SAT stands for me (Samantha Anne Thomas)
Happy Halloween! A beach hike to the infamous Port Townsend’s Glass Beach, an unmarked shoreline below a bluff that once served as the site of the town’s dump. Inspired this piece – a tribute to the mysteries of the sea.
Once people’s trash has now become a site for beachcomber’s treasures, specifically sea glass. Nestled between stones, buried in the sand, or just lying there glistening in the sun your eye quickly settles on the fragments of glass.
The most common are the frosted green, amber and clear or aqua-blue from wine, beer and old soda bottles. The rarities are the deep cobalt blue, perhaps from old medicine bottles, and the opaque reds, yellows, and pinks.
Although the dump site has been closed, the ocean tends to have much of our packaging and waste dumped into it annually. What happens to it all largely depends on the substance. Paper and food waste begin to decompose almost immediately. Metals begin to rust. Plastic floats away, is hazardous to marine animals, breaks down into smaller pieces and becomes part of a global environmental problem.
But glass, is one of the only man-made compounds that does not taint the waters it lives in. This is due to glasses chemical make-up of 75 percent silica (sand), 15 percent soda and 10 percent lime. Overtime, bottles and vases that find their way to the ocean get tossed about by waves and currents, breaking down into smaller pieces, gradually weathering sharp edges into gentle curves, transforming jagged shards into smoother, more treasure-like shapes.