When is the Best Time to Find Sand Dollars
Sand dollars are some of the most interesting collectibles you can come back home with after a visit to the beach. The flat, circular shape and the star pattern at the top all make for a very unique keepsake. That being said, these sand dollars come in varying sizes depending on its age, and you probably want to find the largest one there is. To do so, you have to identify the best time to find sand dollars, and here are a few tips to help you.
Best Time of Day for Finding Sand Dollars
Just like any other shells, sand dollars will also wash up on the shore during low tide because the waters are smoother. These periods of low tides are thus best for finding sand dollars. Find a tide chart for the beach you intend to visit to find out when the low tides will be occurring and make the time. Alternatively, time when there is a full or new moon because tides are strongest then. The minutes right after and before a low tide are the best for collecting shells because the waters move farther into the land.
The best time to actually go looking will depend on whether you’re comfortable waking up early in the morning or not. However, searching during the morning tide is usually best because the beach has not been disturbed and there aren’t a lot of people. That way, you are more likely to find sand dollars that have just been left on the shore.
Best Weather for Finding Sand Dollars
Sand dollars live on the ocean floor like other sea urchins and they are also excellent burrowers. Therefore, only a few wash up onto the shore unless they are dead or their habitat is disturbed. A storm will churn up the ocean waters and transport debris onto the shore, including sand dollars. This makes the days after a storm the best time to find sand dollars among the rest of the debris.
Storms also provide another advantage – larger sand dollars. With age, sand dollars grow a larger, heavier skeleton that enables them to burrow deeper into the sand and not get carried away by tides. However, a storm has enough force to carry away even the largest sand dollars ashore, meaning you can find even larger ones following a storm.
Patience is key
You won’t always find sand dollars on the shore, and shallow waters make just as good a hiding spot. The shell shuffle is where you stand in these shallow waters and gently move your feet back and forth. The idea is to uncover any burrowed sand dollars, but don’t be too aggressive or you will raise too much sand and lose visibility.
While doing this, remember that the shells of sand dollars are usually very delicate and can easily break if you accidentally step on them. So when you’re looking for them on the shore, be careful about where you walk. To identify possible locations, look for small, circular depressions or raised areas where the sand dollars may have burrowed.
Also, check through sand dunes created by the waves as they may have a number of the sea dollars burrowed inside. Seaweeds and other grasses also provide cover for the sand dollars because they protect them, but people tend to overlook them. Sift through any of these grasses to find hidden treasures underneath.
Best Beaches to Find Sand Dollars
There will always be some locations with a lot more shell deposits than others; some are even famous for it. These famous spots become so because they have a dropoff to the ocean floor close to the beach, allowing for more shells to come ashore. Nevertheless, even if the beach near you isn’t famous for shelling, you can still identify areas that have a high amount of shell deposits. Just sift through these shell deposits and you might be amazed at what you find.
Laws On Collecting Sand Dollars
In most cases, you’re not allowed to take sand dollars alive. You know one is dead when it is bleached white by the sun and does not have any spines. It is always important to learn about any other laws about what you can and cannot collect from the beach to avoid any problems.