This has to be one of those natural soul healing things that you can do for yourself.
You can find yourself wandering for hours along remote beaches lost in your own thoughts and occasionally stooping to pick up a little piece of beach debris.
If you are a collector then perhaps it is the chance of finding hidden treasure, that one off unique curio or that beautiful, unblemished perfect sea shell.
Deposited by the action of the waves, wind and tides these prized beach treasures end up on a mantelpiece, bookshelf or wall.
Small curios can also be made into interesting jewelry bits to be kept, sold or given away.
"I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."
Sir Isaac Newton, reported in Sir David Brewster, Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton (1855), Volume II. Ch. 27.
I visit one of my favorite beaches, Frankston quite often. It is one of Port Phillip Bay's prettiest beaches and a favorite for family getaways, picnics and safe swimming.
To the left of the pier and at the base of Olivers Hill is one of the best places I have found so far to beachcombe for my favorite beach treasure.
Here I usually am able to find more sea glass to add to my collection.
If you want to collect along a popular beach then make sure that you do so during the week when it is quieter or very early first thing on a Saturday morning.
These beaches can become quite crowded and your pickings may end up being rather slim! Too many people, too late in the weekend and most of the good stuff will be gone.
Check the list here for beaches that are easily accessible for a great beachcombing experience. Be aware of tidal times and if there are any restrictions displayed regarding what you can collect or not collect, more importantly.
It fascinates me to see the latest trend in beachcombing.
There they are with their Metal Detectors and boy do they find interesting bits and pieces.
It is fun to beachcombe modern city beaches to find coins, watches and jewellery.
Beaches in less populated areas that can sometimes offer up old artifacts, coins and jewelry from shipwrecks and for the real dedicated fossickers ... GOLD, the ultimate treasure.
"The hollow sea-shell, which for years hath stood
On dusty shelves, when held against the ear
Proclaims its stormy parent, and we hear
The faint, far murmur of the breaking flood.
We hear the sea. The Sea? It is the blood
In our own veins, impetuous and near."
Eugene Lee-Hamilton, Sonnet. Sea-shell Murmurs, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
These are found along the seashore. Brought in with the tide, the varieties are in the thousands.
Usually found empty of marine life and clean ready to add to the collection.
The hobby of shell collecting is worldwide.
Sometimes Exoskeletons can be washed up on the shoreline. These shells include the remains of different marine life. The skeleton of the Seahorse is very tough and is usually found intact on the shoreline.
Find lots of interesting sea creature's houses that have been abandoned, such as ...
Kelp Holdfast is part of a seaweed that is attached to a rock, similar to a tree root. During storms this can be dislodged and finally is washed up onto the shore.
Washed and cleaned well, they can be either stained or lacquered and displayed as interesting curios.
Sea Sponges are made up of lots of little marine animals living together as a community.
The ones that are washed up onto the shoreline are usually the skeleton remains of this colony.
Living sponges are usually very bright in colour, some shapes are quite unique. Tree shapes can often be found that make for interesting display pieces.
Some sharks actually lay eggs.
These are very well camouflaged, they resemble kelp or seaweed, this way they blend in and are protected from predators.
They are usually washed up onto the shoreline after the young have hatched.
I have found many on Shelly Beach, Phillip Island, near The Nobbies along with lots of different shapes, sizes and types of sponges.
Along a lot of the back beaches you will be able to find dried Cuttlefish.
When the Cuttlefish dies and the soft body dries, rots or is eaten away, the bone floats to the surface and finally is washed to the shore.
As a youngster I used to call cuttlebones, seachalk. Because they are soft and easy to work with you are able to whittle them and make interesting shapes, animals etc.
Kids love to create, why not try using a cuttle bone, something different to use for kids crafting.
Over the past few months, my 'beachy' library has grown. One addition to it has been this wonderful book called, The Sea Glass Hunter's Handbook by C. S. Lambert
This book reveals how to locate the best beaches and predict optimum conditions; understand coastal access laws; determine the personal and professional value of sea glass' and identify the source of individual fragments.
Spray up with insect repellent as the pesky March Fly can be a real nuisance.
His bite really stings!
There you have it. A few suggestions on where to go beachcombing, what to expect and what to look out for when you are out there. I would love you to subscribe to the Newsletter below and if you do manage to find something that you would like to share or maybe a great beach you have discovered for beachcombing, pop in and let us know all about it.
The form below makes this really easy. Love to hear from you.
I love the beach, do you?
What is the best family beach you have ever found?
Where is it and why is it your favourite?
My favourite family beach is Frankston, can you top that one?
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