Friday, August 29, 2014

A Seaglassing Weekend

It's Labor day weekend and the east and west coasts are enduring passing hurricanes.
The surf is very rough here in New Jersey, and it's turning up the ocean floor. Rough seas, riptides, extreme tides usually equal "ocean treasure" opportunities!

On Wednesday, the shell beds on the beach stretched for nearly a block and the surf was filled with piles of shells...great for finding a few pieces of sea glass. Since Sandy tore thru the Jersey coast nearly 2 years ago, we haven't had shell beds like this on the beach, and the sea glass has all but disappeared.

But, we took advantage of the small crowds, hit the northern end of LBI and hubby and I hit the beds and found about 18 pieces of sea glass. My youngest son brought a nicely finished beer bottle top to us and found a few undercooked pieces. Hubby found a couple really nice greens and a few older browns, one looked quite old and very thick. But the biggest surprises were a few cobalt and one dark cornflower! They aren't jewelry quality, but they will look great sitting next to a window in a decorative jar.

On Thursday, we arrived at the beach and found that the tides had taken back all of the shell beds and despite a low tide approaching, she left hardly anything for us to search through. So we walked far north than we have before, to find a small area with a huge concentration of shells.

By the time we arrived, there were many people shifting thru the pile, most were looking for interesting shells, but some were searching for sea glass. Since this area was quite large, there was plenty for everyone to look thru, but most of the glass that was there seemed to have held alcohol in it recently (like maybe the night before?)For every 50 pieces we picked up, there was 1 keeper. People picked up anything they could find, calling it "sea glass", when in truth it could have been used as a weapon, or worse yet, cut a young child's foot, had they stepped on some of those shards.

The search was fruitless and I headed back, followed by my hubby and oldest son. As they made their way back, a wave washed a brown bottle top onto the surf, not more than 8 inches from my son's foot and hubby grabbed it. He almost threw it back, but said he could feel the chemical change that causes frosting. It was a good decision, because by the time he got back to our umbrella, the piece was entirely frosted, inside and out.

During the day, we did stumble upon a couple pieces of well tumbled, well-weathered sea glass, again, nothing jewelry quality, but nice for decorative displays. But as quickly as those pieces were presented to us as we walked the beach, the ocean would have just as quickly taken them back. Just as it had reclaimed it's shell beds from the day before.

Even though the ocean appeared much calmer on Thursday, the undertow was still strong and rip currents were still present. Be careful if you enter the water, especially if you are not in an area supervised by a lifeguard. Save me some sea glass and enjoy your long weekend!

'til next time...

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