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Bermuda Sea Glass Beaches
My interest towards Bermuda sea glasses picked up few years back when several viewers of my website started asking me about the glass beaches and the kind of treasures you can find there. Some even wanted to know specifically about the colors and textures, and exact directions to the beaches. In almost all our subsequent visits to the island, we went to the glass beaches, collected sea glasses and gathered lots of information about them. I had later compiled this page to put together all such experience and information. If you are a sea glass freak and visiting Bermuda, this page is all that you probably need to scan.
So what are Sea Glasses?
Sea glasses are all crafted naturally by the sea from man made glasses. Their origins are mostly from glass bottles, jars and pottery that were discarded and tossed into the sea by some insensible human beings. Such wastes could have been thrown from the boats or even from the shore, but the nature is an expert creating good from the bad.
Under the custody of the sea and wave actions, these glass pieces go through continuous tumbling and friction for years. The glasses are dragged through the sand, underwater rocks and sea shells. As a result of this they are broken up in small pieces, get worn, edges get naturally smoothened and the bodies get polished. They look like wonder gems.
Water currents carry these glasses until they are finally washed up to the shore and made available again to human beings in different forms and shapes altogether. Some of the best sea glasses would be frosted and soft. The most commonly found sea glasses have colors like green, milky white, brown and clear. The rare ones are cobalt blue, red, purple, pink, yellow and such.
Sea Glass Beaches in Bermuda
So where do you find these natural jewels in Bermuda, and that too free? In general, you won't find the sea glasses in all beaches in Bermuda. However if you are lucky and have the habit of only looking down while waking on a beach, you might be able to discover one or two while strolling even on a popular public tourist beach in Bermuda.
But if you are serious in making sea glass collections, you will need to go to the specific beaches that are known to offer the treasures. But why not in the other beaches? Because the direction of the water currents and the wave actions make some beaches more wealthy than the others. And the contrast can be so stark that while one beach might have a wealth of sea glasses, the one next to it may have none.
So where do you go for the beach glasses? Here the best beaches to find the sea glass jewels in Bermuda:
Alexandra Battery & Beach: This is located on Barry Road at the south eastern end of St. George's Island. There is an old fort/battery here and the beach is located just below the battery. From Kings Square of St. George's Town, it is about a mile and takes about 30 minutes walk to reach. While the walk to the beach is a little uphill, walking back downhill with your booty would be a lot easier. There is no mini bus services there.
If you have a moped, then that's probably the neatest option. If you are taking a taxi, arrange for a return trip with the same taxi as getting a transport back from there is not easy. You will need to take the Cut Road from St. George's. It goes all the way up to the Gates Fort where it turns left and becomes the Barry Road. This is where you will find the beach.
Location of Alexandra & Building Bay Bermuda
If you are visiting the Alexandra beach in St. George's, right next to it is the Building Beach which is hardly known to the tourists. But this beach too can offer you a wealth of beach glass treasures. You will need to follow the Barry Road towards St. Catherine's fort, i.e. towards north, and shortly see a farm and cemetery. Across the road is the beach. You will need to climb down carefully.
The beach is some 25 feet wide and 35 feet into the sea. The best of the sea glasses here can be accessed through snorkeling. The glass pieces are generally submerged on the seafloor. You won't need to go too far. You can find the sea glasses in 1-foot to waist deep water.
Black Bay Beach: If you are docked at the Kings/Heritage Wharf of Royal Naval Dockyard at the western end of the island, this glass beach is very convenient to access. It's only a few minutes bus ride or about 20-minutes walk from the dockyard. You will find loads of sea glasses here of different colors. Check out the link for details.
Best time to find Sea Glass
Your chances would be far better to find the great pieces if you can time it right. Visit the glass beaches during the low tide. This is when the water would have receded far enough having exposed the foreshore and making the washed up sea glasses easily accessible. Another good time is just after the high tide. This is when strong wave actions would have just ended and there would be good chances of finding the glasses on the foreshore.
You can get information about low and high tides in Bermuda's daily The Royal Gazette, or ask any local or taxi driver to help you with the timing. If there is a storm, then take the advantage of visiting the beach just after the storm has subsided. Again the strong wave actions during the storm would have dumped a lot of sea glasses into the shore. However, do not go with the expectation that the wealth is waiting for you to be picked up. In general, be prepared to comb the beaches carefully if you are looking for that precious gem. Also do not forget to search the shell and pebble piles on the shore. This is where the great jewels often like to hide.
What to do with the Sea Glasses?
Well it's up to you what you do with them. You can throw them one by one into the waters and give them back to the sea if you want. When I had no idea about the glasses, I thought that's all one can probably do with them, just like the game fish that you catch for fun and release them back into the waters. Well I later learned that there are better things that you can do with the glasses. They make great jewelry. There are international companies that are thriving on making expensive jewelry from the sea glasses collected from Bermuda's beaches. If you too want to make one from your own collection, like a necklace or a pendant, there is a way to do it in Bermuda itself and that too at a reasonable price.
There is a lady named Kelly who makes great sea glass jewelry. She has a small store in St. George's next to the waterfront restaurant Tavern By the Sea. Take your pieces to her and she will make one quickly at a small charge (like $15 or so for a necklace). That will serve as a great memento and personal collection from the island. You can also use these nature jewels to adorn your house in various ways. For example, half fill a simple glass jar with the sea glass pieces of different colors and fill up the rest with water. It looks beautiful, particularly if you have the frosty sea glasses and can make lights pass through them. With some innovation, you can find other great ways too. Like have some scattered on the base of a candle stand. It looks great.
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By Raj Bhattacharya
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