Everyone who visits Ocracoke has a favorite activity. For some it’s visiting our museum, for others it’s eating great food, riding the best wave, listening to local music, meeting interesting new people or just enjoying the soft sound of water lapping against the shoreline. I love all these Ocracoke activities, but my real love and obsession is shelling. It’s fun going out on the beach even if I don’t find anything, but discovering a treasure that has washed up from the ocean makes the visit even better! It’s not always shells that make my heart skip a beat. Occasionally exotic seedpods, shards of sea glass, chunks of coal and sticks of tumbled driftwood appear on the beach. When shelling, my hope is always to find the perfect Scotch bonnet, an elusive tun shell, or an imposing-looking helmet, but even broken pieces have their own beauty and artistic charm. When I find a perfectly whole shell I’m always struck by how amazing it is that it withstood the pounding of the ocean to come to rest fully intact on the sandy shoreline. Winter is the best time for shelling, but treasures can be found all year long, so when you are here next, take a moment to tear your eyes away from the mesmerizing waves to see what treasures the ocean may be leaving at your feet.
|Helmet, coral, Scotch bonnet,
lightning whelk, sand dollar, driftwood,
coal, glass, seedpod, lettered olive,
|Coal…from a long lost shipwreck?||Knobbed Whelk and sand dollar can be found!|