Skip to content

Seaside Stories

Roaming the Sand for Treasures

November 11, 2012 | by Nate Burke

Life on the Oregon Coast has unbelievable perks, but none are such a part of the ebb and flow of coastal culture as beachcombing.  It can be a meditative adventure if you consider the beach as a special place, the doorstep to an oceanic world larger than imagination.  There is a quiet magic to roaming this sandy limbo – this narrow expanse is the closest we can get to walking along the edge of the world.
One of my favorite things though, is stumbling upon small treasures the ocean has left behind.
My grandma used to tell me that sand dollars were misplaced “whale money” that fell out of whale wallets – most likely when they were purchasing essential underwater goods and services.  Apparently the exchange rate of whale currency was pretty lousy, because my sand dollars couldn’t buy much.  But finding them was a delight and now as an adult I’m astonished that a little sea creature’s exoskeleton can have such charming artistry.
My other favorite finds are the infamous glass floats.  It’s not uncommon to see a suspicious object glittering with reflected sunlight off in the distance.  On approach, you’ll find what looks like a half-buried fortune teller’s crystal ball glinting up out of the sand.  These glass floats were used by fisherman from all over the globe to keep their nets and lines afloat. Popular antiques, floats can wash ashore after extremely long periods at sea, traveling thousands of miles and can range from the size of a grapefruit on up to the size of a basketball.  Some may be extremely old, too (Japan used them as early as 1910).  The best times to go hunting for glass floats are between November and April, usually after stormy conditions.
Beachcombing will often reward you an astonishing array of shells, sea-life, prehistoric driftwood, and of course stunning panoramic scenery.  There was a particular time when I was younger, out wandering the Seaside beach at sunset, and I was lucky enough to witness the venerated “green flash” – an optical occurrence where a green flash ignites the horizon right after the sun goes down.  It was an astonishing display of nature’s shocking beauty.  Sometimes the best things we come away with from beachcombing are the stories of the wonders we’ve seen.
Do you have a favorite beachcombing story? Please share by commenting below.
Editor’s Note: Tide charts can greatly aid a scavenger hunt. Plan ahead and always be aware of your surroundings. Here’s a link to our tide tables

Leave a Reply

and so much more!

7 places to maximize indoor fun in Seaside, Oregon

How to vacation in Seaside, Oregon when the weather is cool and wet; hint: food, culture and fun....

Salt Making in Seaside

A little history about the Salt Works; on December 28, 1805 the Lewis and Clark sent five men to establish a salt camp. Five days later, they found an ideal place on the seacoast fifteen miles southwest of Fort Clatsop (the seawater had a high salt content here, and game and wood were abundant).

The Perfect S’more

As the sun continues to make more regular appearances, I continue to look forward to external sunshine. And, yearning for a sweet treat, I’m reminded of that summer favorite: S’mores!

Buffleheads: Oregon Coast’s Silliest Part-Time Residents

Buffleheads in Seaside, Oregon rivers in winter.

A Little Kid on a Big Beach

At the beach, the world feels wild and young again. This photo of an anonymous 3 year-old boy in the early 1940s is an iconic portrayal of Seaside’s treasured experience.

Churches in Seaside

The buzz of summer is in the air as Seaside welcomes ever-increasing waves of visitors, happily sharing the beauty and bounty of our coastal getaway. As numbers increase on sidewalks, in shops, on roads and in restaurants, our local houses of worship also expand. Some folks desire a peaceful respite during a busy vacation; brides anxiously check out venues for future nuptials; history buffs enjoy the areas older churches; and some just enjoy connecting and worshiping with others of like-minded faith.

Five Ways to Go Offline in Seaside

If you’re looking for a place to unplug for a bit and get away from all the texts and emails, head toward Seaside for an offline...

We’re Getting Crabby on the Coast

Dungeness crab season on the Oregon coast

Mushroom Foraging Near Seaside

Oregon’s North Coast is a popular spot for treasure hunters. While some people might look for pirate treasure though, the on...

Wave Energy

Wave energy refers to energy generated from the power of waves near their surface. There are different types of devices designed to convert wave energy, but the ones that seems to be most in use at the moment as researchers continue to investigate this source of renewable energy are buoys. Columbia Power Technologies, an Oregon-based alternative energy company, recently launched a prototype wave energy buoy in the gentle waters of the Puget Sound as it races to be one of the first suppliers of wave-generated energy.

Fall in Seaside

Experiencing the changing seasons in Seaside

Summer’s Great, but There’s Nothing Else like Winter in Seaside

When you imagine a classic beach town, you probably picture something similar to Seaside, Oregon. Our town of 6,700 sits less than...

From Arcade to Aquarium: 8 Things To Do When It’s Raining In Seaside

When it rains, you’ll have plenty to do in Seaside, Oregon. Photo: Rupert Britton Our charming oceanfront town is, after all, in...

The Columbia River Maritime Museum: On the Water’s Edge

A visit to the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria.

Dawn Fujiwara-Pavlik Feeds Creative Community

SEASIDE SPOTLIGHT: Our latest profile in a series focused on the behind-the-scenes movers who make Seaside the unique destination ...

Dog Days of Summer in Seaside

Give your dog the time of his life on Seaside's beach.

Where to P.L.A.Y. in Seaside

The park is nestled next to Neawanna Creek where ducks float lazily by, a tree lined mountainside looming in the distance. Do a 180 and you get a great view of Tillamook Head to the south.

Boogie Nights

A look at Seaside's old dance hall and skating rink