Dear Crabby: Even More Advice from the Beach

dear crabby beachcombing advice

We’ve all gotten questions when someone sees our beachcombing collection at home, a few prize seashells on our desk at work, or a photo posted from our last beach excursion. Here are suggested answers to questions about your hobby:

“What do you do with these rocks?”

“Oh, yeah, you collect sandstones”

“You work with pebbles, right?”

These are questions I have gotten when people see all the little jars of sea glass on my windowsill. Bright, colorful, glowing glass nuggets. Well, at least that means they’re not out collecting beach glass—more for the rest of us!

“I go to the beach and I never find anything like that!”

Um, are you on some white sand beach that’s so beautiful that no one ever thought it would be a great place to throw the town’s trash? Or, do you purposely hunt out a beach near an old dump, a harbor, a busy lakefront, or a river downstream from a city? Do you jump into a wave to grab a sea marble? Have you walked across lava rocks to reach a shell? Gotten covered with mud to dig out an old bottle? Scaled a cliff for a fossil? Lugged a buoy a mile back to your car? Beachcombers don’t give up easily!

“What time do you go to the 
beach to find so much stuff?”

Ever heard of this thing called a “tide”? Thought about hitting the beach at the end of a storm? Dedicated beachcombers never go to the beach without checking out water levels and waves.

And, don’t forget about hitting the beach with your headlamp before the sun is up to beat the crowds.

“Isn’t this just junk?”

Much of what we find on the beach was once just trash, disposed of near the water. Sea glass and pottery, metal coins and buttons, and floats and buoys from around the world each carry a bit of their histories with them, now with a wave-smoothed finish. As they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

“Don’t you have enough?”

“I have too much,” said no collector ever! Every corner of your house may be overflowing with your beach finds, but there’s always room for more.

They don't understand, but we do.

Check out “29 things that only people who collect pebbles will understand.” You’ll probably relate!

Etiquette, manners, tips, and tricks

More answers to your burning questions about beachcombing manners, tips and tricks, and more. 

Send us your Dear Crabby questions or advice ›

This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine March/April 2020 issue.

No live shelling: Be sure shells are empty and sand dollars, sea stars, and sea urchins are no longer alive before you bring them home.

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