The locked gates of Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth didn’t stop dozens of pedestrians, joggers and dog-walkers from finding their way inside the sprawling park as the winds from Tropical Storm Irene whipped up the waters of Casco Bay.

“You don’t get something like this very often,” said Patrick Noonan, 29, of Westbrook, as he shot footage of his friends Than and Hannah Peterson leaning into the stiff breeze alongside the keepers quarters at Portland Head Light Sunday afternoon.

Than Peterson, 18, spread his yellow rain jacket like a bat’s wings and experimented with the forces of wind and gravity.

“We’re going to make Hurricane Cakes later,” Peterson said.

“We’re not sure what it is yet,” Noonan said. “But if you put Hurricane in front of anything it sounds more epic and more awesome.”

“We’ll figure it out,” said Hannah Peterson, 21.

“I think there needs to be some swirling element in it,” said Noonan, who planned to surf today. “A few different elements combined and mixed together.”

Leon Anderson, a painter from Portland, plans to combine and mix and swirl oil on canvas sometime soon, based on the images he saw from a precarious ledge Sunday afternoon.

“It’s too windy to set up an easel today,” he said.

Anderson remained on the high ledge, first crouching, then standing, for about 15 minutes Sunday, soaking in the image of crashing waves, sea-splashed rocky cliffs and majestic lighthouse with bellowing foghorn.

He wore a gray T-shirt and khaki pants and brought along a waterproof camera. He said any shots will be used only to help jog his memory later.

“A photograph doesn’t do,” he said. “I really have to stare at it and see what is in the scene that I want to get. There’s a lot of color in these rocks. But when you look at a photograph of it, it’s just dead gray.”

Later, he’ll use his oil paints to recreate the storm in his mind’s eye. The rocks will be more than gray. They’ll be tinged with blue and green and orange. He’ll remember the sound of the foghorns, the whistling of the wind.

Finally satisfied, he moved off his lonely perch and set out to find a new perspective.

“There’s nothing better to do than sit around and stare at the ocean,” he said. “It doesn’t get like this very often.”

Some visitors were less than impressed by Irene.

Debbie Fisher of Cape Elizabeth paused on her afternoon run to take in the sight and spray of waves crashing over the rocks protecting the museum and lighthouse.

“Not bad for low tide,” she said.

Fisher, who lives in a nearby neighborhood and has two children in college and one in high school, said she has seen better examples of what her mother-in-law from Iowa calls “spectacular swishes.”

“I’m underwhelmed by the storm,” she said. “I think the media made way too much of it. This is just a nor’easter without the snow.”

Max Loeffler, 17, and Lillian Grassin-Drake, 14, of Cape Elizabeth took to the swings overlooking the surging surf of Ship Cove, a few hundred yards northeast of the Portland Head Light.

“We both got lectures from our parents about avoiding the rogue waves and everything,” said Loeffler, “definitely not close enough to touch the water. But I would say as far as the whole storm went, it was a little bit overblown, no pun intended.”