Orange Sea Glass - Oahu, Hawaii
by Richard Daggett
Orange Sea Glass - A True Story from Oahu, Hawaii
Orange Sea Glass - A True Story
by Richard Daggett - Oahu, Hawaii
There was not even the whisper of a breeze. The island seemed posed in a motionless snapshot of breathtaking loveliness. The sunshine so brilliant that the coconut palms and the ocean virtually danced in the delight of their own colors.
There are often such days in the islands; filled with magic and wonder. Days when just the right combination of air and sky and sea and angle of sunlight entice an incredible vibrancy of hues.
It was days like this that yanked at the hearts of artists and explorers, beachcombers and time travelers, poets and daydreamers and all who seek discovery. Days that pulled us into the mountains, the rain forest and the ocean with an irresistible beckoning: "Come. Come find me. Come discover me!"
Yoshiko Beach, Oahu, January 7 3:00 p.m.
Yoshiko Beach is a remote and mostly deserted stretch of shoreline on Oahu. I named it Yoshiko Beach for my darling Yoshiko who introduced me to sea glass hunting; and also because this particular piece of ocean has continuously produced the greatest and most abundant varieties of gem quality sea glass.
Now on this most perfect and magical day, I left the office around 2:00 p.m. Seldom did I do such a brave thing; however, today was extra special. I was rather consumed with an overwhelming quest to go forth and retrieve perhaps the rarest of sea glass pieces; a gem quality bright and burning orange.
I would not be searching for it; just going to get it. I believed in miracles. I believed in faith; but this was little bit like going to get the Holy Grail or flying. I already knew that such a venture required a pure heart and absolute faith. Thus, with this thought firmly embedded in my heart and mind, I approached the sea.
Now, later, afterwards, I can assess the unfathomable chances to such an endeavor. To wade into the ocean; the largest, mightiest, most vast sea on earth... to find the ocean at a precise, specific pin point, at a specific time, not a second sooner or later; to capture a tiny gem less than the size of a marble... a jewel that was once part of an ancient bottle that ended up in the ocean maybe 150 or 200 years ago; tossed, tumbled, polished,
perfected, and scattered through countless years and waves to finally be delivered in a heartbeat to my waiting hand... What a miracle!
High Tide Hunting
I called it high tide hunting. Standing knee deep in the ocean, sideways so as to more gracefully absorb the surf and avoid being washed ashore or swept out to sea, this was my developed strategy. The objective was to stare towards the sea floor and to instantly grab at the first flash of colors in the waves. The window of opportunity was only a split second when the foam cleared and before the wave receded and the next wave was upon me. I still combed the beaches for sea glass; but at this particular spot in the ocean, I had discovered that the sea bottom dropped off sharply about ten meters off shore. Incoming waves rolled up over the edge of the abyss and brought with them tons of pebbles, sand, shells, and sea glass in a tremendous rush of water. The challenge was to avoid the distraction of stones and pebbles crashing into my legs, surf spray drenching my face and blurring my eyes, and still maintaining a constant focus between the waves for that telltale flash of color.
3:00 p.m. Miracle at Sea
I had come to the ocean this day with the single and absolute certainty that this wonderful, generous Pacific Ocean would bring me my gem quality orange sea glass... and at about 3:00 p.m. while standing in knee deep water dodging waves, suddenly right in front of me, there it was! That incredible, breathtaking flash of orange color below me.
I lunged for it taking a full face of salt water and a handful of sand and pebbles. Almost afraid to check, I slowly opened my hand. Seasoned sea glass collectors had told me, "You will be lucky if you ever discover and red in your entire lifetime of hunting." I have already found two. "To find an orange... well, that's just about everybody's dream." I had entered the ocean this day not "hoping" to find an orange, just "going to get it." Now there it was glistening, gleaming, shimmering in my hand. Where did it come from? How many decades had it journeyed through the sea? One could never know. I started out at this mysterious, wonderful ocean and just said, "Thank you."