Two Sunsets By The Bay

It’s not as if there haven’t been enough sunset stories published over the years. Shit, their numbers probably run in the tens of millions. Nevertheless, I’m unashamedly adding to the mega-glut right now. And why not? Sunsets can be spellbinding. We watch primo ones quietly, maybe even reverentially, giving them the respect that they deserve.

From my experience, clouds, more than anything, are what make or break sunsets. Our friend the Sun, when setting, needs clouds to absorb, reflect and refract its light. To make things interesting, in other words. But not too many clouds, as the Sun ain’t got a chance when sheets of clouds abound. As for cloudless skies, well, they are canvases upon which sunsets do not rise above the meh level. When the white-hot fire ball heads downward on a cloudless day, the color and pattern possibilities for the upcoming sunset are limited.

And then there’s location. Needless to say, it counts for plenty when it comes to sunsets. If you’re in the middle of Manhattan, for instance, where tall buildings thrive, you are barely going to be able to see sunsets, whatever their quality, let alone appreciate them. On the other hand, if Cape Cod Bay is nearby, as it was recently for me and my wife Sandy, you’re f*cking golden.

Cape Cod Bay, enormous and fed by the Atlantic Ocean, abuts the northern coast of Cape Cod, a lengthy peninsula that’s part of Massachusetts, USA. We were on the Cape, vacationing our asses off, for a two-and-a-half week stretch that ran from mid-October to early November. During the trip, among a host of activities, we walked and hung out on four of the numerous public beaches along the bay. Over the years we’ve been on quite a few of the Cape’s other bayside beaches too, and have yet to be disappointed. The sands are clean, and masses of seagrasses are plentiful in many sections close to shore. And the waters themselves are inspiring, partly because of their vastness. Staring out at the bay, to me, sometimes seems like staring into infinity.

Our vantage point for the first of the two great sunsets we saw on the Cape this year was First Encounter Beach, in the township of Eastham. It’s one of my favorite Cape Cod Bay beaches, possibly my top pick, though the competition is stiff. There we were on a comfortable mid-afternoon, admiring our kite as it did its carefree thing way overhead. The bay’s waters had receded profoundly, leaving many acres of mudflats in their wake. Great beauty surrounded us, and we knew it.

First Encounter Beach (Eastham, Cape Cod)
First Encounter Beach (Eastham, Cape Cod)

After reeling in the kite, we took a stroll upon the sands. Then we made our way back to our car, contemplating dinner. But it wasn’t dinnertime just yet, and sunset was scheduled to take place in about 20 minutes. So, we decided to stay, a wise decision, for we soon witnessed a sunset that we are unlikely to forget. At its beginning, and made possible by well-positioned clouds, bands and assorted streaks of oranges, golds and greys filled the western sky’s lower regions prodigiously. The greys took a back seat after a while, allowing the brighter colors to go wild. The darkening sky, at that point, was absolutely aflame. What a sight!

The second excellent sunset arrived a week and a half later at the bayside swath of territory known as Corn Hill Beach. It’s located in the township of Truro, which is far out on the Cape and, unlike Cape Cod’s 14 other townships, totally rural.

I’ve been a big fan of Corn Hill Beach since discovering it around 15 years ago. Like First Encounter Beach, it faces due west, perfect for sunset-watching. What’s more, the views from Corn Hill Beach, when you look seaward, are wide and unobstructed. A wonderful place.

Corn Hill Beach (Truro, Cape Cod)
Corn Hill Beach (Truro, Cape Cod)

Both Sandy and I agree that, as far as we can remember, we’ve never seen a sunset such as the one at Corn Hill Beach. The sunset appeared to be foggy and misty, despite the fact that nowhere else, in any direction, was fog or mist visible. Light on its feet, the sunset was the ideal partner for the bay waters moving gently beneath it.

We absorbed the sunset and its surroundings for 20 minutes, then returned, a bit downcast, to Corn Hill Beach’s parking lot. For we were fully aware of what we’d be losing soon. The natural world in all its glory is readily available on Cape Cod. Alas, back home in the grossly overdeveloped suburbs of Philadelphia, where we’d be in 48 hours, such is not even remotely the case.

129 thoughts on “Two Sunsets By The Bay

  1. Jeff the Chef November 27, 2022 / 8:19 am

    Sunsets are really spectacular. You’d think it’d just be an ordinary thing. It happens every day. But you’re rarely in a position to really see it happen, and when you are and do, the good ones are breathtaking. It takes time to watch the sun set, and that may also be part of the charm. There are so few things that we take time to do today. Most things need to happen instantly, or not at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 27, 2022 / 11:15 am

      We live in an era of shortening attention spans. Hi, Jeff. Thanks for adding your thoughts. Appreciated.


  2. ckennedy November 27, 2022 / 11:59 am

    Oh, sunsets are the best! You’ve captured some beautiful ones here. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ellie894 November 27, 2022 / 2:28 pm

    Oh! Glorious sunsets are never to be forgotten. You were gifted two of them in one vacation! These are really beautiful ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. candidkay November 27, 2022 / 4:38 pm

    I love the Cape! Fond memories of beach walking, yummy breakfasts outdoors, dinners pleasantly tired from a day of adventures:). Can’t beat it. Glad you took it all in!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 27, 2022 / 10:22 pm

      Hi. Right, there’s a whole lot to like about Cape Cod. My wife and I have been vacationing there most years since the late 1990s. We haven’t gotten tired of it yet!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. D. Wallace Peach November 28, 2022 / 3:17 pm

    Beautiful sunsets, Neil. And I totally agree that it’s all about the clouds. We just need the sun’s rays to slip under them and we have a show. I’m glad you had such a wonderful time at the cape. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Silver Screenings November 28, 2022 / 10:20 pm

    First, there is no such thing as too many sunset stories/accounts.

    Second, these sunset photos are exquisite. I love the texture of the water in the Truro photos.

    Third, so glad to hear you were able to travel back to Cape Cod again this year. Well deserved!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 29, 2022 / 7:33 am

      Hi, Ruth. I like what you say about the texture of the bay water in Truro. You’re absolutely right — it’s alluring.


  7. Vinny December 15, 2022 / 1:04 pm

    Oh man sunsets are beautiful aren’t they. Seen far too many sunrises though I used to work nights and coming home as the sun came up became sort of normal. That looks a fantastic part of the world!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 15, 2022 / 2:57 pm

      Hi, Vinny. You’ve seen a load more sunrises than me. I’ve seen only a few. Thanks for adding your thoughts. Appreciated!


    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 19, 2022 / 1:24 pm

      Hi, Becky. I haven’t been able to see a sunset properly since returning from Cape Cod. There are too many trees and buildings around here blocking the views. Alas.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Becky Ross Michael December 19, 2022 / 1:53 pm

        I certainly understand that. Although I have a few spots where I can still see “big sky,” there’s no scenery to speak of, which rather takes away from the sunset experience.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Winfred February 12, 2023 / 4:02 am

    Wow, this blog post is just so beautiful and inspiring! Thank you for sharing your stunning sunset experiences at Cape Cod Bay. I love reading about your time at First Encounter Beach and Corn Hill Beach, and how you got to witness some truly spellbinding sunsets.

    As someone who loves nature and enjoys watching sunsets, your post has given me a reason to add Cape Cod Bay to my bucket list. Your descriptions of the different cloud formations and the impact they have on the sunset view were particularly insightful and educational.

    I agree with you that the location does play a crucial role in the beauty of a sunset, and Cape Cod Bay seems to be the perfect place to admire it. Your post has left me in awe of the natural world and its grandeur, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to experience it through your writing.

    Thanks again for sharing your wonderful memories with us. I hope to have the chance to visit Cape Cod Bay one day and see a sunset for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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