I have had the opportunity to go on several beachcombing trips along the coast of the Aleutians in Alaska.  I've flown into some pretty remote areas that can only be accessed via plane.  Below are photos & details of some of those trips.


After waiting several weeks for the weather to get good enough to go on a beachcombing trip, I was informed me that we could go but I only had 2 hours before we had to take off.  I promptly packed & got the dogs ready to go.  It was a beautiful flight & on Friday, we got about an hour of beachcombing in.  We found a few floats in that time.  Saturday was a great day & relatively warm.  We headed down the coast & found about 100 in one area.  Further down the coast, we found LOTS but the tide was too high & we weren't able to land.  We marked the location & decided to go back on Sunday.  Sunday morning it was cold & windy but we left early to see if the floats were still piled up on the beach.  They were & the tide was low so we frantically picked up hundreds of floats before the tide could carry them away.  All in all, we think we picked up at least 1,200 floats during our trip.  One of our great finds was an American-made beer bottle brown float.  On the way home, we saw 25 brown bears & lots of glaciers.

Aleutian Coast on the Bering Sea
Plane on the beach after landing.

1st float I found on this trip.

Floats scattered on the beach.

The first time I saw a float coming in from the ocean.
This is what you call the "jackpot"!
Wooden boat washed up in the grass.
Bella likes looking for floats, too.
Floats as they were found.
A bear stepped on that one!
A view from the air of where we picked up all those floats.
Lake Clark Pass
Glaciers in Lake Clark Pass.

Here are a couple of videos from this beachcombing trip!!


I took a trip down to Cold Bay for some beachcombing.  While I was there, the weather was a bit dreary & windy but we managed to get to the beaches.  There were still plenty of floats to be found!!  We found lots of floats on the eroded side of the beach, down among the sand dunes.  Some were even high in the bank where they had been for many years.  We think we picked up about 1,500 floats.

Probably the most interesting thing beachcombed in May was a huge sailboat!!  The Luck Dragon had been lost in the Bering Sea in October 2007 after it's captain & passengers had to abandon ship due to terrible weather conditions & rough seas.  A gentleman from England had sailed the North passage and was so close to the end of his journey when things went bad.  I was able to track the owner down & let him know that his boat had been found.  I spoke with him in September 2008 & he was planning a trip to the GPS coordinates I gave him to see the wreckage & determine whether or not the Luck Dragon could be salvaged.

You never know what you'll find on the beach!!!  One thing is for sure.....you can count on finding a glass float though!
Happy, happy, happy!
Floats stuck high up on the side of the sand dune.
The beach is on the other side of this bank.
The floats were stuck high in the sand &
have probably been there many years!
An eroded area on the opposite side of the beach.
Floats like to hide under driftwood.

Plane on the beach.

Found a Benthos deep-sea sphere on Unimak Island.  They are used
to provide buoyancy to underwater products & systems & to house
underwater instruments, as well as electronics, according to their website.
Beach on Unimak Island
Tossed a float out for a photo op.

Pretty tri-mold float as found.

Bear tracks near a float.

Plane on the beach.

The Luck Dragon as it was found.


The Luck Dragon....not so lucky.


After months of wanting to go on another beachcombing trip, we finally got the chance to go.  We decided to do it before it got much colder, as the temperatures have been dropping steadily for the past few weeks.  Fall is basically over& amp; winter appears to have arrived early!!  We already had a little snow.  We flew down to King Salmon & then down to our "secret" beaches!!  The first beach wasn't too bad.  We found about 50.  Two of them were 7" in diameter.  They were mostly in the tall grass above the sandy beach where they had been tossed by the surf.  The next spot just a few miles away was quite a find.  I believe we picked up about 350 floats just in that spot.  It was sunny& amp; a bit windy but still great conditions compared to some we have been in before.  After loading up, we headed back to King Salmon for the night.  I sorted through a few of the floats & found some keepers!!  The following day (October 11th) we flew beyond where we had stopped the day before& amp; it wasn't long until we found another great spot.  Matter of fact, we didn't have to go anywhere else the rest of the day because we found about 750 just on this beach alone!!!  It was crazy.  I know there were many more floats hiding under the sand but we picked up what we could see.  After spending hours walking through the sand, picking up floats, carrying around heavy bags & facing the wind, we decided we had plenty.  We needed to leave room for the dogs & the other floats we had for the return trip home!!

The first beach we landed on.
Floats waiting on me!

My girls love beachcombing!
The plane on the beach.  It's always a good idea to taxi up
to higher ground just in case the tide rolls in!


On February 6th, we headed down towards the Aleutians to help a friend with repairs to his lodge.  It sustained 130 knot winds recently & had some damage.  Of course, we had to stop at the beach & do a little float hunting.  It was a beautiful day with a temperature of 38 degrees & no wind.....excellent conditions!!  The floats were, once again, plentiful from winter storms & in just a short period of time, we were able to pick up about 400 new floats!!!  At the lodge, while the guys did the repairs, I was able to sit enough to find some beautiful floats to add to my collection.  Here are a few photos from that trip.

Plane on the beach.

Frosty gem with wolf tracks.

Floats glimmering in sunlight.
Floats as they were found.
Bella loves the beach.

Bear Lake Lodge

Bear Lake

Eagles perched on a weir.


We took one last beachcombing trip for glass floats before winter.  The weather hadn't been cooperating for quite some time & finally, on November 3rd, it was clear enough to fly down to King Salmon for a couple of days.  The next morning we gathered all of our COLD weather gear & took off in our Cessna 180 for a 2 hour journey to King Salmon.  It was crystal clear outside & the scenery was breathtaking.  We were able to fly near Mt. Iliamna, an active volcano that happened to be steaming.  Another volcano that has been active since the spring, Mt. Augustine, was also steaming a lot.  I've included a picture of it below.  We decided to fly to the beach & do some float hunting before we went to King Salmon, which is where we stayed.  The first area we landed, we found several floats & many were already frozen in the sand.  We had to use screwdrivers to pry them out!  I might add that the temperature was about 20 degrees & there was hardly any wind.  The 2nd beach we landed at was even better & we probably walked 1/2 mile & ended up with 200 floats the first day.  Darkness was quickly approaching so we had to head to King Salmon.  It was getting dark around 5:30 p.m.

The next day it was about 10 degrees outside & windy.  We flew farther the 2nd day & worked our way back to King Salmon.  This time we hit the mother lode!!!!  We always fly the beach & when we see some floats, we land.  There just happened to be hundreds of them in our first spot.  There is a picture below, along with the floats in the grass which were found above the same beach.  We estimated that we picked up 300 floats from this area.  We had to use screwdrivers here as well because the floats were frozen in the sand!!

The 2nd location we flew to was another jackpot!  There is a picture below with the airplane.  The sun was hitting the floats & they just shimmered in the sunlight!!  We must have picked up at lease 300 floats just from this beach.  We could have found hundreds more but it was getting very cold & windy & dark!!  I was worn out from picking so many up!

Needless to say, our 2 days of beachcombing was very productive & my estimate is that we found around 700 floats.  I did find a beautiful Russian star float that is green with amber swirls.  Unfortunately, it has some cracks.  We also found some great swirled floats.

Here are some photos of the trip.
The first beach where I found floats.
Floats hiding in the grass.
Look at all those that were hiding!!
It's Alaska.  We all have crazy hats!

Plane on the beach with floats shining in the sun.

Floats as they were found.
The largest float found that day.
There's one hiding, but I found it!!
Mt. Augustine ~ an active volcano
Russian star marked float with a crack that I found.