Monday, August 12, 2013

The West End Breakwater is One of PTown's Greatest Recreation Areas

Kayaking, picnics and sunbathing are popular activities at the breakwater.
The breakwater in the Far West End is a great spot for all kinds of recreation. You can fish for striped bass off the left side, casting toward the Long Point Lighthouse. You can picnic on the edge of the breakwater, or you can walk out to the lighthouse at Wood End and have a picnic there, along with a swim and a little sunbathing in a spot where you aren't likely to have many people around you. You can practically have your own private beach, especially if you're willing to walk a bit farther once you get out to that little spit of sand across the harbor.
You can launch a kayak or a canoe or an inflatable raft and paddle out to Long Point, the very tip of Cape Cod, where you can also fish, swim, sunbathe and picnic to your heart's content, with hardly anyone around you. Folks I talked to last week rented a kayak and paddled out to the far side of Long point, on the edge of Cape Cod Bay, and found seals all along the beach there.
During a very high tide you can swim through the wetlands.
A lot of people will go swimming off the right side of the breakwater, out into the wetlands if the tide is high enough, or just paddle around within a few feet of the shoreline at the head of the breakwater, never getting more than a few feet from the shoreline. Others will try their hand at snorkeling in this area as well. And as the water recedes as the tide goes out, the tidal flats that are revealed yield shells, bits of sea glass, hermit crabs and all kinds of treasures for beachcombers. Families with small children can be spotted carrying nets and buckets to scoop things out of little tidal pools that form at ebb tide.
You can also catch the shuttle boat to get out to Long Point. The Long Point shuttle leaves MacMillan Pier on the hour all day long in the summertime, and it leaves Flyer's boatyard at 10 minutes past the hour, traveling out to the area near the Long Point Lighthouse and back again several times during the day. There is no dock out there, so you'll take off your shoes, roll up your pants legs and hop off the boat in knee-deep water. You can take beach chairs, a small cooler or whatever else you need for the day, but be considerate of others taking the shuttle, too. Don't expect to take the 80 gallon cooler, the barbecue and a side of beef on the shuttle boat. For that kind of party you want to check into renting or chartering a boat of your own.
With this glorious weather we've had recently, there are dozens of ways to use this area we call the breakwater. A lot of folks will simply take a walk out on this enormous granite barrier that forms a walkway from the land at the west end of Commercial Street out to the spit of sand that stretches into Long Point and the tip of the Cape. However you may choose to use this spot, it is one of Provincetown's greatest recreation areas. Be careful, be safe and have fun!

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