CHASING THE MAP

Searching Sea Glass Beach in Isabel

I’ve been to Sea Glass Beach in Isabel Segunda, but not for a long time. Eight years, to be exact. I distinctly remember at that time there was a lot of sea glass to be found. I left after beach combing this time around thinking that the name was a misnomer, and should perhaps be renamed “Pebble Beach.”

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What exactly is sea glass? It’s glass that has been broken (say from a wine or beer bottle) and has tumbled in the sea, usually against rocks or ledges. After time, the edges of the glass become smooth and the surfaces go from clear to frosted. If you find a piece of glass that’s still shiny or has sharp edges, it’s not completely done its metamorphosis into sea glass and should be returned to the ocean.

If you’re looking to find Sea Glass Beach, it’s pretty straight forward. Drive into Isabel onto the main street (Calle Muñoz Rivera), almost all the way to the end. You’ll come to an intersection. Make a left opposite the church, and a right at the next intersection. Parking may be minimal there. You’ll see a gazebo that you pass (with a large lilted barge in the water) and a path that will lead you down to the beach. There is a small sign you will pass that identifies the beach.

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So I found my way down to the shore. Nobody but me was there, although it was a warm, clear day. I began to make my way across the small expanse of beach before it turned into rocks that weren’t safe enough for me to cross.

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The beach is littered with small stones. Many, many small stones. Be prepared, as I ended up doing, to walk slowly and hunched over. The pieces of sea glass that I did end up finding were not especially large, and mostly were clear frosted. There was also some green and brown glass mixed in, and only one tiny piece of blue. I find that colors like red and blue are more difficult to find, at least, that’s been my luck. I also found a heart-shaped rock that found its way into my small pile.

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The sea glass is said to have come from an old dump site which is near the beach. I don’t know if the supply has been deleted for the most part or if the tides are changing. I still think that any beach in Vieques is worth exploring, just be prepared to not find as much sea glass as you once could.

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Collecting sea glass is still an adventure, especially if you have younger children. It’s a great activity to beach comb and look for unexpected treasures. There’s something a bit magical when a piece of sea glass catches the rays of the sunlight and casts a reflection. I’m a big kid at heart, and I find that I love to collect sea glass. I take it all home with me as both a memento of my trip and as a way to incorporate it into some arts and crafts, although I’ll be the first to admit, I’m no Martha Stewart!

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