CRYSTAL BEACH, Texas (AP) - Every tide brings a new adventure for the hundreds of people who roam the shoreline near Crystal Beach every day in search of treasure.
What’s considered to be a treasure differs with each beachcomber, but the activity is special for everyone who participates.
Beachcombing is an activity many do but may not realize they’re doing it. It’s an activity many find therapeutic that involves looking for things, not just seashells, on the beach that are of value or just unique in general.
It can be done on any beach, anywhere in the world. But for a Facebook group of beachcombing enthusiasts from all across the Bolivar Peninsula, right here in Galveston County is one of the best places to find treasures, they said.
“The beach is God’s thrift store,” Margaret Lindow, who is retired and lives near Crystal Beach, told the Galveston County Daily News (https://bit.ly/1IrsZV1). “There are so many treasures to find.”
Through the Facebook page, many of the Bolivar Beachcombers are residents of the small community, while others have frequented it for years for weekend getaways and other vacations.
The beachcombers often share photos of their finds or even post pictures asking for help in identifying their unique finds from the day.
They try to get out to the beach as often as possible, because every day is a new chance to find something they’ve never seen before.
Last week, one woman posted about losing her iPhone that was later found and returned when a beachcomber was combing along the coast later that day.
But a lost iPhone isn’t the strangest thing a beachcomber has found.
Lindow has many of her treasures displayed at her home including more than 350 seabeans, close to 40 different pairs of sunglasses, a vast number of fishing lures and bobbers and a plethora of children’s toys.
Lindow, an artist by trade, sees the beauty in everything she finds and tries to find interesting ways to display everything she’s found.
That includes adding a neon green dinosaur toy to a succulent arrangement or having a large bowl of angel wing shells on display on her coffee table.
Where she and other beachcombers find these treasures is along the shoreline, specifically near big shell beds, or wrack lines, said Tracy Barnett, who lives on the beach with her husband.
The wrack lines are the faint lines along the beach where you can see where the tide came in last, she said.
“It’s one of the best places to find sea beans,” said Ange Scheibel, a member of the Bolivar Beachcombers.
And while you can recover unique finds any time you’re on the beach, some of the best combing happens right after a high tide, which would put the wrack line almost all the way up to the dunes, the ladies said.
Which is subjective to everyone, she said. Something that’s a treasure to one person may not be worth picking up for another.
“We all have our own forte of what we like to find,” Barnett said.
For Barnett, it’s arrowheads and sharks teeth.
Lindow gets a rush when she finds tires - big or small - seabeans and lighters.
Linda McCauley enjoys searching for seabeans and sea glass.
And Scheibel has a real eye for finding even the tiniest sharks’ teeth and unique turtle fossils, her friends said.
“We have had to train our eyes to look past the garbage,” Lindow said.
Besides hunting for their favorites, some of the most common finds along the beach are jewelry, toys and even money, Scheibel said.
But every so often beachcombers will find something truly unique like designer sunglasses or a message in a bottle all the way from the Bahamas.
“It had been sent from four fisherman in a boat from the Bahamas,” Lindow said.
Just the other day Schiebel found a wallet with $20 inside and no driver’s license, she said.
“You really have no idea what you’ll come across,” Schiebel said. “You just have to get out there and look.”
Information from: The Galveston County Daily News, https://www.galvnews.com
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