The way you hunt for sea glass at Davenport can change from day to day depending on the conditions. If there is a lot of gravel on the beach, you don’t need any tools to look for pieces, as the waves will sift through the gravel for you. When the sand comes in and covers the gravel, you need to dig for sea glass. There will also be times when the best way to hunt is to scoop for sea glass.
The main point to remember when searching for sea glass at Davenport is you want to search where the gravel happens to be. There are times (usually when the tides aren’t as strong) when the gravel sits right at or just beyond the breaking waves. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to look for it with the naked eye or to dig for it. On these days, scooping is the best option.
There are a variety of instruments people use to scoop, but most people use sand flea rakes or other types of scoops with metal mesh to sift through the gravel. Basically, you get into the waves and scoop out the gravel, then sort through the scoop to see if you happened to pick up some sea glass with the gravel. You do need to wear a wetsuit if you decide to scoop.
How dangerous it is to scoop will depend on how strong the waves happen to be. It’s much easier to scoop on calm days and during weak tides when the waves aren’t as big as normal. Still, scooping can be the best option even when the ocean is rough.
Scooping is sort of a crap shoot in that most of the time you’re scooping blind. It’s pure luck if you happen to pick up some sea glass with the gravel. In addition, you’re in for quite a workout. Lifting up large scoops of gravel will tire your arms out while the pounding of the waves will test the stamina of the rest of your body.
The biggest advantage of scooping is you won’t have nearly as much competition. There are far fewer people who are willing to get out into the water and scoop than to dig or search the gravel that washes onto the beach. You can also sometimes find pockets of big gravel that are much more difficult to locate digging, giving you the chance to find some of the coveted big Davenport sea glass pieces.