|Cape Cod Bay & Nantucket Sound|
So if you landlubbers will indulge my sudden interest in the maritime lexicon . . .
A sound is a large ocean inlet (such as Nantucket Sound) or a narrow ocean channel between two bodies of land (such as Vineyard Sound). But there must be some flexibility in the definition, because . . . what is Puget Sound? By the way, the word sound also refers to measuring the depth of the water, and is also said of a whale when it dives to the bottom.
A bay is a body of water connected to the ocean or lake that is surrounded by land on three sides, and is formed by an indentation in the shoreline. We have Cape Cod Bay and Buzzard's Bay here in Massachusetts, and a lot of other bays along the East Coast from Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay on south. The West Coast doesn't have so many bays.
So what's a cove? It is a small bay that's usually round or oval in shape with a narrow opening to a larger body of water.
And how is that different from an inlet? An inlet is typically long and narrow, an indentation of the shoreline of an enclosed body of water.
|More of an inlet|
Then what's a harbor? A harbor is a bay or cove or inlet where boats are at anchor -- and is often artificially created or enhanced by breakwaters, sea walls or jettys.
So that begs the question: What is a cape? It is a large and often long headland or promontory that extends into a body of water, often the ocean. In the case of Cape Cod, the land was formed by the southernmost terminal moraine of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (which also carved out the Great Lakes) some 20,000+ years ago. The same process also gave us Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Block Island and Long Island.
So there you have it . . . why, you can almost believe you've been at the seashore for a couple of weeks yourself!