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Hawaii, Shells, and Glass!

Hawaii, Shells, and Glass!

If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know I visit Hawaii at least once a year.

In my post from last year’s visit, I of course, went on and on about GLASS!  Now, I have an update on it!  We just returned from two solid weeks..one on Kauai and one on Oahu!  I previously posted that the beaches of Kauai aren’t yielding beach glass like they used to.

Well!  I have good news!  I was W R O N G!  And, I figured out why!  On my last visit..I wasn’t really good about getting out there and really looking for it like I had twenty years ago.  This time..my kids and I were in low key moods.  We didn’t venture too far from Kapa’a.

We hit the beach behind our condo whenever we could.  I found myself in the SAME spot that I liked to hang at long ago.  It’s along a jetty that defines a small canal that local fishing boats launch from.

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My kids and I were just playing in the surf break.  Then, I noticed all the glass!  It was JUST LIKE my time there decades ago!  There was tons of it!  Some of it was old and really worn, some of it was pretty fresh (last night’s party?!!)   It was BEAUTIFUL!  I was getting EXCITED!  But, I was mystified too!  Last year, I thought all the glass was gone!  This year..I began to wonder what I had missed?  The answer?  The tides!  I just HAPPENED to be out there as the tides were going out and were almost at low tide.

That was the key.  Then, I could see the glass more easily.  Any higher, it was just too difficult.  It took me a couple of days of watching the tide schedule and then scanning the wave breaks.  I figured out the rhythm and got a lot of great glass AND shells!

I had another clue too!  I was out there one day with my kids..dancing around in the surf.  I can’t even begin to describe the beauty of our days there.

There aren’t too many people on the beaches in Kapa’a.  Late one afternoon, we were out there in our “usual spot” and there was another guy there too…and his dog!  His dog was too cute..he’d dig like crazy in the sand…trying to catch the little sand crabs that skirted about.  He was digging furiously and finally caught one and nipped at it.  I was amazed!  That got me talking to his owner.

We talked about dogs, the beach, the island etc.  He had been selectively going thru the beach remnants pulling out stuff and putting it in a 5 gallon bucket.  He was intense.

I didn’t know what he was collecting.  I thought maybe it was shells?  Weird algae?  Not sure.  I knew it wasn’t glass because I had it all :)))  Anyway..we were talking.  I told him that I used to come to this part of the beach decades ago and hunt for glass.  I told him about how lame “Glass Beach” had become.

I asked him if he knew what happened to all of it.  He said that he had lived on the island all his life.  He said…the glass is all still there!  You just have to look for it!  It’s there!  I realized that he was right!  It IS still there..you just have to know not only WHERE to go, but WHEN!

We talked for a while…we shared stories, we watched his dog, my kids.  Then, I asked him what was in his bucket.  He tipped it so I could see.  It was full of TRASH!  He laughed!  He pointed to the bags and bags of trash lined up along the rocks.  He said those were the bags of large and medium trash he had picked up earlier in the week.

He had come this day to get the small stuff.  He said that no one else would pick up the trash, so, he decided that he’d be the one to do it!  He said when his kids were younger, he’d give each of them a bucket when they got to the beach and they had to fill it with trash before they could play.

He said they’d groan about it, but then, his daughter just finished her degree in environmental science.  So, maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea!  I wish I had the chance to get a pict of him and his bucket-o-beach-trash.  But, I was traveling lighter than usual!  I told him I was an artist.  That I made art from glass.

I told him of artists making art from trash.  Then, I actually suggested he do it too (omg Mary!)  He laughed.  We parted.  I headed back to our condo.  I looked down and saw the biggest piece of sea glass that I had ever pulled out of Mother Ocean.  It was wild.

It was perfectly round.  (it reminded me of my glass bottle slices!)  I saw it coming.  I knew it was meant for ME!  The wave curled.  It went right into my hand.  I was in HEAVEN!  Even my kids were screamin!  Peace world!

Mary

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