Living so close to the ocean means we can reasonably traverse the 1.5 hours of highway on any given weekend.  Most folks prefer summertime trips with the warmth and the sunshine, the swimming and sandcastles.  I enjoy these visits as well, but I prefer to balance it out with a trip or two during our rainiest months, drawn westward by the thrashing sea and a cozy hotel.  We bring plenty of entertainment – a chess board, our Kindles, and the latest tear-jerking anime with which we’re enthralled – and simply enjoy two or three days disconnected from our everyday lives.  Add an in-room jacuzzi and/or a fireplace and a couple glasses of wine, and you’ve got one of my ideal winter weekends.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

As mentioned before, I love storms, so if we catch one coming in from across the sea, all the better.  The majesty and raw power of the monstrous waves are far more thrilling and humbling than anything on a digital screen.  It puts life into perspective reconnecting with nature’s incredible display.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

Most of this doesn’t sound very photogenic, but when the rain takes a break, I can dare expose my camera.  It finds wind whipping across the beach in a sandy rush, blurring the ground in flowing currents.  It captures the rage of the sea crashing against the rocks that dare block its path.  It sees other visitors who have braved the turbulent weather, grasping hats and huddled beneath shawls.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

When the water is agitated with such force, it’s worked up into a beaten froth that lingers upon the sand with each ebb.  I found these mounds of bubbles enticing – to the point of needing to race inland more than once, caught off-guard by a larger wave as I sat poised to compose them into my foreground.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

We lucked out on this stormy weekend, chancing upon half a day of warm sun.  We used the opportunity to venture out along some beach trails.  We found a beach full of driftwood and rocks, as well as a fun little rope bridge.  We stared at the waves for an hour, before finally retrieving our Kindles for some leisurely reading, snuggled in the soothing sunlight.

The sunshine also afforded some interesting pictures of the sand.  With the blustery winds and unusually high tides, the sand was sculpted into fascinating tiny mountains.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

And the dry weather lured other visitors outside, prying them away from their own respective storm cubbies to soak up the rays and providing me with subjects for my much-loved candids.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

I thought about venturing out for some star shots, but I wasn’t really up for it on our first night, and the clouds rolled back in for the second.  Fortunately, it’s still only a little more than an hour away, so I’ll get some next time, perhaps during a summertime visit.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

Overall, it was a quiet weekend, an excellent opportunity for us to recharge.  We ate lots of crab, we sipped some wine, and we marveled in nature’s display of fury.  And I even managed to get some fun pictures out of the deal.  It was a weekend well spent.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

What are your favorite activities at the beach?  Any other storm lovers out there?



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