Friday, May 07, 2010

Dorene's Float - April 13th, 2010

Another update to our float finds..... On Tuesday April 13th, we had another westerly storm, and Dorene, who missed the Thursday April 8th finds, wanted to go out. So up we got at 5:30am and along with neighbor Debby we're out on the beach at 6:00. Debby didn't have as much time to walk so she decided to go North - so Dorene and I went South. We were about half way to the Jetty when, Debby called said she was leaving the beach and that she didn't find anything. Dorene, and I had just found a couple of large plastic floats, we walked a short ways more and starting seeing Japanese glass bottles, so we kept going. All the sudden up ahead I saw it sitting halfway between the surf and the high tide line - I said to Dorene, is that what I think it is, and she's like ohmygawd it is - is it mine? and I'm like if you RUN! She did!!! So there we are...the 5th Chinese long line Float find in the neighborhood, and Dorene and I both got ones with the net still on them. Very Cool!

Anyway, we were all bundled up like Nanook of the North that day, and she wouldn't let me take a picture - so we just got around to it today. Here's Dorene's and Mine on our deck.

Heard neighbor Harlen found one this past Wednesday - so hopefully I'll get a picture of that one as well.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Float Finds - April 8th, 2010

On April 8th, I was rudely awakened by our new puppy Renfro at 6:15am (maybe it was because he wanted to celebrate his 7th Month birthday). Anyway, he dragged me out of bed 45 minutes to an hour earlier than normal.

Well once I was up - I thought to myself we've had a westerly wind all night, I should look at the beach. It was just barely light, but when I glanced out I realized that every inch of the surf line was covered with round objects. I'm trying to eyeball them with binoculars when I think I see a glass one in front of our house, so wearing my pajamas & wools socks, I tell Bob I'm headed for the beach.

I throw on my light weight beach coat, and my red ear muffs and run out - without even making coffee. Well I get down there, and it's a plastic float, and the wind is blowing 25mph, but I can't help myself I start walking the tide line. I get probably 100 feet and find a baseball size glass float, so I keep going... Another 100 feet and there's another one, okay this is irresistible, I'm clear to Driftwood Shores, and I find 2 more, then another 100 feet and I see something that looks like a rolling pin float as I run towards the surf, I snag it but a wave gets my feet, so I'm now wearing soaking wet wool socks, in my plastic yard clogs. But I look up and another 200 feet away, I'm positive I can see something basketball sized green & shiny in a net, so I pick up my pace and keep going... As I get closer, and it's still just barely light I'm positive it's a large glass float. Then I get up to it, and theres a clear one sitting right next to it, thats 1/3 again as big. I'm standing there looking at them, wondering how I'm going to get them both back! In addition to the small sack, of glass floats I'm already carrying - obviously leaving anything behind was not an option. I'd already passed up a really interesting aluminum float (never see those either), but I'd picked up a grapefruit sized plastic float in a net.

So I string my bag over the net of the plastic float, and then I take the plastic float's line, and string it through the net on the basket ball sized glass float and picked that up with my left hand, and pick the huge one up in my right hand - they are so big that I can't get one arm around them and hug them to myself, so I have to balance 10 lbs in the palm of each hand and walk home into the 25mph wind. They got heavier and heavier, and I proceeded to switch arms, next thing I know I'm setting them down every 20 feet and resting-then switching arms - finally I can see the house, and I'm hoping Bob will see me, oh yeah, I forgot the part that I ran out so fast that I didn't grab my cell phone. So I couldn't call for help.

I finally think that I can see Bob in the windows - so I raise my arms into the air like HELP! He's wondering why I keep stoping, and why I'm only using one arm to hold this big glass float, he can't tell that I'm carrying the 2nd even larger clear glass float either. Finally 2 houses before ours, when he's watching me stop and change arms & rest about every 10 feet he realizes I have 2. So he runs down to the beach, takes the big one out of my arms - runs back to the house, and drives off as I've nearly made him late to open the cleaners.

I get back to the house a few minutes later, at 7:15 call neighbors Benny & Debby (knowing I'm going to wake them up) tell them breathlessly, that they need to get out on the beach, as they're missing all the glass floats, and I've already hauled all that I could carry. They're out there 15 minutes later, and they went separate directions, and came back with 4 just bigger than a golf ball size glass floats, something I've seen but never found. I also called Kay to tell her about my finds, and she gets dressed and heads for the beach, she retreived the really cool aluminum float for me that I wasn't able to carry. I did tell her she should keep it, but apparently she doesn't appreciate yard art as much as I do!

Debby & Benny returned home to eat breakfast, and I headed for work. A few hours later Debby & Benny(they couldn't resist going back out again) found this odd object - 2 Blocks of styrofoam painted Orange tied together with a Metal Cylinder in between it that said MBARI - DANGEROUS DO NOT TOUCH. I told her that we had also found some objects 10 years ago that said similar things, and we called the Coast Guard, and they handled it, plus called us back after they checked them out. So the Coast Guard went out picked it up, and called her back, telling her it belonged to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute - Debby looked up their website and emailed them as well - and got a really nice response explaining that it was a "This is a deep locating beacon that we use for underwater navigation. Danger decal was because of internal batteries."

Even later that day...... Debby & Benny we're having lunch, and looked out and in washes a duplicate glass Float that Benny found 6 days earlier. Benny ran out and retrieved it.

It took me 22 years to find (3 Small Floats), now in exactly 14 days, I've found 9 more, but I'm looking at this as a 15 year weather event. Debby also found some cool things, like a rice paddle, a shoe last (form to make shoes), her chineese warrior seen in the pictures of the floats. We've also found some really interesting glass bottles, plastic floats & ships lightbulbs.

Benny and Debby had never found any glass floats, and now they have a perfect pair of chineese long line floats, and 4 golf ball sized japaneese floats.

I now have a perfect pair of chineese Long Line Floats, a giant japaneese Float, 2 japaneese rolling pin floats, and 4 softball size floats, the Amber one is a really unusual color, and the smallest one has a marking that I haven't researched yet.

Wow, this has been fun!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Best Beachcombing Day Ever - Certifiably Insane

Well most of you know we had high wind & surf warnings up today! I found my glass float a week ago Thursday in pouring wind & rain.

We had 2 nice days this week but in between those, we'd continued to have storms, and I kept calling Benny & Debby reporting large plastic float sightings, and Benny kept going out on the beach to retrieve them. Half of those are in my yard, and the rest in theirs.

Around 9:30am this morning, they once again started washing up all over the beach, I called Debby, and first we sent Benny North to pick up 2, he came back with 3, he got back and there we're to more South of us, so out he went again. While he was headed South a really nice netted plastic one floated up right in front of the house and so I ran out and got that one.

Meanwhile, Benny & Debby were eating lunch, and I had promised not to call again for a while, and during that time we saw 5 more float up on the beach North of us, well at that point Debby couldn't take it anymore so she called me, and we agreed that we needed to go out and do some serious retrieval. So we put on our yellow rain gear, keep in mind it's still blowing a steady 40 with gusts better than that, raining sideways, with some occasional hail. We walked all the way North to the end of Kla-ha-nee (Sutton Creek) - we're picking up small & large plastic floats everywhere. We wound up with so many that we had this huge duffle bag full of them, which we were each carrying a handle of, plus I was holding one in my other hand, and Debby was holding my mesh 10LB potato bag of small floats, and we're walking into the storm. Just as we get back to the path off the beach in front of our houses, a giant orange one washed up, I went to retrieve that, and Debby dragged the rest up to the driveway of my house. Benny, is watching us struggle with this mess all warm and safe from the comfort of their house, while laughing at us.

We get them unloaded in my driveway figuring we'll divvy them up later - then Debby says, we should take a picture of the floats, I run upstairs get the camera, shoot a few pictures, and around the corner comes Benny, he's just watched "my glass floats twin" wash up in the surf right in front of our houses, and ran out to retrieve it. We were all beside ourselves, and another neighbor came out to see as well.

Now Debby, and I we're feeling pretty tired, after this foray for floats, and after seeing Benny's - Debby says we should go back out and walk the other direction. I'm stunned as that walk back we'd just done, was the longest walk we'd ever made, keeping in mind, we walk this stretch all the time with the dogs in good weather. It's much longer in really crappy windy weather carrying all that stuff. But-hey, this is to much fun I'm game - so out we go. Now it's high tide!

Meanwhile-Benny says, he's heading for Baker Beach, North of Sutton Creek on his bike, it's really un-walked so he figures he'll find good stuff.

Out into the winds Debby and I go again, this time headed south towards the Jetty. We pick up a bunch of small plastic floats, get caught in a really nasty hail storm (we hunkered down in a dune), and finally decide we should head back home, we've just passed Driftwood Shores, when I notice an odd piece of wood, give it a kick...hmmm... not MY's a rolling pin float, I've just found the 5th glass float of my life, and it's a more rare than last weeks find.

Benny, didn't get back till an hour after we did, no glass floats from Baker Beach, but more plastic. In between Debby ran out and got another plastic float that washed up right in front of our houses, than after dinner, just before sunset, Benny went out and retrieved 4 more plastic floats. We'll come up with a final count later - only half of our plastic floats are in the photo.

I haven't truly taken a day off in a long time, this was a day off, and waaaay to much fun!

Anyway, the Anderson & Kettenhofen houses are claiming most balls in the neighborhood-and yes we know we're certifiably insane!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Memoriam to Vernon Rush March 10, 2006 - The ultimate beachcomber

Well I hate to do this but I woke up to snow on the ground in Florence this morning. I wasn't going to be able to leave until around 5:30pm tonight, and I am not a snow & Ice driver.

I somehow get the feeling that this wild March storm is Vern's way of telling us not to make a fuss over him. We've had churning burning surf for 2 days now, last night Bob and I came home just before dark and there were two giant plastic floats coming in on the tide. We looked at each other and said yep lets go get them, we chased them half way to Driftwood Shores, but we got'em. So this morning in the middle of writing this email I saw another big plastic float wash up and I though what would honor Vern's memory more than going beach combing. So out I went, I picked up two more big plastic floats, some small ones and a great piece of "Leaverite". I'm sure if you've been beach combing with Vern you all know what Leaverite is. I also had to run up a dune with my treasures, as a large sneaker wave came in and the whole beach disappeared. " I could hear Vern laughing"

Sometime in the fall of 1986 Vern and I went beachcombing in Brookings. It was the middle of sport fishing season on the river and we weren't finding much of anything, but we did recover 8 individual full cans of beer that had washed down the river and up on the beach. Which we took home and drank :-)

Vern & Tommie were here in Florence when I found my first glass float, and Vern was as excited as I was, helping me clean it off and telling me stories about each of the ones he had found over the years. I've since found 2 more, but the thrill is in the hunt, and it doesn't matter whether it's an Agate, a plastic float, a glass float or a piece of Leaverite. Vern taught me the fine art of beachcombing..

Thanks Vern!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Japanese Glass Float Find

I've been hunting for Floats since 1990. I found my first softball sized one in March/April of 1990. In January/February 97, I found a baseball sized one. In March 2002 I found my third baseball sized float in a tide pool of the blue jelly fish velella velella. Well around 5pm today, I was standing in my living room talking on the phone, looking out my windows, and I saw it...something round washed up on the beach, and it looked green. It was pouring rain sideways so hard the I couldn't see through my living room windows, so I ran out on the deck, and sure enough.. It was a japaneese glass float, about a block down the beach.
I told my friend there's a glass float on the beach I have to go now, and I grabbed my beach coat, and ear muffs and went out in to the pouring rain and 20mph wind, running all the way! I didn't see anyone on the beach, but there were certainly houses, and a hotel closer to it than I was. Sure enough I got down there, and it was a basket ball sized float. It's sitting outside on my deck at the moment as it's quite slimey.. But heck a float every 5 years I think I'm doing great.
We haven't seen any of the larger blue jelly fish yet, but the beach is covered with pea size ones, so this might be a year to find floats again!