"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

May 19, 2015

May 19 - Beachcombing

Rockport Harbor

“If there is a heaven for me, I’m sure it has a beach attached to it.” —Jimmy Buffett

While we were in the Abacos we spent a lot of our time beachcombing…it’s something we really enjoy. Not just for the treasures we find, but for the enjoyment of spending time outside…taking in the beauty of the water and the sand. Abaco has an abundance of breath taking beaches…so many beaches that you’ll think it’s crowded if you see someone else’s foot prints on the beach. We only saw people on a few beaches…and then it was only two or three people at any given time. Abaco is truly a beach lover’s paradise.

beachcomber  
noun
  1. a vagrant who makes a living by searching beaches for articles of value and selling them.
  2. a person who searches beaches for useful or interesting items.
beachcombing 
adjective
  1. An activity that consists of an individual "combing" the beach and the intertidal zone, looking for things of value, interest or utility.  
History 
The first appearance of the word "beachcombers" in print was in Herman Melville's Omoo (1847). It described a population of Europeans who lived in South Pacific islands, "combing" the beach and nearby water for flotsam, jetsam, or anything else they could use or trade. 

At one time "beachcomber" was synonymous with a criminal, a drifter, or a bum. The vast majority of beachcombers however, were simply unemployed sailors, men who had deserted their ships in the South Seas after enduring a dangerous voyage. They would make a living by combing the beach for anything they could sell.  The commercial role of beachcombers ended when missionaries arrived and with the growth of a commercial community with European traders.

Modern beachcombers follow the "drift lines" or "tide lines" on the beach and are interested in the objects that the sea casts up. For these people, "beachcombing" is the recreational activity of looking for various curiosities that have washed in with the tide: seashells, fossils, pottery shards, historical artifacts, sea beans, sea glass, sponges and driftwood. 

Some of the treasures we found on the beaches of Abaco. We figured out where to find 100s of sea biscuits...we figured the 70 we brought home were enough.
Coconuts are everywhere, but they are like the conch...hard to open if you don't have the right tools or knowledge.
Conchs are definitely the symbol of the Bahamas and they are everywhere.
A few of the larger shells we found. We found a lot of smaller ones that are now in a jar on Texas Pearl.
My all time favorite thing to find on a beach is sea glass...I love it and I have tons of it. This is what we collected while we were in Abaco. 
A new treasure for us to find and one I really like is the sea urchin. They were abundant on most of the beaches we visited.
Sea sponges became the treasure we enjoyed finding the most in Abaco. They were all so different and so ugly when we would find them. After the sand was rinsed off and we cleaned them up a little we discovered something truly beautiful.
We looked like the Greek sponge boats in Tarpon Springs this winter...we strung up the sponges to let them air out.
We don't know exactly what this is...its soft, so we think it must be some kind of sponge. I really like the color. We also found a few sand dollars and two starfish.

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I had no idea you could find sea biscuits in the Bahamas!! The shells are also so beautiful!

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  2. Your sea glass collection looks awesome, too :)

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