to day in and day out of our vacation. The water is nice an warm, fed by the Gulf Stream and the tides are not that radical, and they were good about raking the beach every morning of the wayward seaweed that had washed up and been left by the overnight high tides. I would love to walk up and down from beach to beach between Swan River and the Sea St beach. At that point there was a fence up and getting around it was sometimes tricky and I did not feel the need to go any further for some reason. When I would sail I would broaden combing to go as far east as the Herring River and as far west as Bass River. Pretty much from the Sea St beach east most if not all the beaches are private. On the other hand one of the finest public beach on all of Cape Cod that sits on the Sound side is the West Dennis Beach. But I will say, in the height of the summer sun and heat it does get well visited. But it is great for beach bumming, swimming, sunning and surf sailing.
Now if you go out to Chatham, there is Coast Guard beach right below the LightHouse. The tides are a little more extreme and there tends to be more fog due to the warm waters of the Sound colliding with the cooler waters coming down the lower Cape from northern waters. The National SeaShore also extends down on the eastern side of Pleasant Bay and Chatham Harbor. There are many that enjoy hunting for silver dollars and shells along with surf fishing. There is also some good seal watching along this area and further south to Monomoy. Not sure if or when you can go onto the Island anymore, you may want to check with a Park Ranger before you just motor on out for a visit. I remember many years ago going with some friends as he took us over to Monomoy to explore the Island and the ever changing beaches as it sits at some very treacherous shifting waters. The National SeaShore itself is over 40 miles long, and one of the hot spots is Nauset Beach and Marconi Beach. These beaches are wide open to the Atlantic ocean and the wind and surf make it a fun spot for many East Coast Surfers. The beaches are not as wide as the south beaches, the water is much cooler, and the surf is much rougher. For my family and I, we never did any swimming here. We basically went to see the Marconi station, and the lighthouses along the eastern edge of the Cape and from there took a good look, saw all the people, felt the colder water, got back into the car and went back to our beach off Old Wharf Road. There are some that like to go all the way up to Race Point and past the Provincetown Airport and go fishing there. I have heard on a clear day Whales have been seen from the beach. Now you want to talk about cold water, these waters are fed by the cold Greenland waters that splits going to the east and down to meet the Gulf stream before the two exit due east to the UK. To the west of the point it helps fill the Cape Cod Bay.
Now some of the old timers of Cape Cod say that you ain't a true Codder till you swim in the Cape Cod Bay. Now the beaches, especially from Wellfleet all the way down and around past Dennis have been well known for shell fishing. Some of the best Oysters in the all of the country come from these areas. The waters are much, much cooler, Ok some would say down right a lot colder then the its southern counter point the Sound. The tides are extreme in many areas but they are not overly crowded and offer great playgrounds for kids and wonderful sunning areas. The northern beaches are also great for beach combing, from shells to drift wood as well as sea glass. Some have said those areas closer to the Sandwich beaches are some of the best for finding this special glass. This is one thing I have heard about, I have seen the jewelry that is made from it, but have never found any myself, then again I have never really searched for it.
The bottom line in all this that when it comes to beaches, there is something for everyone on Cape Cod. Warmer, cooler, sunning, surfing, beach combing, shell fishing, body surfing, surf fishing, and the list goes on and on and on. So what is your favorite, which beaches are you going to visit and what are you going to do there this year. I love Cape Cod beaches, and love exploring them, alone or with others and look forward to many more years of enjoyment.
Well if someone would check the oil in the lighthouse lamp and be sure all is burning brightly so that as soon as I can get these penguin wing flapping, I can find my way home, and to a nice Cape Cod beach. Until the have a great and wonderful, every day, especially if done on Old Cape Cod.
This week's recipe is another cookie ball recipe that is most likely thought of as a Christmas or Winter Holiday season cookie. I have run into a couple different versions, one with peanut butter and the more traditional style of without. Another name for these yummy little balls of goodness are Reindeer Cookie balls. One of the reasons I like many of these cookie ball recipes for the warmer months is because they are no-bake, and that means no heating up the oven and the house. And in the summer, that goes a long way with me. So with that all said, time to enjoy these fun, fun morsels of goodness,
This week's recipe: Ginger Snap Cookie Balls
- 1 Lb. ginger snap cookies - crushed
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- powdered sugar
Mix crushed cookies and cream cheese in a larger bowl. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on backing sheet. Freeze for 10 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar.
Options: instead of powdered sugar ; melt semi-sweet chocolate and dip balls into chocolate. Or roll in crumbled pretzels, or dip in a icing, think about red, white and blue for the 4th. Or even roll in crushed nuts like pecans.