The Joys of Hunting for (and finding) Sea Glass

This is a write up from my Mom about her quest for Sea Glass in Maine on Peak’s Island- 

One mans trash is this girl’s treasure
I have become completely addicted to a very strange hobby. I’ve have taken up sea-glass hunting to the point of even dreaming about it.

I discovered this obsession while vacationing in Maine three years ago. I had taken a ferry boat out of Portland Maine. It took me to a small quaint place called Peak’s Island. I walked into a small store and there was a strange necklace. The label indicated it was sea-glass found on the shores of that island. The clerk said, ” the glass came from a bottle that had spent time tumbling around in the ocean”. The tumbling had caused it to become softer, rounder, and quite unique in appearance. I didn’t buy it..but it never quite left my mind.

The next year while visiting Bar Harbor, Maine once again I fell in love with sea-glass. This time I saw a colorful wind chime mobile made entirely from sea glass.  I bought a book about sea-glass and the pictures in it were stunning. The book listed the best places to find sea-glass and yes. Peaks Island was on the list.

As soon as I could I went running to the beach just like a child would run to the surf. I just knew it would be everywhere. Wrong, it’s not so easy to find sea-glass. It took about a half hour before I saw something shiny and picked up my first tiny piece of shiny green sea-glass. I was beyond excited! I thought this was such an amazing find. Later that same day I found several amber colored ones and even a white one.

To some this would be boring but to me a beach lover at heart, any moment spent walking on any beach is not humdrum. The warn sun on my face and the salty air….hearing the waves crash again and again….the feel of sand between your toes is to me the best of times. Suddenly adding to the pleasure is finding that piece of sea-glass. Having such a soft texture makes it hard to believe it is glass that was at one time so sharp.

When I find a piece my mind always wonders what it’s origin was. Did it come from a wrecked ship, a drunken fisherman tossing his beer bottle overboard, a bottle from a home washed  into sea by a hurricane or a tumbled shard of a champagne bottle that was broken over the bow of newly christened ship. There are hundreds of possibilities where it came from. Sea-glass rarely reveals its past or origin. You get to choose.

On a recent excursion near my summer home in Old Orchard Beach, Maine I found my first  blue piece, the excitement was so overwhelming that I got up early the next morning to once again return to Peaks’s Island where I had my first encounter with sea-glass. There tangled in sea weed and hidden under rocks were many pieces of sea-glass. I came back tired, sunburned, but very happy.

Maybe this is just a hobby of collecting trash that’s washed ashore. I hate to think of it in those terms. Sea-glass hunting feels more like treasure hunting to me. I will continue to wander the shores in search of smooth red, blue, green and amber glass that are so full of mystery and oh so beautiful.

 Sea-glass is like snow-flakes no two are the same size and shape.  The color varies greatly. The most common to find are white, shades of green and brown due to their popular usage for soda and beer bottles. More rare are the reds and blues. Red was once used for Schlitz beer back in the late 1940’s and early 50’s. Blue was used for medicine bottles long ago.

Today, I finally bought that necklace that captured my mind, body and soul years ago. I realized I was not the only one that sees the beauty in sea-glass as a woman on the boat ride back wanted to buy it from me. The necklace itself was not expensive as the chain is not real gold or silver and will deteriorate very quickly. The prize is the piece of sea glass it holds.

I now have just about enough to make the beautiful wind chime that I really wanted but was too expensive. So day after day I will start my days off beach combing and end them that way.

Peaks Island Ride to Peaks Island Peaks Island necklace

Sea Glass Mobile

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