Beachcombing

beachcombing finding sanddollars
Beachcombing along the Shoreline of Cocoa Beach

What's It Going To Be Today?

Waking up to a chill in the air had me wondering whether I would be doing much of anything outdoors this particular day.  As every morning, sipping on coffee and planning out my day, I received a phone call from my husband.  With a fifty minute drive to the Mosquito Lagoon, Richard routinely telephones and we chat helping pass the time before he meets his clients.
Richard says to me "honey you need to make sure and go surfing today, the winds are offshore, it's head high and is going to be a gorgeous day."

As our conversation together ended I begin to move toward slipping into my swimsuit, putting on sweats and a comfy sweater. Heading outside gathering my surfboard and wetsuit I questioned myself about even leaving the house.  It was quite chilly, and I didn't have Richard alongside motivating me to get out in the cold.

Contemplating

Fixing the second pot of coffee and saying to myself "I'll just drive around to look at the surf and decide what I am going to do."  Several weeks had gone by without us surfing because there just wasn't any surf, so when you finally get waves, you never want to pass them up.
The time is a little after 7 AM, and the sun is yet to come out, looks like it might be a bit overcast.  We always like getting a head start early because within a few hours the winds can change and create horrible conditions for riding waves.

I drove to one of our surf spots to check the waves while stepping out of the truck an older woman approached me and said "I'm so glad you pulled up, I have been looking for someone to take my son fishing while he is visiting me here in Florida. Do you have a business card so I can call you when he arrives in town?"

lagooner fishing charters
Lagooner Fishing
Of course, our truck is a huge advertisement for our fishing charter business. I spoke with the woman for a few minutes and gave her our information. As I started to walk down to the ocean, she reached her hand into her pocket and said: "I want to show you these things my friend has given me which she finds on the beach" she was holding sea beans in her hand.  I told her I love looking for sea beans along the shore and she said she was starting to look for them and couldn't find any. She liked the idea of having something to do as she walked but also said her walking was now slowed down to a pace where she probably wasn't getting much exercise. We both laughed and thought, well at least she was spending time enjoying herself on the beach.

Simple Pleasures in Life

It's amazing how something so simple as taking a walk whether it be near the ocean or outside your front door can make your entire day. Beachcombing is a pure pleasure for me where I love the solitude, clearing my mind, taking time refreshing my spirit, praying, looking out into the vast ocean enjoying God's beautiful creation and the wonders of it all.

As I walk and see kids playing in the ocean, people boogie boarding, or floating I reminisce about my childhood with my parents taking all of us kids to the beach. My dad jumped waves with me and floated for what seemed like hours. I could never stay afloat and always found myself sinking all too quickly. With a love of the ocean, Richard and I enjoyed introducing our children to the simplicity of time on the beach.  Our kids couldn't wait for those moments of building sand castles, jumping waves, getting buried in the sand and being able to run free.

Just look, look around you with the sand running between your toes as the water trickles through, you will be amazed by all that surrounds you.

beachcombing cocoa beach
Enjoying the quiet things in life
The woman I just met is Eleanor. As we turned and walked toward the ocean together, I told her one of my very favorite things is to look for sea glass. Sea glass forms from glass bottles that have been thrown into the ocean, as they break up and toss in the waves and sand, the sharp edges are being refined and smoothing out in the rough.  I shared with Eleanor how when our girls, Savannah and Mekenzie were young we told them we were looking for mermaid tears. Our girls have always enjoyed finding sea glass and to this day still, call them mermaid tears.

The surf was already looking nice, but it sure was cold, and I wasn't yet ready to run into the water by myself. Eleanor and I were still conversing, so we began to walk and talk. I mentioned to her some of the best times to find treasures on the beach is when there has been a storm churning up the seas and rushing in the tide.  Go out early the next morning and as you are looking along the tide line is where you will mostly find shells, sea beans and glass. If you lift the seaweed many of times, you'll pick up a sand dollar along with discovering unwanted trash from the ocean.

collecting sea beans in cocoa beach
Two of my favorite things to look for are Sea Glass and Hamburger Sea Beans
Ahead of us I took notice of a sea bean and pointed out to Eleanor the area it was lying to see if she could find it.  Sea beans can be of different sizes, kinds, and shapes; while looking, we picked up a few pretty shells along the way.

In the meantime I text my neighbors, Paula and Jim to see if they were heading out to surf.  They responded that they were waiting a bit for the sun to come out and possibly warm up.

By the time I left Eleanor, she had yet to find a sea bean on her own. I told her it just might take a little time to train your eye for what you want to find. Sometimes you have to focus your attention to only one thing that you are looking to see.  Anyhow, she was excited to go back and show her friend what she had found from her sunrise outing of beachcombing.

shell collecting in cocoa beach
These are a few of the different shells I find on Cocoa Beach
As the sun began to peek through the clouds, everything seemed to come together. I got out surfing with Paula and Jim. The cold didn't seem as bad as what I thought and being in the water with friends we had an enjoyable time together. My morning was indeed off to a good start with finding a few treasures and getting to surf. I was refreshed and ready to get back to start my work day!

About two weeks later, surfing at the same spot, as I was coming out of the water I saw Eleanor. Going over to say hello she noticed me and pulled from her bucket a heart-shaped sea bean.  She told me almost every day she walks the beach she ends up finding some little treasure.

A Few Helpful Things to Know

If you are visiting Cocoa Beach or any other beach take time to do a little beachcombing. Make sure to wear some shoes, so your feet don't get irritated from walking on the tiny shells.  Train your eye to look for one thing first, if it's a specific shell then look for that shell. Walk slowly, go out often and regularly. Remember to bring a bucket for your collectibles and most importantly enjoy your time on the beach.

Some of the ideal conditions for beachcombing are during the winter months, early in the morning, just after a storm and at the low or receding tide.  When we have big northeastern storms, I enjoy going up to Playalinda Beach at the Canaveral Seashore.  The coast there is void of condos and development with fewer people on the beach, it's a beautiful place.  Remember you can beach comb any time of the year and any time of the day, there is always something unique to be found.

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