Homer was able to laugh with others about some aspects of his work. He later wrote to his patron Thomas B. Clarke that his brother Charles had referred to the spume as a "pillar of salt" - or the biblical Lot's wife - lending credence to those scholars who see the breaking water as anthropomorphic.
Homer loved this picture. He asked a high price for it ($3,000 to the dealer, $2,400 to him - 20% more than his other comparably scaled seascapes, the same as he had asked for the much more complex composition Undertow) and wrote to Clarke: "I consider it the best that I have painted." The critics disagreed. When the picture was first seen in early 1901, several writers characterized the "blood-red glow in the sky" as "striking an aggressively raw note." By the time Clark acquired the painting in 1941, it had been out of public view and unstudied for four decades.