THE LEARNING MODE
Experts in their field will share their knowledge about a region’s geography, settlement history, marine life and eco-challenges; share tips on finding productive beaches and identifying beach finds; help you develop new technical skills and/or create beautiful coastal arts; and lead you on beachcomb expeditions.
- The Archaeology of Beachcombing
- Disappearing Shores: The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Chesapeake Bay Landings
- Ancient Seas, Calvert Cliffs and Miocene-Era Fossils
- The History of Annapolis and Regional Settlement Patterns
- Mid-Atlantic Shells and Marine Life
- Mudlarking on London’s Thames River
Hands-on activities include beachcomb expeditions, often with museum trips or author talks, and skills-building and coastal arts workshops. These are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Activities that don’t meet their minimum number of participants may be canceled. On the other hand, some activities are limited to a specific number of participants. So to avoid disappointment, register early.
After we receive your payment, we will send you a confirmation letter with your list of assigned IBC ’20 Field Trips and Arts/Tech Workshops.
A. Field Trips
All field trips must have a minimum of 4 people signed up. Maximum numbers vary. Field trips are relatively easy this year, though some shorelines may be rocky with cobbles (consider bringing a walking stick) or require a mile or two walk to access. The range of beach treasures you may find in this region include: driftwood, sea glass, pottery, arrowheads, Miocene-era fossils, stein kerns, clay pipe stems or bowls, clay pigeons, small glass carnival beads, marbles, American Indian paint pots, quartz orbs, shells, intact bottles, crab buoys and yes, sadly, plastic trash.
There will be three half-day and two full-day field trips. Full-day field trips come with boxed lunches but dinner will be “on the town.” Boat/ferry, tour, parking and museum fees are included in the registration fee with one exception: the opportunity to boat to, and have a tour of, Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, one of Chesapeake Bay’s most picturesque lighthouses. That cost is $80 extra.
Transportation to field trips is usually car-pooled, with riders chipping in for gas. However, if we need to hire a bus to transport everyone, there will be an extra $35 transport fee tacked on to those field trips at the time of registration.
We purposely disguise some field trip sites - especially beaches which are private-access only – to protect them from exploitation by print and social media or beach “raiding” by commercial vendors. If you want more information about a field trip before making a decision, contact us for information after your registration forms and payment are received and then adjust your selections as needed.
NOTE: There is no “best” field trip for 'treasure finding' during your IBC beach expeditions. So go somewhere you’ve never been or where your interests are piqued. Between the Goody Bags, the Swap Table and the Coastal Arts Bazaar, rest assured that no one goes home empty-handed.
A-1 Half-Day Field Trips:
1. Tuesday: City Context
- Annapolis Heritage Walking Tour
- Naval Academy Walking Tour
2. Wednesday & Friday: Local Context
- Teeny-Tiny Teeth (Fossil Beachcomb/Museum)
Tour a sweet local museum and then try your luck at nose-down-in-the-sand beachcombing (very meditative) in search of miniscule Miocene-era fossil teeth & colorful glass carnival beads.
- Summer Sanctuary (Author Visit/Museum/Beachcomb)
Meet with local historians who share the story of determination and resilience of African Americans who established a bayside community in the early 1900s. Over time, it became a summer gathering place where black artists, authors, intelligentsia and government advisors could enjoy themselves sans racism.
Learn about the Victorian years when steamships crisscrossed the Bay bearing vacationers to flourishing beach resort destinations such as Bay Ridge, and about artifacts from those years that have been found and sometimes still turn up on Bay Ridge beaches.
See the view from up high as you travel across one of America’s longest continuous over-water steel structures (4.3 miles) to beachcomb in this lovely Chesapeake tidewater region.
Boat out to tour the interior of Thomas Point Shoal, one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States. Built in 1875 and now a National Historic Landmark, Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse is the last "intact" lighthouse of its kind left in its original location.
A-2 Full Day: Regional Context
- Ferry trip for Cape May Diamonds
Ferry over Delaware Bay for a brief city tour of Cape May, NJ then beachcomb on a beach buddy’s special shoreline for driftwood, sea glass and 'comfort stones.'
It’s always an adventure mud-mucking with Mary as you comb near a late Victorian beach dumpsite for 125+ year-old porcelain restaurant-ware.
- Shipwreck Treasures & Shore Stories/Museum
Two museums and two beaches in one day. Wow! View 300 year-old shipwreck treasures then comb for some yourself.
- Wild Ponies & Salt Spray/Museum
Learn about the rigors of lifesaving in the Atlantic’s turbulent waters then explore for shells and driftwood on beaches where wild ponies roam.
- Colonial Daze & Riverside Plantations
See how wealthy southern Maryland planters lived in their 18th century riverside estates then comb for fossils, quartz and sea glass on nearby shores.
Hit two rivers in one day plus a museum to learn about 20 million-year-old shell, tooth, bone and coral treasures yielded from North America’s largest repository of Miocene-era fossils.
- Eastern Shore Sea Glass, Driftwood & Birds/Museums
Enjoy relaxing strolls through sleepy historic eastern shore towns and their museums, before hitting a remote backwater reserve followed by beaches to comb.
B. Arts Classes
Arts Workshops offer a fun, relaxing interlude that gives IBC’ers keepsakes to bring home or give away. Professional artists and part-time hobbyists teach workshops. Participants can take up to two workshops. Each workshop must have a minimum of 3 people. Maximum numbers vary. Cost: $75 per class.
- Sea Glass Drilling Workshop with Wiesy Lauffer
- Driftwood Tree with Mike Callahan
- Seahorse Mosaic with Mary T. McCarthy
- Decorated Coastal Keepsake Box with Donna Starr
- Emiline Oyster Shell Flowers with Lisa McCue
- Coastal Driftwood Wall Plaque with Kendyl Lawson