Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Quest for Glass Balls

I think I briefly mentioned in an earlier post that we were looking for the elusive glass Japanese fishing ball. Well, I may have understated our quest. These were used to float fishing nets by the Japanese and possibly the Koreans. In theory, they float up onto the shore at the high water mark. So we've spent day after day searching the high tide areas, traipsing through trash, buoys, glass bottles, what have you... We've found numerous pieces of the balls - from the tiny to the huge buttons. It's amazing to me how many fragile light bulbs make it so far up, unharmed while these relatively thick balls get smashed to pieces on the rocks that line the shore. We walked around no less than 4 islands in Rongelap looking for these balls. Like salt in a wound, we would walk around the villages and see balls stacked up on porches and used as decorations around town...laughing at us..."We're here! We're here! You just can't find us!" Our intel told us that they were just "rolling up on the beaches." He left off the last part..."and bashing into the rocks before you can find them!"
We searched the main island in Bikini and found nothing, but it's rather picked over as some of the guys have a daily ritual of walking the beach. By the looks of their unmatched flip flops, I'm guessing they pick up anything remotely interesting. Today, we moved over to a different island. It's north in the atoll and is the island where the button was pushed to detonate "Bravo" so long ago, so you know Jake was eager to go as he loves anything that goes boom. In fact, Edward told us that there were cameras on the old buildings here taking continuous pictures as it exploded. Paradise for Jake... So as Jake and Andy made their way into the old stinky, dark, damp, dilapidated old building (can you tell I wasn't interested), I walked around it. And found...a ball :) A bit anti-climatic after seeing all the giant ones on people's porches, but mine nonetheless. The quest isn't over...we still have half an island to cover...but it's less urgent now.
We finished up the afternoon with Andy gathering wood for our bonfire tonight, Jake playing in the water, and me on shark watch. They're tiny little sharks but they find Jake interesting so every 5 minutes or so I would have to say "get out of the water, shark" and Jake would come out, wait a few minutes and I would say "ok, clear" and he would go back in. I know we've swam with sharks before, but there's something different about having just your feet in the water and not be able to watch their eyes...a bit creepy. But no worries...the water is as clear as the sky so they're easy to spot!
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Just a Minute said...

Oh Congratulations!
I can't tell you how many hours we have spent as a family scouring the remote beaches in WA and Vancouver Island.

Just a Minute said...

Oh Congratulations!
We have spent hours scouring the remote beaches in WA and Vancouver Island looking for Japaness fishing floats. Twice I have been on a beach when someone else finds a perfect glass ball (one the size of a beach ball!). Hope you find lots more! Do you see remains of the red glass balls?

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! Can I have one too? That sounds like a fun morning exercise routine! And I don't find an awful lot of fun when you involve exercise?!? It has to be even more fun than shell collecting? I know you could not possible keep all the wonderful finds!

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