Getting Started with Beachcombing
For centuries, people have scoured the earth’s beaches in a never-ending scavenger hunt. Nowadays, novices and experts alike continue this tradition. Some search for natural objects such as fossils, shells and sea glass. Others bring cameras to snap pictures of the various sea creatures they spot caught in tide pools during low tide. Still others take advantage of technology and with metal detectors they scour the sand for dropped coins, lost rings, and other trinkets and novelties buried or washed ashore. Whatever your quest, here are a few tips to get you started.
When to Go
The general rule is to go 2-3 hours on either side of low tide. This way tide pools will appear as well as various objects that have washed up onto the shore. Also keep in mind that a great time to go out is after a big storm. The grinding water churns up the sea floor unearthing treasures long buried. The wind and waves roll forward during high tide depositing artifacts that settle on the sand to be revealed as the tide retreats again.
Where to Look
Once you’re there, a good place to start looking is along drift or tide lines. This is generally a great place to discover seashells, fossils, pottery shards, sea glass, driftwood, or other lost or discarded items that have been smoothed by the erosion of the sea and sand. These unique treasures can then be reworked into artwork or craft projects or simply added your collection.
If you’re looking for lost coins or jewellery, it’s best to choose a beach that has a lot of foot traffic. Near entrances, exits, or places where people have recently gathered, like a volleyball court. If you are looking for a more natural selection, remote beaches are best as they will be less disturbed by other people.
Also keep in mind that every beach is different and what it has to offer will vary from one to the other. When you choose a beach you may want to research the ocean currents and whether the beach is rocky or sandy. And keep in mind; some beaches have rules about what you can take so be mindful of any notices posted.
What to Bring
Now that you know what you’re looking for, what should you bring?
- Remember proper footwear and layers. If you’re walking out on rock formations you’ll want something with a good grip. As well, not all beaches are sandy. Those pebbles and stones can be rough on bare feet. Not to mention, as we sink into the winter months, it starts to get chilly!
- You’ll want some sort of pouch, bag, or backpack to carry your treasures home!
- Depending on what you’re looking for, you may want a scoop or small shovel to help dig in the sand, a grabber/prodding stick, and even a metal detector.
- You’ll want to remember your adventure so don’t forget your camera!
A Few Last Little Notes
- Remember to protect the fragile ecosystem. Don’t take anything that is being used as a home for a sea creature and leave the organisms at the beach in their natural habitat.
- If you are interested in assisting the environment while beachcombing, bring along an additional bag to collect trash, especially plastic items which are incredibly harmful to sea life.
- Watch out for jellyfish and crabs. A sting or a pinch can be painful!
- Keep an eye on the ocean and the time. Even on a calm day those lazy waves can come in quick as the tides change. You probably don’t want to be caught out on a sandbar or end up swimming!
Ready to Start Exploring?
Victoria is surrounded by a rich variety of fresh water and ocean beaches. It’s a great place to do some beachcombing!
Now that you’re ready for your adventure, you need a place to stay. Check out the Lodge at Weir’s Beach. Located right on the ocean you have a spectacular place to get started on your quest. Book today, your treasure hunt is waiting!