Monday, September 29, 2008

Sea Glass Collecting On The Outer Banks

Collecting Sea Glass On The Outer Banks

We recently went back home for a vacation on the Outer Banks Of North Carolina. When I first heard the weather report, I was thrilled, hard North East winds for the weekend we arrived which usually means GREAT sea glassing once the ocean calms down.

Well, the ocean NEVER did calm down. An unnamed storm hit the OBX and slammed it for the entire week.

Generally, 2-3 days after a "typical" Nor Easter (named for North Easterly Winds) the sea glassing can be AWESOME. Sloughs that collected quartz pebbles get pushed up on the beach once the wind calms down and this is where the most amount of sea glass can be found.

Many times there can be several lines pebbles, a high high tide, a low high tide and another line right where the waves are currently breaking. The High high tide line brings the larger pieces of glass as it was deposited when the waves where at their strongest. This line also has large driftwood and even baseball size quartz stones. The other lines have jewelry size pieces.

In some areas like South Nags Head, the pebble lines can run up and down the beach instead of parallel to the shoreline and these lines can also be great for finding sea glass. This also will give you plenty of exercise as you may walk 10 times the distance going up and down the pebble lines.

This unnamed storm brought a lot of havoc to the beach in the time we were there destroying dunes, beach steps and closing Route 12 to Hatteras Island and Rodanthe on times of high tide. Blowing sand was so bad the worst day of the storm that it looked like the Sahara south the Oregon Inlet Bridge.

The new movie Nights In Rodanthe (starring Diane Lane and Richard Gere and filmed in Rodanthe around the first house in town,Serendipity) had a huge premier and opening parties on Thursday that many Hatteras Island residnets could not attend. Many of which were in the movie.

OBX'ers are well acquainted with Noreasters but the tourists we spoke to were quite panicked and many went home early.

We did manage to find a couple of pieces before the storm got going and we did find a piece that was unlike any that I had ever found in 20 years of sea glass collecting on the Banks. It was a thin piece of flash glass, with milk white and clear and was most likely a cherished house ware item that had been broken many many years ago.

This week (last week of September and first week of October) should be EPIC for finding sea glass on the OBX beaches as well as phenomenal surfing and fishing.

A couple of notes to visitors to the Outer Banks:
Please PLEASE, do not walk or play on the dunes. These are our last line of defense against the sea! I have actually seen kids boogie boarding down dunes and this destroys them and then our homes ocean side.


PLEASE, if the red flags are out, DONT SWIM.

On a walk down to Gary Olivers Fishing Unlimited pier on the worst day of the storm, we actually saw children jumping in the waves that were coming right up to the dunes. It only takes ONE wave to carry a child into the surf and to an inevitable drowning. Also there is tons of debris when are storm of this magnitude happens. Parts of stairs and piers with nails, sand fending Etc.... (Pictured above, 3 children play in massive tide as parents look on, notice the BRIGHT RED NO SWIMMING flags above them.

Folks, the towns do not post these flags to ruin your vacation but to protect your life! The OBX beaches can be treacherous even in the best weather!


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