Note to Self: Write More Often

Cape Cod Life  /  September/October 2018 / ,

Writer: Brian Shortsleeve

Monomoy Point Lighthouse

Monomoy Point Lighthouse. Photo by Josh Shortsleeve

Introducing Cape Cod Life Note Cards

Above is one of our favorite aerial photos, taken as part of our Aerial Tour, showing the entire shoreline of Cape Cod (available online at This is one of a half dozen note cards now for sale in the Cape Cod Life General Store for $20. To see all six, go to

You may recall that a couple of years ago Paul Rifkin, photographer extraordinaire, arranged for my son Joshua and me to fly with him to photograph the complete shorelines of the Cape and Islands. Over the last few months, my son Max, with help from our creative designers, assembled our first package of Cape Cod Life Note Cards. If all goes as hoped, this will be the first in a series.

The Monomoy Point Lighthouse on Monomoy Island in Chatham was established in 1823. The first light was a wood tower on top of the Keeper’s House. The current tower, one of the first made of cast iron, was built in 1849. At that time, the thousands of mercantile ships rounding Cape Cod found the Lower and Outer Cape shorelines to be most treacherous. In fact, since 1823 so much sand has been moved on the Cape’s east-facing coastline that now this lighthouse sits almost in the middle of Monomoy Island. In 1823 the shoreline was very close to the current location of the lighthouse. Learn more in our online series “The Changing Shape of the Cape and Islands.”

After the opening of the Cape Cod Canal in 1914, most ships coming from the south to Boston took the shorter and safer route through the canal. With so many fewer ships passing this lighthouse, the light was deactivated in 1923. However, the Keeper’s House is preserved and serves today as a guesthouse.

The other cards in this package feature photos all taken by Paul Rifkin and Joshua. They creatively capture the majestic beauty of the eroding sand dunes in Truro, the cottage-lined beach separating Cape Cod Bay from Old Harbor Creek in Sandwich, the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge at Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne, Wild Harbor in North Falmouth, and a spectacular birds-eye view high above Woods Hole in Falmouth.

Trust me, if you love Cape Cod, you won’t be disappointed, and, what a wonderful way to share your love of the Cape with family and friends.

My Best,

Brian Shortsleeve, Publisher

Brian Shortsleeve

Brian Shortsleeve is the owner, publisher, and founder of Cape Cod Life Publications. His personal column, “Gunkholing,” has appeared in all issues of Cape Cod LIFE since the very first issue in 1979.