Sunday, August 28, 2016

8/28/16 Report - Weather Disturbances. A Few Cheap Finds and Beach Analysis.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

The two disturbances nearest us haven't developed much.  They aren't moving very fast either.

The one down by the keys will move into the Gulf.  The other one is still aiming at North Carolina. Gaston is supposed to turn around and head northeast.

We'll have a two to three foot surf, and possibly a three to four foot surf by Tuesday.

I don't expect any significant improvement in beach conditions for finding old shipwreck items, but there will probably be a few (very few) spots like the one that I discussed yesterday around the Treasure Coast.


Yesterday was the first day for a while that I talked about hunting modern items.  That hunt was a purely recreational hunt.  I didn't expect to find anything good and if I was really serious about finding something good,  I wouldn't have bothered with that beach at all.  I was there and just wanted a little relaxation, and there is always some remote chance of something interesting popping up.  What I uncovered was a very common distribution of finds.  That is why I took the time to illustrate it.

I've talked about the math of detecting in the past.  It has to do with probabilities and the value of finds.  The beach I was talking about yesterday is not good for either the quantity or quality of finds. It is not a beach where people wear good stuff and if you find anything much good, it is probably stolen property.

Here are two pictures of the first jewelry item that came out of the jewelry hole that I circled on my illustration yesterday.

It was completely black, as shown on the right, when it came out of the ground.  The picture on the left shows how it looked partly cleaned.

It was one of those rings that rolled down the slope after being uncovered.

I think it is titanium or steel or something like that.  I haven't done any testing yet.  It is unmarked.

Above is a pendant found in the same area.  It was only a couple of feet from the ring.

Both items were obviously lost for a while and both were covered by a black crust and show signs of corrosion.

That beach is so heavily detected that you don't get too many things that aren't newly lost without some waves and erosion.

Above is a bangle bracelet found outside the jewelry hole that I outlined yesterday.  It is typical of the kind of cheap stuff found at that beach.   There are a lot of large hoop ear rings found there too.  The reason I am showing these finds is that they are so typical of this beach and I wanted to illustrate how different beaches produce a different quality of finds.

My main point today, though, is that if you want to maximize the value of your finds, which most people want to do, you should do an analysis.  Consider both quantity and quality of finds.  You can do a partial analysis simply by watching the people at the beach.  If they have cheap stuff or expensive stuff, that is mostly what you can expect to find.  That seems obvious enough.  There are some exceptions, which I won't get into now.

A beach that produces high value targets, such as expensive watches or diamond rings, doesn't have to produce nearly as many targets.

Figure the average value of finds, and then take into account the number of targets.

If your average find is worth 50 cents, for example, and you find an average of ten targets on every visit, the expected find value would be $5.00.

If you can usually find a gold band or something, bringing your total up to an average of maybe $20 per visit, the expected find value at that beach would be about $20.  This is an over simplified example, but I hope you get the idea.

Now lets say there is another location, maybe a very high end condominium beach, where you seldom find anything good, lets say only once every ten visits, (not bad) but the finds include things like Rolex watches or expensive diamond rings that bring your value per visit up to $5000.  The expected value per find at a place like that would be 250 times greater than that of the second example even though nine times out of ten you strike out. There are beaches like that where the finds are rare but valuable.  At those types of beaches, a lot of people might visit a few times and conclude that there is nothing there because the finds are so rare, but it still might be worth hunting because of the high value of the finds.

I talked about this before in greater detail, so I won't get into it any deeper now.

It can take some time to get a decent analysis of a beach.  And, of course, things will change as conditions change.  My main point is to consider both the quantity and quality of finds at a particular beach.  Changing conditions also affect the analysis by changing the probability of different kinds of finds.   A few high-value finds can drastically change the analysis.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, August 27, 2016

8/27/16 Report - Cluster Hunting During Generally Poor Beach Conditions. Three Tropical Disturbances Now.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Three Disturbances.
We now have three disturbances and hurricane Gaston, which is in the mid Atlantic.

It looks like North Carolina might get some good hunting.

Invest 99 L is moving into the Gulf where it is expected to strengthen.

The Treasure Coast will be getting days of south winds and some rain, and about a 2 - 3 foot surf.


I went for a little hunt yesterday morning.  I did manage to find one little cut.  It wasn't any higher than one foot at the peak, but ran for maybe 80 yards.

It was not an entirely new cut though.  There has been a touch of erosion at that same spot on and off for some weeks now.  I knew to look for it because I've seen it a few times over the past weeks.  Once an area has lost some sand, it is more susceptible to additional losses.

Sometimes I do one type of post for a while, and then do another type.  When I began this blog, the purpose was to give a daily beach conditions report relative to finding old shipwreck items.  Since conditions for finding old things has been so consistently poor and there were seldom any significant changes to mention, I quit giving a daily rating, but I will give my beach conditions rating when we get some significant changes.

Sometimes I talk about using a detector, and other times maybe reading a beach, or finds.  Lately I've been posting a lot of finds and haven't talked too much about techniques or strategies.  Today I'll talk a little about cluster hunting.

As you probably know if you've been reading this blog very long, I very often recommend digging everything.  A lot of people don't agree with that, but one reason I do not use discrimination very much is that I spend a lot of my time where there are more good targets and very little trash.  There are times when I will dig in a trashy area, but very seldom when I'm in the wet sand or shallow water. I can't give a lot of detail about all of that again today. That would take a long time, and besides, I've talked about a lot of that in the past.

Anyhow, yesterday I did some "cluster hunting." I dug a pocketful of coins and some jewelry in a small amount of time.  I dug no bottle tops or pull tabs.  They weren't present where I was spending my time even though the particular beach has a lot of pull tabs and other junk.  I could have spent my time on other areas of the beach and found tons of bottle tops and other junk.

Here is an illustration of the area that I focused on today.  The illustration is a little rough, but it will help me to explain.

I was hunting the front slope of the beach at low tide.  In the illustration, that is the area between the top black line and the bottom blue line.

There was a cut (outlined in brown) that was about 80 yards long.  The cut was small, only about a foot tall at the peak and got even smaller to the south and north.

The productive area (coins and things) were between the orange lines.  To the north (right) the cluster started south of the end of the cut.  The productive area did not extend to the wet sand during low tide.

The targets were relatively dense in front of the cut.  The productive area ran almost parallel to the water line as it extended beyond the cut and to the south.  Targets were farther apart as I went beyond the cut to the south.  Some targets to the south were also deeper.

The jewelry was found close together in one area (blue).  It was mostly junk, because the people at that visit this beach wear cheap stuff.  That is just the way it is.  If the beach goers at this beach was a little more glitzy the finds would have been better.  That is something you have to take into account.

The first key to cluster hunting, is to locate the cluster.   It took me a few minutes to find it.  The first area I checked was the wet sand, which produced nothing.  There are times that I would walk directly to the cut, but this beach has a history of a lot of wet sand finds, so I did a quick check of that area.

After digging a few targets that are close together, but apparently not a part of a spill, the next in cluster hunting is to get a rough estimate of the size and location of the boundaries of the cluster, as well as identify the center of the cluster.  The center of the cluster is where dense objects will be located and where the finds will be close together.  I won't get into tons of ifs ands and buts or other details today.

I wasn't much interested in modern stuff today.  The modern stuff at this beach is cheap stuff.  It is rare to find anything good there.  I worked it out simply because it was there, and I was there.

Once you identify a cluster and its boundaries you can pick up a lot of finds quickly.  You won't need discrimination because the area you are working has been sifted and sorted and there won't be much junk in the cluster.  If you start moving outside the cluster, you might start hitting more junk.

Again, this applies to wet areas.  Areas that have been high and dry will not have been sifted and sorted like this.


Happy hunting,

Friday, August 26, 2016

8/26/16 Report - Survey of Some Treasure Coast Beaches and A Morning Hunt. Weakened Storm.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Frederick Douglas Beach Yesterday Evening Just After High Tide

I took a look at a few beaches yesterday to see how things were developing.  The first picture shows Frederick Douglass beach.

Notice the white water.  I'd estimate the waves to be three to four feet at that time.  The waves were hitting from the east.

The beach was mushy.  Notice the small shells and sea weed.  Sea weed is an indicator that light stuff is washing up and being deposited -  not what you want to see if you want to find old coins.

At least the sun wasn't beating down. 

Walton Rocks Beach Yesterday Afternoon Just After High Tide

The waves weren't quite as high at Walton Rocks.  The sea weed is covering more of the beach here. That shows that it is not being washed away as the high tide retreats.

The sea weed will often help you see where the water got to during the last high tide.  The water didn't get real high up on the beach here.

Fort Pirece Inlet South Yesterday Afternoon After High Tide

You see the sea weed line here again. Also note the small shells and mushy beach front. The waves were not nearly as big here.

This beach has lost about a hundred yards of sand since it was last renourished, but that was not recent.

The above map from shows the system I've been watching now near the Bahamas, has decreased in strength. It looks to me like it will have very little affect on the Treasure Coast beaches. The image I showed yesterday from turned out to be a poor indicator.  I don't think the storm will develop like that now.

There is a new system shown in the Gulf.


I went for a little hunt this morning and found a one foot cut that ran for about 80 yards.  I did what I would call a classic Treasure Guide cluster hunt and found a good cluster of targets, including a couple of pieces of jewelry. 

I don't have time to get into that today, so I'll talk about it tomorrow.  

We got enough action yesterday to create a few productive spots, but not anything that I saw that would produce old finds.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, August 25, 2016

8/25/16 Report - Invest 99-L Still Heading Towards Florida. Octant Find. Fisher News. IRC History Books.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Wind Prediction for Early Sunday Afternoon
According to
The biggest news for me is Invest 99L, a low pressure area, coming our way.  I ran the prediction out to Sunday, and from that it appears that the storm could develop and come in around the Miami area, as shown above.

Notice that according to this prediction, the system has a nice tight center by Sunday afternoon.  Also notice that the strongest winds are to the northeast.

If this is what happens, we won't get very much wind from the north or northeast.  After it passes we'll be getting a lot of South winds.

Of course, this is just a prediction and things could change significantly.

Above you can see where things stand at the Thursday 8 AM update.  At this point, there is still just a 50 percent chance of the low pressure area becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.  


Here is a really nice artifact found by Darrel S. years ago.  He said, I have found some late 18th century items. I found the part to an octant south of Turtle Trail. Image (bottom) is from Sedwick's auction for reference.
Part Of An Octant Found by Darrel S.
Photos submitted by Darrel S.

Below is a picture of a complete octant as shown in a 2010 Sedwick auction listing.  You can see a part like the one found by Darrel on that octant. 
Source: Sedwick Oct. 23, 2010 Auction Listing.

That is the kind of item that an inexperienced detectorist might find and discard as being of no value. As I often say, if you don't know what an object is, hold onto it until you are very confident that you know what you have.  .

Very nice find Darrel!  Thanks for sharing.


Recently I showed a chisel that was found on the Treasure Coast.  The J.B. Magruder recently found an iron chisel along with some other items on the Atocha site.  The Magruder will be moving down to the Atocha Main Pile to look for emeralds.

The Dare continues to explore targets identified by Dolores an the EM metal detection system.  They might move North to the Lost Merchant site.

The Fishers are adding Captain Dan Porter and his Sea Reaper to their Key West salvage operations.


Here is something really useful.  It is a listing of Indian River County local history books in the Indian River County library system.

You'll find many more related books (hundreds) by using the following link.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

8/24/16 Report - Storm Headed Towards Treasure Coast. 18th Century Shipwreck Appears On Beach. $100 Million Pearl Found.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Tropical wave 99L has not yet become a cyclone, but has a 60 percent chance of doing so in the next 48 hours.  It is passing the West Indies and is still aimed at the Bahamas and the Treasure Coast.

Fiona has dissipated and Gaston is still strong but headed north into the Atlantic.

Surf Predictions From MagicSeaWeed


Ship Reappears On Beach.
Source: (See link below).
The sifting sands of time come and go, each time with the possibility of revealing something new to the lucky souls who happen to pass by at the right time.

The remains shown above are thought to be those of the Sally, which ran aground on Devon beach in 1769 with a cargo of port wine.

Here is the link for more about that.


A 75 pound pearl found by a fisherman is estimated to be worth $100 million.

Click here to see the rest of the story.


Happy hunting,

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

8/23/16 Report - Storm Aiming At Treasure Coast. Iron Shipwreck Objects. French in Pacific New World.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Tropical Wave Heading Our Way
Source: See link below.
This is the big news for me today.  The weather system following Fiona is heading our way.  You can see that in the picture above.  It is still a few days away.  The strength and possibly the track could change before it gets here.

Here is the link to that.

Fiona is still heading north of us, and Gaston is expected to become a hurricane soon, but is still expected to head out into the North Atlantic.

Below is the relative position of all three.

The surf is expected to increase daily for several days.  See the chart below.

Surf Predictions For Fort Pierce


Here is some good reading.  It isn't about the Treasure Coast, but it does relate to the exploration and discovery of the New World.

It is the 1918 text of the Annual Publication of the Southern California Historical Society - a lengthy but interesting bit of history about the French and the Pacific trade.  Take a look.


Collection of Iron Finds by Darrel S.
Photo submitted by Darrel S.
Here is what he said about the photo.

Image from my personal collection. Fortunate to have John Powell and Lance restored my ferrous artifacts. Some took years, others less time. From Corrigans over past 25 years. You will see an awl as well as a double pointed object believed to be used as an enscriber (I believed part of crossbow.) I will send images from McLarty Museum later of both possibilities.

The double pointed object that he refers to is at about the five o'clock postiion.

Happy hunting,

Monday, August 22, 2016

8/22/16 Report - Another Cache From the 2004 Hurricanes. Old Great Lakes Shipwreck. Fort Benton Dig. Fiona and Other Weather Systems.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Another Post-Hurricane Cache
Source: 2015 Orlando Sentinel Clipping
sent to me by Darrel S.
This cache was found by Joel Ruth in Brevard County just after Hurricane Jeanne.  I've been talking a good bit about caches lately and decided to add this one.

There were really a lot of finds after Jeanne and Francis.  Coins were found in bunches by a number of  detectorists after the hurricanes.  I've shown only a very few of those that I know about.


Zika appears to be spreading.  Portect youself from mosquitos in any case.  Here is a link about that.


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The second-oldest confirmed shipwreck in the Great Lakes, an American-built, Canadian-owned sloop that sank in Lake Ontario more than 200 years ago, has been found, a team of underwater explorers said Wednesday...

The sloop Washington was built on Lake Erie in Pennsylvania in 1798 and was used to transport people and goods between western New York, Pennsylvania and Ontario. It was placed on skids and hauled by oxen teams across the Niagara Isthmus to Lake Ontario in 1802 after being sold to Canadian merchants...

Here is the link.


FORT BENTON – Perhaps as many as 120 years have passed since the historic old Fort Benton had both its blockhouses, defensive towers at opposite corners of the fur-trade-era fort...

An archaeological dig is underway to determine exactly where the southwest blockhouse was, its pieces long ago repurposed...

Here is that link.


This has been a tough year for me.  Jan. 1 I broke and tooth, then a multitude of things happened including my mother's hospitalization, then I spent this past weekend in the hospital.  My luck has been as bad as the weather had been hot.  I've had a two decades worth of inconvenience in a single year. I'm fine now. It was a weird thing, and I'm back to normal. Hope the worst of this year is over.

I was headed to the walk-in clinic when I got sick as a dog and had to pull into an gas station.  I drove over to an unpaved exit that I thought was pretty much out of the way where I had to open the door and throw-up everything in side me, while some fellow blew his horn for me to move because I guess I was inconveniencing him.  I really appreciated that.  Actually I was too sick at the time to pay it much other than passing attention.

It has been month after month of the same type of weather.  I'm hoping for a change there too.  I'd like to see a good long storm but not a hurricane.

Source: nhc.noaa,gov

Fiona is still out there and heading towards Bermuda.

The second one (yellow) has not strengthened yet, but could head our way.

The third is expected to become a cyclone very soon, but is still expected to head out into the North Atlantic.

This morning the surfing web site predicted a ten foot surf for the Treasure Coast, but that didn't last long.  It is not back down to around three feet.  Those big bumps you see in the surf report 7 to 10 out seldom last.

We'll have to wait a little longer before we get any kind of a good idea about what these weather systems will bring to the Treasure Coast.

Glad to be out of the hospital.  I did my last post from the hospital bed.  First time I was a hospital patient in the last sixty years or so.  Don't want to be one again.

I still have a lot of finds and stuff to show you.  Sometimes I'm missing a detail that I'd like to include and don't have the time to spend researching it.

Happy hunting,