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Hunting Sea Glass Is A Fun And Cheap Activity for All Family Members
Sea Glass Is Magical
When people go to beaches, they typically find seashells, miniature crabs, ocean smelly seaweeds, tumbled pebbles and trash. On our recent visit to this little beach near Cannery Row in Monterey Bay, I thought it was the typical search for small smooth rocks or small seashells. I could not believe that in the 15 minutes I watched my children relaxed on the rocks, every visitor eventually bent down to pick up something. I was curious because I have visited Santa Monica Beach and have observed a lot of tourists. I could not say that many have bent over to pick up anything at all, just children scooping wet sand. Same goes for Venice Beach. So, I sent my children to satisfy my curiosity. To my surprise, there were bountiful amount of sea glass, in which I have always taken an interest since I have seen so many jewelry at craft festivals such as the Sawdust Festival near Laguna Beach Oxnard's Strawberry Festival.
What is Sea Glass? I think it is obvious that the name defines what it is: glass found in the sea and ocean that is swept up onto the shores that appears as frosted and smooth shard that has been weathered smooth by the ocean waves onto pebbly beaches. They also are called "beach glass" and "tears of mermaids." What is so ironic about unusual and desirable finds on the beach is that just an hour before we returned to our favorite aquarium, Monterey Bay, of course, and learned about the damages mankind has contributed negatively with our pollutions into the oceans and how nature can adapt to our litters. Yet, here this sea glass obviously was man made and yet, despite mankind's pollution, they are now a precious find on some beaches. Sea glass is the except to man-made pollution, it seems, due to its composition from very natural elements such as sand and water. No one knows exactly how long it takes for nature to make sea glass from discarded glass but the guess has been between fifteen to sixty years. Over time, nature tumbled smooth shards of glass which drifts onto the shores and colors them. Orange and red sea glasses are among the rarest as opposed to green, brown and white being the most common.
In the past, it was quite common to throw glass into the ocean. Then, plastic replaced glass. However, there will always be glass in the sea whenever a boat is christened with champagne.
What Can You Do With Sea Glass?
1. Just leave them in a glass jar to admire.
2. Put them in an open wine glass and stick a candle into it.
3. Drill holes and string onto jewelry.
4. Decorate a frame for a picture or a mirror.
Word of Caution for Children Hunting Sea Glass
We did not expect it to be so much fun, and the conditions at the beach has to be just right because we do not see sea glass at our local Santa Monica or Venice beaches. However, as a mother, it is so important for your children to wear shoes on beaches where sea glass is found. Sea glass can very easily wash ashore with glass that is not so finished. Or, a "finished" sea glass could have hit a hard rock and split. Then, you will have a shard with a sharp edge again no different than someone who broke a beer bottle and kicked the pieces from a pier onto the shores. Secondly, with any true hunt, bring a proper container to hold your treasures. I noticed that it was very easy for a small child to spill his or her wonderful finds. This may frustrate the child because the child will need to pick the sea glass from the pebbles on the shores. And, if a beach is crowded, it is a little bit competitive picking up sea glass.
We really enjoyed sea glass hunting, and I hope you find some, too. We know what we will be doing the next time we visit Monterey, CA, which will not be too long in the future. It is truly an unusually fun and inexpensive activity for the entire family.