Saturday, February 2, 2013

Beach Shopping



All through the Bahamas we walked beaches and the shores that were lined with porous rock known as “ironshore”.  On many of these beaches, especially in the outislands, we found objects on the beach, trash thrown over by boats, lost overboard, or tossed into the water from an islands east of where we were and guided by winds and currents to distant shores. 
Yes, it was litter that didn’t belong in the ocean, most of what we saw were plastic bottles of all shapes and sizes and colors.  Every once in a while we found plastic fishing floats, some covered in a line net and others not.  I was hoping that one day I’d find a glass fishing float covered in net, but I was never that lucky.  I spent quite a bit of my cruising life on these beaches, just looking for one. 

While we were in the Turks and Caicos, we went for a hike with a singlehander we knew.  The three of us walked quite a long way and ended up on a rock bluff on the windward side of the island.  The singlehander decided to climb down to the rocky shore where the surf was breaking against the rocks below.  After a while, he climbed back up to the top of the bluff where we were, grinning like he’d won the lottery.  In his hands, he had a small glass float, about 8” across, that he’d found down on the rocks.  It was a little scratched up, but still whole.  You could tell it was hand blown, a pontil mark on one side and the glass was thicker on the opposite side than the rest of the ball.  It had a little bit of a green tint to it and there were ripples in the glass that were on the inside surface. 
We talked about it all the way back to our boat, wondering about the origin of the float.  We wondered where it had traveled on its way to the rocky shore where it had been found.  We had found many of the large plastic ones, but none of them could compare with this treasure.

We got back to our boat and climbed into the cockpit to have a drink and admire the treasure.  Imagine my surprise and delight when he handed it to me and told me that he found it for me because he knew how much I wanted one.

Betty Karl

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