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Low tide rockhounding at my favourite beach

I got out to my favourite local beach on Vancouver Island today in Nanoose Bay. It’s my favourite because of its privacy and bounty of great rocks, like our local jasper Dallasite and attractive porphyry Flowerstone.

My first meeting with Dallasite was on this beach. For a few weeks I had been thinking that there must be something I can just find out in nature that’s valuable.

My favourite Vancouver Island beach at low tide.

At first I collected nice-looking driftwood. That was well and good, but on one driftwood trip to the beach a white rock caught my eye. Then another, and the rockhound addiction was on.

Rocks at my favourite beach.


I spent the next weeks and months hounding that beach and researching as much as I could on the internet to find out exactly what was down there. Now I know Vancouver Island hosts its own unique jasper, the colourful breccia Dallasite.

That’s what I’m after, Vancouver Island Dallasite.

This trip to the beach was a quick one. It’s too hot for my red neck to spend the middle of the day outside right now. The tide was fully out, exposing everything.

My favourite Vancouver Island beach at low tide, another angle.

But though the tide was out, I wasn’t finding a whole lot. Many rocks are covered in a black silt that obscures their looks and the farther out you go, the longer rocks have stayed in that area and are obscured by barnacles. It’s really the freshly bounced around rocks at the upper 2/3rds of tide height that have the best yield.

A good sized piece of Flowerstone. I’ve found a few that seem to be the shape of bananas.

That said, I still had fun collecting a few pieces of Dallasite, one nice Flowerstone and other treasures. The oyster farmers didn’t even have to get wet to work today, it was all exposed for them.

Some Dallasite gets a molten yellow/brown sort of look. I tend to be most excited for the white pieces but these are interesting.

I’m attracted to translucency in rocks but this one was too big to put in my bucket.

Beach crabs and little sucker fish type guys.

Nanaimo deer that I want to eat.

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