This one is a fishy mystery for shore

YOU never know what you'll find on the Coffs Coast, after a visiting family found a mysterious mallet washed up on a beach more than 16,000 kilometres from its home.

Sydney tourists Grahame White, his wife Nicole, and children Hannah and Harry, were walking along Boambee Beach during the school holidays when they noticed something interesting brought up by a recent king tide.

“My wife picked it up and saw that it was wood with some barnacle growth, and when she rubbed away the barnacles we saw a picture of a fish and the word 'Annapolis',” Grahame said.

A few Google hits later and the object was revealed to be a crab mallet from the Annapolis Seafood Markets - located on the east coast of America.

The mystery mallet became a mission for the Whites, prompting them to contact the markets in the USA and learnt that the mallet was used for breaking open crabs caught in Chesapeake Bay, which are cooked and sold at Annapolis.

But the mystery deepened when the seafood market staff said wooden mallets had been replaced with plastic versions five years earlier.

“It's the weirdest story,” spokesperson for Annapolis Seafood Markets, Tom Clouter, told The Sunday Capital newspaper in the USA.

“How it got across the ocean to another continent is just beyond us.”

The Sunday Capital and the Annapolis Seafood Markets have now started a competition to come up with the most imaginative way the mallet could have undertaken a journey of more than 16,000 kilometres from America to Coffs Harbour, with the winning entry to be determined by the White family.

The 'wonderful adventure' has also brought some new friendships to the mallet's new owners.

“We're swapping emails with the markets on a regular basis and we've even sent over some Aussie gifts,” Grahame told The Coffs Coast Advocate.

“Who would have thought that a simple walk along Boambee Beach could open up such a wonderful connection to Annapolis, USA?”

What's the strangest thing you've found on a beach? Leave comments below.

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