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Friday, March 7, 2014

Sea Glass Beaches

I heard of the sea glass beach several years back, with a wall made out of sea glass.  It has taken a long time to find it.  It seems to exist by word of mouth.  You will not find it on a map, and if you ask about it you may get a blank stare, directions somewhere else, or maybe you will be lucky enough to get directed to it straight away.  That's the fun of finding the off the wall spots on the rock.

I thought I had found the sea glass beach in November, over by the Alexandra Battery in St. David's.  In fact, the girl who described the sea glass wall to me specifically told me it was out in St. George's.  And so, eventually, near a little cave and by following the sound of tinkling glass, a beach littered with smooth, opaque pieces of glass was found.  Green, brown, and white glass is the most common, blue is uncommon and red is positively rare.  Local artists craft it into bracelets and necklaces for the tourists, and it can be quite pretty indeed.  However, it turns out that this is not the sea glass beach that is referred to as the sea glass beach.  Tricky.

I had been told that there was a sea glass beach out by Dockyard as well, but the directions were vague.  Yet another friend said that he had found it just behind the row houses heading into Dockyard.  And so I set off intent on finding this beach.  I scooted off down a few lanes, not seeing anything that looked like it would be a sea glass beach.  Asking for directions is hard, because along with the blank stare you often get when asking how to get to the sea glass beach, you also get that special look when someone asks which beach you are looking for again and you know it doesn't have an official name but there is a lot of glass on it.  On this particular day, I decided to ask the only people in sight if perhaps they knew where I was going...surely the trash collectors just ahead of me must be familiar with all the nooks and crannies of the area.  "Excuse me, good morning, do you know where the sea glass beach is?" I asked.  To my surprise they both nodded in the affirmative.  "It's just a ways back, if you go back where you came from, turn right and you can't miss it."  Having scooted extensively up and down the area, I was familiar with those directions and pretty sure that I could indeed miss it, and already had missed it once or twice this morning alone.  There was a beach area that I could see through trees in that general area, but it was larger than I expected, so I tried to clarify.  "I was just over that way and didn't see it, unless you mean I should follow the little path beyond the Convict Cemetery and go down there."  Now I got the familiar looks.  "Convict Cemetery?  I don't know what you are talking about.  Just drive along until you see the banana patch, you can't miss it, it's right next to the banana patch."  "OK," I said.  I grew up in Canada.  A banana patch to me is a box next to the cantaloupe in the grocery store.  The only way I am going to identify a banana patch is if I see banana's stuck to it.  This is highly unlikely in February, so rather than waste time scooting around looking for rogue bananas, I decided to just park the bike at the Convict Cemetery and take a stroll.
National Heritage Site.  Anyone see any banana trees nearby?
I don't know what this convict did, but he ended up with a pretty beautiful resting place, so it either wasn't that bad, or this is one of life's strange ironies.

Could not make out the name, but pretty nice spot and headstone for a convict
Just below the Convict Cemetery I found the sea glass beach, for real this time.  A much larger beach than the last time I thought I found it, there was both more glass, and a few more decorations.
Sea Glass, Sea Weed and not a soul in sight, except for me and the ghosts on the hill
Each piece is rubbed smooth by the friction at sea before washing ashore.  At least I hope so.
There was a wall, but it was not as impressive as I was expecting.
Big wall, but kind of ugly
Although it has an intricate design.  It just didn't call to me.
I did quite like the little murals in place, and wondered if they were made on sponsored occasions, or if people sometimes just bring their own concrete and make a little patch.
Concrete murals at the beach
This little boat made me wonder who named it, and was it a nod to Madonna in the performance of Evita?  Don't cry for me Argentina?  I kinda liked the boat more than the sea glass wall.  My curiosity has been satisfied, after 5 years, I have seen the sea glass beach.  I did not take a souvenir -- the signs say not to, and, it would simply be more to pack.  My photos are souvenirs enough for these last chapters of my Bermuda life.

The seas rejecting the products of man