What's a Wrack Line?

The Wrack Line is what beachcomers call the high tide line. This is usually where the ocean has deposited the treasures from the previous high tide. It may or may not also be the best place to look for small pieces of agate, sea glass, sand dollars, or small shells. Usually the folks who live near the beach will already have "worked the wrack line" early in the morning. So if you see footprints, you're too late.

Note that the typical Pacific Ocean wrack line really doesn't offer up much in the way of treasures - the Pacific is rather stingy. Nonetheless the high tide might have uncovered a few agates or sea glass. But it's a whole different story on the morning after a gale or storm. The locals know this too, so you would do well to get there real early!

A wrack line

The wrack line marks the demarcation between the wet sand from the previous high tide and the dry sand, unreached by the high tide.

wrack line example

This wrack line is actually above the prior high tide line, which is marked by the wet sand further down (by the log). This one is perhaps from the high tide that ocurred during the night.

There are usually two high and two low tides during a 24 hour period. Each of the two high and low tides differ in their actual heights.The highest high tides (and lowest low tides) ocurr near the time of the full moon and the "empty" moon.

Another sample

wrack line sample

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