Gary and I traveled the road from Waikiki to North Shore twice during our recent trip to Oahu. My goal was to beachcomb. But along the way we also stopped at roadside stands to try new foods like Poi, a Spam sandwich, Pineapple gum and real Hawaiian Shave Ice. We saw lots of sites including a famous blow hole, a Macadamia Nut farm, shrimp farms, the wind farm, a classic old grocery, the Sugar Mill ruins, dormant volcanoes, birds we don’t have here in the Southeastern states. We could even smell the volcanic soil as we drove along the coast.
The beaches where we stopped included a few scenic pull-offs (some with a beach, some not), Sandy Beach, Waialee Beach, Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay Beach, Ehukai Beach Park where you find the famous Banzai Pipeline and, of course, Waikiki Beach. We also stopped at Sharks Cove to swim. On our second trip up that road we caught the Vans Surf Competition in progress, thanks to a big swell forecasted that day from a storm off of California’s coast.
Sandy Beach HI, my favorite spot for sea glass and the best spot for body surfing if you know what you’re doing.
We collected sand from 4 beaches. They are all so different in color and texture; from grey to orange the sand was also fine to granular. The most grainy being almost like corn meal and difficult to walk on.
We found a few shells but mostly coral. I found two Slate Pencil Sea Urchin spines (my bonanza for the trip), several Limpets, and what I think is a Serpents-head Cowrie. Glass was more plentiful at Sandy, Waialee and Sunset than the rest although for a whole day beach combing I found about the same amount I’d find in places like Sanibel or at Turtle Beach on Siesta Key in FL or Fairhope Beach here in Alabama. What I did notice was that the glass is much smaller…most of what I found was pebble sized, although there were 4 large pieces, two being the bottom remnants of a bottle (one in brown, one in white) and very worn. And, I collected more green in Hawaii than anywhere else I collect from on the Southeast beaches.
Back at home, the sand we collected is distributed among 4 different clear Christmas ball ornaments, labeled and ribboned and hanging on our tree. I also purchased 4 unique bottles with cork stoppers from Michael’s Craft Store, used glass paint pens to label them and filled each with sand to display around the house. I have other sand from places I’ve lived or visited (Lido Key and Siesta Key, FL; Gulf Shores, AL; Ocean City, MD to name a few) This idea is all over Pinterest but I’ve had my bottles way before then.
Beach sand in labeled bottles on my bookshelf
I have a small green-tinted bud vase from Pier One holding my Hawaiian glass, shell and coral finds and a beach-themed photo box holding our other collectibles from the trip.
My Hawaiian Beachcombing Finds
As far as beach combing is concerned, remember that the tide carries what it wants. One day it might be a lot of shells, one day sea glass, other days algae. You may also get nothing. Because someone wrote a blog about their great finds doesn’t mean you’ll get the same when you travel to that place. I learned that a long time ago, but the way some bloggers write about their experiences, you’d think it’s a daily occurence of great finds. But do know this…what ever you find, you found it. The adventure, the experience, the time was yours and should be memorable. I had a blast.
Can’t wait to go again.
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