The maidens could change the mighty course of nature, but were forbidden to do so by Neptune, the stern, watchful god of the sea.
One dark, storm-ravaged night, with sails ripping and masts cracking, a schooner fought to find safety in Friendly Cove off Nootka Island in the San Juans. The ship was familiar to the mermaid who swam along its side . . . she had weathered many crossings with the ship and its captain. As the ship heeled in the violent wind, the captain lost his hold on the wheel, tumbling perilously close to the raging sea. In an instant, the mermaid calmed the wind and tamed the waves, changing the course of nature and saving the life of a man she had grown to love from afar.
For her impetuous act, Neptune banished the sobbing mermaid to the oceans depths, condemning her for eternity never to surface or swim with the ships again. To this day, her gleaming tears wash up on the beaches of Nova Scotia as beach glass . . . crystalline treasures in magic sea colors, an eternal reminder of true love.
Some say that Mermaids cry when a sailor or fisherman is lost at sea. When their tears touch the sands on shore turn to all colors of the ocean.
Another is that a Mermaid can only come to shore on a full moon light night and as dawn comes , the tears fall into to the sand changing into glass as the thought of never being able to walk freely on land saddens them.