Here in Wheeler, you are six minutes from the beach! And the best part is the entire Oregon Coast is “open to the public.” This allows residents and visitors alike the ability to explore the bounty the sea has to offer with no restrictions. Beach combing is a favorite past-time. With mild winters in our area, this is a perfect hobby year round. Beach combing is a great, low cost activity for anyone, regardless of age. It requires no equipment other than a maybe a jacket and a bucket or plastic bag for collecting. Beach combing is particularly good after a winter storm and when the tide is low. From the month of October through April, beach combing is at its best here on the North Coast of Oregon.
Guide to Beach Combing:
- Dig at the water’s edge. Some combers prefer to carry a small rake or poking stick.
- Walk slowly and pay attention to what’s at your feet.
- If possible, go early in the morning before treasures are picked over.
- Know your tides. the internet has great charts as well local marinas, etc.
- Wear layered clothing, even a sunny day can be breezy and cool.
- DO NOT turn your back on the ocean. You never know when a sneaker wave can engulf you and sweep you out!
- STAY AWAY FROM driftwood LOGS! These can easily become floating objects with the wave action and you can be seriously hurt.
- Leave wildlife in their natural habitat. Turn over a rock, turn it back over. Do not interfere with wildlife, partcularly babies as touching them can result in mothers abandoning them.
- Do not go into the surf without being prepared. Strong currents can sweep you further out if you are not prepared.
- Consider picking up litter as you go. You will be a good steward of the environment.
In the first few months of the new year, sand dollars can be found on the northern end of Manzaita beach. The name sand dollar comes from the shape and color of the test after it washes up on the beach. At that point the test is usually missing its velvety covering of minute spines and is often bleached white by the sunlight.