I had to be quick mate as Im at work, ok I used a plane...50 subs each way...then used the sculpt geo tool to get what I wanted. I then DL an image of sand...quickly UV the beach and just apply the sand texture to it...I had to copy paste a bit due to image sizes being different...then just a blur in PS to smudge a little. I then just used an ocean...apllied a bump to the sand texture...like I said, sorry Im at work...see what you think.
And no...if it is a night scene I wouldnt over detail it..waste of time if you cant see it. But you could get some good highlighting if you give it some detail?
"A Darkness at Sethanon", a book I aspire to model some of the charcters and scenes