Tides are the rhythm of the seaside. When we’re in the Cape, the hour of low tide is sacrosanct. That’s when we take an hour-long barefoot walk along the hard sand, the waves rolling over our feet.

Each day provides two shots at it,  as the ocean performs its miracle of movement of millions of gallons of water. On our beach, that translates into a 14′ change in the level of the water. When it retreats, the breach stretches for hundreds of feet, only to return about six hours later and snuggles up to the shore once more.

Once the tide retreats about halfway, ‘Gilligan’s Island” appears. If this happens close to sunset, it’s magic. Eager to take full advantage, we plonked our chairs down before the sand was barely dry, towels draped carefully over the beach chairs,  belongings held in laps while the water swirled at our feet.

Within a short period of time, the water had retreated considerably, and the rippled sand was revealed. 

It took about half an hour, but here we are (me at my oh-so-glamorous beach best, hair twisted up in a messy knot, sporting an all-weather jacket that saw several kids through camp over the years – not my most polished look).

But that’s Cape Cod in the summer: relaxed and casual. We’ve now progressed to the wine stage; it must be after 5:00 pm. Time for a book and a beverage. I’ve got my trusty Kindle and have settled in to enjoy the evening. By the way, that little folding table is perfect for two people – the Rio Beach Personal Folding Table

A little while later the water has vanished, leaving sandy ripples and a few seagulls, keeping a weather eye out in case snacks emerge from one of our bags.

Down at the west end of the beach, the evening activities begin. Several paddleboards go by on the calm low tide.

And the sun begins its slow descent. Still quite high in the sky, it casts a warm golden light.

The path across the water beckons – follow me.

Walking the beach at low tide is a very popular activity. It’s a calm and grounding ritual.

The sun slips a little lower; as it dances in and out of the clouds, the light changes accordingly.

Now the beach stretches endlessly, the tide well out.

Huge rocks emerge, undetected when the tide is at its height.

Sheer clouds ripple across the sky.

Further and further the sun dips.


Allllmmmmoost there.

Gone. Goodbye! See you tomorrow! 

The light turns flat and grey as the sun slips below the horizon. We’ve packed up our things, trudged up the stairs and are headed for home, Another wonderful evening with the magic combination of low tide and sunset.

I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.