Turtleneck, long sleeve, sweatshirt, two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks (one wool), neck guard, scarf, ear muffs, winter hat, gloves, hand warmers, winter boots, and long heavy winter jacket. No, this is not a list of clothes packed for a winter weekend getaway, these are all of the layers I put on for a beach walk in January.
January is unlike any other month in Cape May. It’s not uncommon to walk from Poverty Beach down to The Cove without seeing another soul on the beach. Once the holidays are over, many people close up their beach houses till May and head to warmer temperatures or hunker down inside.
Even though the temperatures can be a little brutal, there is still beauty to be found and beach walks to enjoy (especially once you’ve mastered the art of layering). If you’re lucky, you might even be on the island for a snowstorm and get to witness the Victorian houses and beaches covered in snow.
Winter Storm Gia was a perfect first snowstorm to help ease us into the winter season. The storm only left around 5 inches of snow on the ground and was followed up by days in the 40s, so we had just enough accumulation to be fun and cover the beach, but little enough that it melted on the streets pretty quickly and didn’t cause any lingering dangerous conditions on the roads.
In the Winter, walking on the beach is an intimate affair. With fewer people and distractions, it’s easier to focus on the setting sun and experience that feeling of wonder that naturally comes with being by the sea. When the snow covers the sand, that magic moment where the light fills you up and the ocean carries you away is intensified because of witnessing two polar opposite elements of nature combine together.
Instead of wishing the cold days away, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for more friendly winter storms and opportunities to walk through the promenade cloaked in snow (with all of my extra layers, of course).
Stay warm and see you on the beach in March!