Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Spectacle Island

August 5, 2009
Partly Cloudy
90 degrees

Today we journeyed to Spectacle Island where we observed what makes up the sand of this once land-fill. There is more "stuff" in the sand at this beach than any other beach I've been to. First, my group and I mapped out a 6 by 6 foot area near the rack-line to search through. We picked up sea glass, shells, knick knacks and pieces of pottery then sorted them into categories by object. The most common object by far was white/clear sea glass mostly in square shape but some of what were clearly bottle tops. The next most common item was brown sea glass possibly from beer/ale bottles. Following brown sea glass was pottery. We found various patterns of pottery including a couple blue-flowered pieces of china which remain from the ship crash that happened around Spectacle island years ago. We also found pieces with orange flowered patterns or purely orange painted stripes. Furthermore, we found pieces of porcelain which most likely came from toilets and sinks. The next largest category of objects found was light green, sea foam if you will, sea glass. Next up was dark green sea glass followed closely by Blue Mussel shells and other assorted pieces of shells including Periwinkles. The smallest grouping of objects was blue sea glass. Our best find though was a huge piece of Reddish Orange sea glass found by Brian.

We then mapped out another 6 by 6 foot area closer to the tide line. Here we found much smaller pieces of the same objects found in the first sector. The ratio of these objects found followed roughly the same ratio of objects as the first sector.

I believe the objects were smaller and more broken closer to the tide line because these smaller pieces get washed off the beach more easily than the heavier pieces found more up shore. The small shards are thrown into the water more often resulting in more action with the current and breaking of waves on rocks--I'm guessing this is why they are broken into smaller pieces. The larger pieces up shore deal less with the high tides and currents unless there is a storm hitting the island. Another reason for the placement of objects could be people's effects on the beach. People are more likely to leave garbage further up the beach or even possibly leave sea glass higher up the beach.

Overall the trip to Spectacle Island was a success, especially for the sea glass collectors :)

Monique Bellefleur

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