Stumbling Upon Shipwrecks on Nauset Beach in Orleans, Massachusetts
The beach in winter: bitterly cold, ceaselessly windy, and full of surprises. Although shipwrecks were common in Cape Cod waters for about a century, it is still shocking—and fascinating—to stumble upon a ship’s ruins in a place so familiar. Some shipwrecks are of interest to the Cape Cod National Seashore, but others are unidentifiable, and viewers have to ponder their history and study the barnacled planks and rusty nails themselves for clues. Most amazing of all? Often, the wrecks are not washed up, but simply uncovered by the pounding winter surf. When a wreck appears—like this one, which was found about a mile outside of the protected beach in October of 2010—people flock to see it, knowing that within a matter of days, it may disappear again.