Beachcombing: ‘Sea’ What Has Washed Ashore!
Beachcombing is a bit like treasure hunting – you never know what you might find. And that’s part of the fun! With miles of traversable coastline, Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula offers a treasure trove of beachcombing possibilities.
What will you find?
Seashells and Sea Life:
Up-close views of natural sea life can be had at the rocky tide pools of Beard’s Hollow. Historically, native Chinook people would go to these tide pools to find shells and sealife to use as food and jewelry. Starfish, urchins, and sea cucumbers can be found around Beard’s Hollow near Seaview on the edge of Cape Disappointment State Park, and they should not be disturbed. This is a great place to practice your fish-tography skills!
The effects of a six-minute 2011 earthquake in Japan are still being seen today in the form of Japanese flotsam. Debris and oddities continue to be found along the shores of the Pacific coast.
Coastal Jewels (rocks galore!):
Besides the bounty of flotsam, jetsam, and shells, on the Long Beach Peninsula, there is a treasure trove of gems of the sea to be discovered. Agate, Chalcedony, and Quartz can be found all along the coast of Pacific county.
Beachcombing Under a Roof:
Is the weather not agreeing with you? Try beachcombing under a roof! Wait, what – beachcombing indoors? That’s right! Many Peninsula antique stores offer vintage and modern fishing floats, repurposed driftwood art, maritime artifacts, and more. Marsh’s Free Museum in downtown Long Beach has an abundant selection of seashells to choose from. If you are looking for fishing floats and other nautical flotsam, Hobo Junction is the place to go!
Tips for successful and safe beachcombing:
1. Bring a backpack! Trying to carry all your finds by hand can make things complicated.
2. NEVER beachcomb when the tide is coming in! You don’t want to get swept out to sea with the driftwood. Getting tide tables for the area that you will be beachcombing is highly recommended.
3. Wear protective clothing and gloves. You will find all kinds of things at the beach, including unwanted germs.
4. NEVER pick up or kill a live animal
5. Consider bringing along a shovel and metal detector- many cool finds are hiding just beneath the surface!
6. Take along an identification book to help you identify objects as you find them
7. Beachcombing on the Long Beach Peninsula is a fun and mystery-filled activity that will be sure to make an adventure out of any day at the beach. Even if you return home empty-handed, your heart and mind will be richer and fuller from the experience.