By John R. Weldon
An occasional question I get asked is, “How did you get into the hobby of beachcombing?” Well it wasn’t the beautiful views of the Pacific Northwest, nor finally combing a Japanese glass float. The reason was family, and more specifically, my in-laws.
I recall some of the amazing beachcombing stories starting from the 1970s that my wife’s family would share around the dinner table. John and Carol Champ would bring their two daughters, Kathy and Laura, to Long Beach, Washington, every summer to spend a month enjoying the beach. A major part of the summer excursions would be beachcombing!
I’ll never forget the many stories my in-laws would share about beachcombing in several feet of Velella -- by-the-wind sailor jellyfish -- that would wash in during the peak of beachcombing season. Their tales of countless weekends picking up hundreds of glass floats, driftwood, and buoys would have me on the edge of my seat.
John and Carol’s most fascinating combing collection was without a doubt their fishing lure/gaff display. All of their combing stories up to present day would always include some type of fishing equipment find. The two of them picked up so much that they started a fishing gear tree!
We continue the family tradition of beachcombing for a third generation with my daughter Pepper enjoying the hobby. She has already found a Japanese glass float!
This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine November/December 2022 issue.