Friday, February 27, 2009
The second photo is a picture of a great find submitted by one of this blog's readers from the west coast of Florida. It's not too often that you find a gold nugget on a Florida beach, but here is one. I might be able to give you more details later, but the detectorist figured the nugget dated from the 1860-1890 period. It was found with a new Excal II with a 15" inch wot coil, which the writer reports was hitting quarters at 2 feet. Nice find.
The first photo is the beach around noon today. Not too great as I predicted. I don't think you'll see much of an improvement in conditions until around Tuesday. I know a lot of people hunt on the weekend so I wanted to get this report in today. You have to use your brains and spend some time to come up with something when the beach isn't really cooperating.
Not long ago, I provided a link to a news report of the recent discovery of the Espiritu Santo off the coast of Indian River County. I usually don't reveal names without permission, but since many of you already know who made this discovery and since you can find it clearly spelled out in other treasure forums, I don't mind thanking and publicly congratulating Tom G., one of this blog's followers.
I couple of weeks ago, or so, I someone also told me about a lock that was found in the Rio Mar area. The writer told me it was of the type used on chests back in the 1800s. Interesting.
Seems I always get started on a topic and never get it finished. Someday I'll index the topics and finish some of those that I started but didn't finish. If you look back at the end of December of last year, you'll find a very good process for cleaning cobs. It was submitted by one of this blog's readers. I think the process described is very good and worth mentioning again in case you missed it or forgot about it.
Well, like I said, conditions aren't great out there, but there is always something to be found somewhere.
Thanks for all the emails and best of luck,
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The photo today is a piece of silver plate or something found by Gary. He says it was at the high tide line, laying on top. The last time I was out, there was a large iron conglomerate laying close to the high tide line.
I also noticed that the penny hole at the Colored Wreck site is still throwing pennies up on the beach. There is a spot about ten yards wide that extends from the water's edge all the way up to the top of the front beach. I need to figure out why pennies are washed up at that one spot. It also washes in a number of keys there. I'll have to study that some. Some of the pennies have been churned around in the surf for quite a while. I've found copper pennies that are worn paper thin. That penny spot has been there consistently for a few months now.
I hope you have been looking at some of the fine research references that I linked to this blog. They are full of good hints. I'm not sure what I'll be doing the next couple of days, but I don't expect much news anyhow. If I miss a few days of reports, I might be out chasing fossils.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I'm going to add two more really good reference works to my link list. One is a book called Republic of Pirates by Woodard, which talks rather extensively about the 1715 fleet wreck and other hot Treasure Coast topics.
The second is called Spanish Settlements within the Present Boundaries of Florida. It focuses heavily on the St. Augustine area, but also talks about the Ais, French forts, battles, etc., some of which are near to or actually on the Treasure Coast. While much of this work deals with areas north of the Treasure Coast,I think you will still find it reading. If you are interested in the Ais Indians, note that the older books sometimes spell it Ayz or Ays.
There are a lot of nice parks along the Treasure Coast and a lot of detecting to do in addition to the wreck beaches. So when they are not churning, you might research, scout out some new areas, or just look for some more recent treasures.
Let me know if you find any of the research links helpful.
Monday, February 23, 2009
1. Junk items can provide important information about the history of the area. Even pull tabs can help date an area. There are even old pull tabs and newer pull tabs. And of course,a time before pull tabs. Iron nails can help date an area.
2. Junk can provide important information about what the ground itself has been doing recently, such as eroding, building, sifting, etc. Similar materials tend to gather when in areas of erosion or moving water.
3. Items of all sizes and materials can be valuable either momentarily
4. Using discrimination reduces the full detecting power/depth for many detectors.
5. Remaining junk can obscure good items and confuse good target signals. It doesn't take long to clean up a beach and who wants to have junk on top of and around the good targets.
In summary, I would generally like to see what is there even if there is junk.
I think it is a good idea to learn to read junk. Learn to understand what it is telling you. Get all the information that it contains. And then remove it. With a good scoop it generally only takes a second or two to remove an item.
Oh, let me correct something I said. The Excalibur course I was talking about recently is Ear Training for the Excalibur. I said it was a DVD. It's actually a CD.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I don't know why the sea heights on the Ft. Pierce surf report is consistently so much lower than the Sebastian. It seems to me that something is wrong. I have been using the Sebastian site for sea heights. The other things such as wave direction and tides seem to be ok on the Ft. Pierce web site.
I've added a few links to the links list at the upper left of the blog site. There are three really good reference works listed there now. One is called "Trade and Navigation between Spain and the Indies..." It has a lot of information on the various Spanish fleets including the 1626 fleet which might be the same one that the Espiritu Santo was a part of.
The second link that I added is to the report on the Treasure Coast shoreline. I keep going back to that myself and so I decided to add it to the list for easy reference. I probably will be referring to it from time to time.
And the third that I recently added is "The West India Pilot" which was written in 1876. You'll find lots of historical nautical information related to the Treasure Coast in that one. That reference has the information about the old inlets that I mentioned in this blog not too long ago.
I mentioned that I recently got a new detector and have tried it out a few times now. When I first got it, I was not sure about some of the sounds I was getting. I emailed an expert on the Excalibur and he gave me some very good information that helped me quickly get up to speed on this new detector. From the information he gave I could tell that he really knew what he was talking about. In fact, he has produced a DVD that will help anyone learn how to get the most out of their Excalibur II. The DVD is sold by Kellyco.
Check out the links. We'll see what happens next week.
Friday, February 20, 2009
I've taken some personally taken some pictures of concrete blocks being lifted by relatively small waves.
The photo above is a 1715 Mexican half reale. It is rather unusual in the amount of detail shown. The date and lettering on the actual coin is much clearer than that shown in the photo. I think you can still see the OMJ and date 171? That is an unusual amount of detail to be found on a half reale and makes the cob more valuable.
Oh, for the report. Yesterday I was out at the beach testing out a brand new machine. I've been telling you it was time to hunt low tide. On two different beaches while testing this new machine yesterday I found a number of good targets. In the future I'll probably get a good picture of a gold figurine that was found at low tide. Take advantage of the low tides and west winds after erosion.
Looking ahead, I told you to watch out for this coming weekend. ONe of the web sites projected the waves not picking up until Tuesday. I don't know about that. The winds are coming in pretty nicely right now at 10:00 Eastern. The web site said that we might get 10 foot seas by Tuesday. We haven't had that for quite a while. I'll keep an eye out to see if it happens this weekend or later.
The winds have been a good predictor lately. These fronts have been coming through one after another with nearly the same timing and pattern. They've been giving us about one day of erosion followed by filling. I'd suggest first hitting the erosion before it fills and then hit the low tide areas the following days.
I have a lot more, but I'll keep it for another day.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I have a lot of information that I'll get to over the coming weeks. It just seems like there is so much good information out there. I've been getting a lot of mail and I've also found some really good old books, and I've personally observed a number of things that I find exciting. I'll get to a little of that today.
Before I get into some of that new information, the photo today is a religious medal found on a 1715 beach site. I previously showed the other side of the medal that has a complete prayer in Latin on it. In this photo, I think you can see the figure of a monk standing and one kneeling. When I found this, I had no idea what it was. It was heavily encrusted and it took a lot of cleaning before I could see enough detail to figure out what it is. I think that is as far as I will go with the cleaning for a while.
One of the things I wanted to pass along today is a passage from an old book that I found that describes wave movements in a way that I think describes what we see happening when erosion occurs and coins are deposited on the beach.
This describes how small objects can be deposited on the beach at the same time that sand is being removed. If you accept this, you might also get some idea as to why cobs are often found very close to the surface. Of course, there is a lot more to it that I can put into one post. The book is around five hundred pages and much of it is relevant to the beach hunter. I'll probably bring in other interesting or amazing information from this book from time to time. It often confirms what I've observed but didn't know how to explain.
If you've ever waded out into the sea with a detector when the seas were rough, you probably noticed that if you were out far enough and in deep enough water, the waves would move you first in one direction and then the other. That makes it a little difficult to retrieve a target when you are in water up to your chin. When I first did that, I remember getting my headphones knocked off my head repeatedly by the waves. I later learned that if I would pick up my feet at the right time, the water would move me a foot or two in one direction and then put me right back over the target. The underlying phenomena is described in this book under the topic of waves of oscillation. I had observed it, but now know why it occur ed and how to describe it more precisely. (Remember that on the Treasure Coast you're not allowed to detect in the water around the leased wreck sites.) There are some really amazing facts in this book that I'll probably get around to talking about in due time. The book is called Shore Processes and Shoreline Development.
On another topic: Some people might get confused when researching Treasure Coast topics when they read some of the older names. For example, you might find reference to the Indian River Inlet. The Indian River Inlet is what I often call the old Ft. Pierce inlet which existed before the present inlet was created. Or you might hear of the St. Lucie Inlet in older references and you might not know where that was. I'm going to help you get a fix on some of the main inlets of times past. Using as the starting place the Jupiter Inlet, which although the present inlet is not exactly where it was in centuries past,the present Jupiter Inlet will provide a decent starting place. Now, taking the Jupiter Inlet (roughly), Gilbert's Bar lies approximately 12 miles north of the old Jupiter Inlet. There was a passable inlet at the time of the reference I found, which was about 130 or so years ago. And about five miles north of that was the St. Lucie Inlet, also now closed. And about 17 miles north of there, was the Indian River Inlet, or what I sometimes call the old Ft. Pierce Inlet. So, if you are doing research, I think that will help you determine the approximate location of some of those old inlets.
That's all for now. I'll also be showing more coins and finds form time to time, and continue with some of the other topics that I started. Remember, watch for the changing conditions this weekend.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
People were out hunting the low tide area this morning. And I did get a report of one find that was made in the low tide wet sand area. I personally found some targets this morning that were out just a little too far to be able to retrieve because of the wave action on the lower beach.
I occasionally get questions concerning what detector to purchase. I spent about twenty years primarily using custom made detectors but also had detectors made by major manufacturers, which I used primarily for back-up and special situations. Although I have used detectors manufactured by most major manufacturers, there are a lot of models that I haven't used. I generally won't comment on those that I haven't used unless I get a lot of information from other users. One reader recently gave some impressive information on the depth obtained using an Infinium. It sounds like it might be a detector that a beach hunter might want to consider.
I wanted to let you know how the cuts were progressing this morning and I've done that, so that's all for now.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Someone told me that they thought my rating scale was a 1 to 10 scale. I use a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is basically - good luck because you're going to have to do something out of the ordinary to see any success. 1 means that the beaches are being built up and have accumulated considerable mushy sand. 2 means that there is some stirring, but yet the prospects are not very good. 3 means that there are some significant cuts - probably at more than one of our beaches and prospects are not bad. 4 means there has been some good cutting and things are almost undoubtedly being found. 5 means good deep cuts, with waves hitting the back beach area at or close to the dunes, or in other words, it's definitively something that you don't want to miss.
Well, I just wanted to get the alert out. Watch for further upgrades or downgrades tomorrow.
I'm expecting a new detector to arrive later this week and will give you a report on one of the most commonly used detectors on the Treasure Coast.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
The photo today is another gold coin taken from one of our beaches. Obviously not what you might expect to find on a galleon and probably not coming from a treasure ship. As far as I have researched it, it seems to me to be from about 350 BC. AS tho how it came to rest on a Florida beach, your guess is as good as mine.
I was going to post a picture of a cob that looked something like a heart today since it is Valentine's Day, but when I looked at the cob before taking the photo, I realized that you had to stretch your imagination to see it as a heart. The top was right, but there was no symmetrical point on the bottom, so I decided not to use that. Last year I did find a cob on Valentines day. Maybe this year will turn up a nice cob or two as well.
Happy Valentine's Day,
Thursday, February 12, 2009
We don't have much in the way of waves, but we do have a full moon and some low tides that should give you a good opportunity for some low tide hunting. I think that will be the best shot until the waves pick up again, which probably won't be until after the weekend.
At the end of this post I have a lead from an old book. The photo above I've shown before, but I brought it back because I decided to talk about the Rio Mar site where this coin was found. A few days ago I gave you the address of a report that said that the Rio Mar beach has been in an accretion phase since the 1800s. (You can see a relatively recent photo of that beach by going back to my February 20, 2008 post.)
The coin shown in the photo came from the foot of the eroded back dune after the waves had recently eroded the back dune. I think you can tell from the sharp lines on the coin that it hasn't been tumbled in the surf. The black patina shows that it has been in salt water, even if only since being washed out of the dune. I am pretty sure that this coin had recently washed out of the dune when it was found.
Rio Mar is a crenate bay, which means that it has something of the shape of a cup or half moon. In the water just off shore are some rocky ridges that can be seen sometimes at low tide. Regardless of the continual erosion over years, there have been times when the beach was cut further back than shown in the February photo. Just under the sand there were some large concrete blocks under what I would call the middle and back beach. To the north of the bay, were large constructions meant to slow or stop the erosion. Both the blocks and erosion control devices have been exposed in years past when the beach was more eroded. If they haven't been moved, they are covered now and the beach is considerably higher and extends out over some of the rocky ridges in the water that used to show at times.
I divide the beach into three sections. The front beach, comprised of the sand that is frequently wet under even moderate tides and waves and that slopes up to a relatively flat area, the relatively flat and normally dry sand, and the back beach, comprised of the cliff, dunes, and a few feet of sand in front of that.
The back beach, when eroded, and that does not often happen, generally gives up coins and materials that have spent a long time (maybe as long as they've been there) in basicly dry sand. The middle beach primarily generally gives up relatively recent and some older but yet modern era coins and artifacts that were dropped pretty cloe to where they are found. And the front beach gives up coins that have been in the ocean or tumbled in the surf or are in the process of being moved towards the water.
Exceptions do occur but it takes a significant amount of wave energy and sand movement to make that happen. If the waves have been hitting the back dunes on a beach of any width, the rest of the beach has been subject to a lot of force and not only can a lot of the middle beach sand be moved, but objects from the front beach, as well as the back beach, can be moved onto the eroded middle beach and in some cases back to the foot of the dunes.
One thing that helps that movement to happen, is the level of the middle beach, which when eroded is lowered to closer that of sea level. The level of the eroded beach I think is something that has not been talked about much, and I am coming to believe is a significant factor, especially when talking about movement of denser materials such as precious metals.
Referring to the photo of the Rio Mar site once again, you can see a small cut towards the front of the middle beach. The level has not been reduced to previous levels that in the past exposed the concrete slabs. The back dunes have obviously not been eroded for some time. The beach, is in an accretion phase, even though there is a little erosion in the recently deposited sand. When the front and middle beach was cut down further and back further towards the dunes, it produced older coins and jewelry.
Like the areas north of the jetties of the inlets, the built up sand in this little bay, in my opinion, probably covers artifacts from the past. If the Rio Mar site has been building up over a period of more than one hundred years as the study says, there is a good chance that part of the wreck lies under what I have called the middle beach. If it was further out in the ocean, blowers would be used to remove the sand, but since it is on the beach, it those items won't be exposed until and unless nature removes a lot of sand.
Before I close today, I'll give you a little lead from an old book. Here it is.
Let me hear what your finding or what you'd like to see in this blog.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I recently talked a little about the old Fort Pierce inlet and some of the ships that were wrecked on the bar there. By the old Fort Pierce inlet, I mean the natural inlet that existed before the current Fort Pierce inlet was created. It's about 2.5 miles north of the present Fort Pierce inlet. The Fort Pierce inlet jetties were constructed in the 1920s. You've probably noticed how the area north of jetties tends to build up. That's because the southernly flow of sand along the beach is interrupted. You can see that very clearly at both Ft. Pierce and Jupiter. The sand builds up north of the jetties and quickly depletes on the south side of the jetties. I'd bet there are wreck materials laying under the sand on the north side of both of those jetties.
Dave from Orlando sent me a report of a study of the shoreline changes in Indian River and St. Lucie country going back to the 1800s in some cases. It shows how the shoreline is building or depleting all the way along the shore over different periods of time. If you want to look at that go to the following. Fair warning,it is a technical study and they use the jargon of the discipline. I found it interesting. http://www.fsbpa.com/05Proceedings/10-Elba%20Rodriguez.pdf
One place they mentioned where the shoreline is building, is Rio Mar. I gave you a picture of Rio Mar a week or so ago. The beach is growing there. I would say that the current beach at Rio Mar is well out over the rocky area that was in years past occasionally visible at low tide and where some of the gold dust used to collect. They show that the bay there has been filling in.
I think metal detecting provides as much educational potential as any activity on earth. It would be a good way to introduce a child to geology, electronics, history, languages, geography and so much more. It's really amazing all the things you are exposed to when you get into metal detecting.
I've been asked a number of times what type of detector a person needs to hunt gold and silver coins on the Treasure Coast. Some people think they need a real deep seeking detector. My experience and those that I have talked to, is that most cobs are buried very deep. I can't remember ever digging very deep for a cob even though I've had some really great custom built detectors that were modified to get very good depth. In fact, they can sometimes be eyeballed. Just read the old stories of people that just walked along after a storm and found them without a detector to verify that. One additional tip: a lot of people used to miss the half reales because they ran too much discrimination.
Check out the report to see where the beaches are building and depleting and then check out some spots.
That's all for now,
Monday, February 9, 2009
Not much new today. Moderate winds were coming from the southeast this morning.
The coin on the left in the photo was found at the Jupiter inlet beach a few years ago just south of the life guard station near the bank. It was totally encrusted when I found it. I took it home and carefully cleaned it using primarily a dental pick to remove the adhering grains of sand. When I got it partially cleaned, it looked kind of strange. Then I started to do some research and was confused. Well, I cleaned it some more and what I was seeing was still not making sense. It turned out to be a fake. I think it was at one time plated with some type of gold finish. Now that I know a little more about cobs, I think I would more quickly recognize some of the signs that showed this coin to be a fake. But after all of that careful cleaning, it sure was a disappointment to find out that it was a fake. It was so heavily encrusted that I couldn't even acid test the medal until I had done some cleaning. One of the interesting things about this fake is that some time later I found a genuine cob just a few feet from where I found the fake.
The coin on the right is an obvious fake. I totally forget where I found it. If you look on the right edge, just above center, you will see that this one is marked "copy." There are some other signs besides the marking and the color that give this one away.
A week or so ago, I gave the address to a nice web site that tells how to recognize fake artifacts. Well, there are fake cobs out there too. I think the easiest way to detect fake cobs, is to test the metal. They'll usually be made of some junk metal. The more that you study cobs the easier it will be to detect fakes, and the more you will enjoy your finds.
I also mentioned recently that the area around the old Ft. Pierce inlet might be a good place to find some old finds. I also mentioned that I once received a map from an anonymous dowser from California with an x marked on it not far from the old inlet. After searching the area I did find a large iron bar, like that used to dig deep holes in hard stones or earth.
I also ran across a number of official reports of ships that sunk on or near the Indian River INlet bar. One report talks of two schooners that were lost during the Seminole Wars. One was the Die Vernon and the other was the Emiline. Three ship skeletons were on the beach when the Die Vernon sunk, and I also read of a steamship that sunk there. I think any of the old inlets should be good places to hunt.
I'll show you some different types of gold coins that have been found on the Treasure Coast beaches from time to time and answer some questions that I've recently received.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
You can find almost anything that exists on a beach somewhere. I've found bowling balls, pool balls, false teeth, fossils that are thousands of years old, even an artificial leg. You never know. I saw three large bales of marijuana washed up one morning. Sometimes cargo falls off of ships. One morning people were running along Hollywood beach picking up furniture that came off of a ship out of Ft. Lauderdale.
The picture today is a gold coin that was found on one of our most heavily hunted 1715 wreck beaches. People didn't quit visiting those beaches in the 1700s, and more modern things often end up there. The coin, and I've personally seen three other very similar ones that were beach finds, is a Mexican two peso coin. The year of the one in the photo is 1945. That's hardly what you look for first when you go to a 1715 wreck beach, but don't forget that those beaches have been around for a while and still continue to accumulate new things.
I think there are some really good hunting spots that don't receive enough attention from detectorists. In my mind the area right around the old Ft. Pierce inlet as one of those areas. I've previously mentioned the army payroll of gold coins that was found in teh water there. Ft. Capron was just inland from there. I wouldn't be surprised if a number of things will be found around there before long.
I ran across something that doesn't really apply to the Treasure Coast, but I thought it was so interesting that I would pass it along anyway. If nothing else it should remind you that there are a variety of treasures in addition to those coming from Spanish galleons. It is a letter talking about Jefferson Davis. There is an entire sequence of letters on the subject of the money that he was taking with him at the end of the Civil War. Notice where it talks about the boxes of gold and silver. One of the letters I found says that much of the gold and silver coins were buried in the area of Washington Georgia. Well, I'll post the letter and let you follow up on it if you want. One thing to take away from this is that there are other things to look for when the beaches are not exposing cobs or artifacts from the Spanish treasure fleets. Don't be too narrowly focused.
Here's the letter.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Just a quick update. The winds are coming pretty much out of the north. It's cold out there. But the last high tide took away some sand in a few places. You can see the picture a bit of that in the photo. I suspect that some places are better and many are not as good as the beach you see in the photo. I am tempted to upgrade my rating to a 3, but I don't think this is going to continue to any significant extent. I suspect the winds will shift again shortly and start filling back in. It might be worth checking out your local spot if you have a chance. I only got to this one beach this afternoon. That's all I have for now. I'll try to stay up with any real changes.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
The wind is coming from the west. No waves or anything much to speak of in St. Lucie county. There might be a little something happening up in the Sebastian/Wabasso area. It looks like the swell is coming in at the right direction, but the seas aren't very high yet. I haven't had a chance to check it out. Keep a watch on it for later.
The photo today is a piece of silver that was found on one of our frequently hunted treasure beaches. It is obviously a piece of something. Notice the scalloped edge. It's curved like it might be a piece of a cup or something. You can see the lion that looks very much like the lion used to signify Brabant. I post pictures of finds like this in part to see if anyone else recognizes the item and can provide additional information on its identity. The coin beside the piece of silver shows a Brabant lion for comparison.
I came across a very nice web site that gives some very good information that can help you determine if an item is a colonial artifact or a later copy. Its not always easy to identify and date found items and there are copies that can be very deceptive. Someday I'll probably show you some fake reales that were found on the Treasure Coast. The address of the web site follows. http://home.comcast.net/~incatrader/crosses.htm
I might also add this site to the list of web sites that are displayed to the left of my posts.
We'll see what happens tonight and tomorrow. I have some more photos of finds to show you too. Some are gold coins found on the treasure beaches that did not come from the known treasure wrecks.
Monday, February 2, 2009
The winds and waves shifted and the erosion that began Saturday did not continue, but there are two more cold fronts on the way. As I watched the cuts forming on Saturday, the best cuts that I saw were formed by north winds pushing the water along the beach almost like a river, undercutting the beach at some level and washing the sand down into the surf. Actually, there was both undercutting and over washing. After the winds shifted on Sunday, the waves were hitting that beach at a ninety degree angle, which instead of washing the sand away, piled it up at the base of the cut. I remember how Hurricane Andrew did very little to the beaches along Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Even though the seas were high, the waves hit straight on and didn't cause any erosion in most spots. Anyway, you'll notice how the waves have to hit the beach at a good angle to get much cutting. Waves hitting at a 90 degree angle simply wash up and back repeatedly, not taking much sand away.
One reader, John L., provided some good tips. He wrote the following. "I typically like to follow the tide out and back in over a four hour period of hunting, if at all possible. In places like the Gulf beaches I've hunted, this process is a winner almost every time. BUT in our Carolina beaches this is far from a guarantee for success. However, and to my point, I have found an area on our beaches that is productive when all else fails, and I wonder if you have had the same observation from your experiences.
When hunting is slow, I search for the high tide peak as evidenced by moist sand, move down toward the water about 10-12 feet and work a tight zigzag following the shoreline covering about 10-15 feet from the high tide mark. Invariably items begin to appear. After finding two or three items, I have established a line by connecting my digging spots, and I follow that line down and up the beach. Interestingly, it works up here on steep as well as gently sloping beaches. In all my years of hunting, I have NEVER come back empty handed using this method. Also I've noted that when I get too far away from the high tide line (maybe 20-25 feet toward the water) I begin to come across pull tabs. However, when I'm scoping out new territory and come across a few pull tabs, I just move 5-10 feet closer to the high tide mark, and voila, I'll find some coins or jewelry."
On some of the beaches down south I've often done what John talks about, running a zig-zag pattern in the wet sand until I found a line. On the Treasure Coast, it is generally more difficult to find a line because a lot of the time there is a relative scarcity of targets. It takes a few hits to identify a line. Nonetheless, it is a good habit to look for more targets at a similar distance from the water line once you have made one find.
In addition to lines, another common coin distribution pattern is shaped more like an oval or football, with pennies highest on the wet beach and at the ends of the oval, nickels and dimes closer to the center of the oval and next highest on the beach, with quarters lower and closer to the water, and gold items lower yet. This pattern seems to be the result of a sifting of items by density (and other factors), much like you would see accomplished by gold panning. Again, these patterns are most easily identified in areas having an abundance of targets. You can also often find heavy gold rings clustered with fishing sinkers. I know of an 18 pennyweight gold ring that was found in a pocket of fishing sinkers of nearly the same weight.
Once you hit a good target, make sure to cover the surrounding area thoroughly. I would look in all four directions around the find to see if that find might be part of a line or pocket.
It looks like it will be a few days before there is much of a chance of improving beach conditions, but keep watching the coming cold fronts.
The photo above shows one of the better cuts as it was developing Saturday. Yesterday it had filled in a little but not much. I would only rate the beaches a 2 out of 5 right now.