Where does beachcomber originate from?

Well, the first known publication of the word 'beachcomber' was in 1847 in a book called Omoo by Herman Melville. The book described a group of people living in the South Pacific 'combing' the beaches for items they could make use of or sell.

Beachcombers quickly grew a reputation for a more dark side and were usually thought to be members of the criminal fraternity. However, most of them were usually just jobless sailors. It was reported in 1850 that there were over two thousand beachcombers in Polynesia and Micronesia.

What's the modern day meaning of the word?

Well it's a lot more civilised these days and today's beachcombers follow tide lines to hopefully find something of interest, for example, seashells and fossils etc. Beachcombers are particularly interested in decorative or useful objects, however, a valuable washed-up object is always desired.

How sophisticated is beachcoming?

Well some of the dedicated people use the Internet to track storms and ocean currents to find the best places to go beachcombing. These places can sometimes yield a very valuable find to the dedicated beachcomber.

How do I get into beachcombing?

Why not go to your nearest beach after tide and see what you can find. If you are lucky enough to find objects you like then you can join a group and find other like-minded people to combe with. At the very least you'll get fresh air and meet some interesting people along the way.