Wednesday, December 30, 2009
My Favorite Find.
This is a religious medallion found on the Treasure Coast. You can see the monk and kneeling person on the front. On the back is an entire prayer in Latin. Although I can't read all of the words, someone recognized the prayer and gave me a translation.
The object was obviously heavily corroded. I kept it in a container with a bunch of coins that needed cleaning for a number of years not having any idea what it was. I thought it was just another coin because it was so heavily encrusted that it looked very much like a coin. When I finally cleaned it I was surprised to learn that it was actually a medallion. It was almost totally hidden by a green crust.
This is a case where even though I didn't know what the object was, it was not a bad thing to keep it stored. It is not a bad idea to keep items stored until you learn enough to know what to do with them. I regret that I didn't do a better job with this object, and it was probably a good thing that I didn't try to clean it sooner.
This item isn't the prettiest find and it is not the most valuable, but I like it the best. It was probably worn by a monk traveling in the new world. I'd like to know more about the man that carried this object and what happened to him and how the object ended up on the beach hundreds of years later.
Almost every object you find was connected to someone and in some way a part of their life. Remember that and you might discover that your finds are even more interesting than you thought.
Every life is a story and every life touches other lives. You influence the people that you know, but also indirectly influence some that you will never know.
Thinking about those who have lived and died can give your life perspective. What have you done that is meaningful? How many lives have you touched? And how can you make you life more meaningful? I think it is good to think about things like that as we come to the end of another year.
Finders Weepers. Peru and Bolivia want a share of a treasure worth about $500 million which the courts ruled should be returned to Spain.
Hey, I want a share too. Not really, but you get my point. A lot of people would like a share of that, but do they deserve it?
The treasure was found by Odyssey Marine Explorations 100 miles off the coast of Gibralter where the Spanish warship Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes sunk.
Peru's claim is based upon the fact that the coins are believed to have been minted in Potosi.
Since the ship sunk in 1804 I personally find it hard to imagine that there is a living soul or any official entity that has any real claim to the treasure other than those who found it. And if any country wanted the treasure,they should have done the work to recover it.
And I doubt that any living person can trace their ancestry that far back in a way that proves any right to any part of the treasure. As far as I am concerned the most deserving recipients are the people that did the work to recover the treasure that otherwise would still be on the bottom of the ocean. But that is not the way the world works. Power and politics are not necessarily fair, but they are realities.
Visit the following site for more of the story.
For other news on Odyssey Marine (stock symbol OMEX), see the following site for information about Spain's claim to the Black Swan treasure.
Warning. Not only can you get in serious trouble by not following the applicable laws, rules and regulations, but you can put the entire hobby at risk. Obey all signs and prohibitions at parks and other beach locations. Only hunt on private property when you have permission. Do not hunt in the dunes or other protected areas such as archaeological sites. In summary, don't let your day at the beach end up badly.
Forecast and Conditions. Nothing much new. The seas are now under five feet and expected to continue that way for the next few days. I'm not expecting any improvement for that time period. I wouldn't be surprised to see continued building of the beach with the East winds. I'll maintain my beach conditions rating at a 2 on my five point scale.
Blue Moon. Watch out for the "blue moon," which occurs this year. A blue moon occurs when a calendar year has more than 12 full moons. A second full moon occurs this December on the 31st. It will be the thirteenth full moon of the year and thus a blue moon.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Photo of Beach at John Brooks This Morning.
If you like sand this is the place to be. Nothing happened last night except more sand, if that is possible. I got a look at one other beach and it was about the same.
On a more hopeful note, a 19.5 pound sculpture of a gold eagle guarding an emerald will be the subject of a treasure hunt and a book entitled The World's Greatest Treasure Hunt: Quest for the Golden Eagle. The book contains clues to the location of the prize. The 400 year-old emerald was donated by Mel Fisher's Treasures of Florida. Sounds like fun. And a nice prize too.
Here is where you can learn more about that.
I got a positive ID on the lead item shown in the photo yesterday. It is fishing jig head. I should have figured that one out myself. I was looking at the stupid thing upside down. Anyhow, now I have that one correctly identified thanks to Anthony V.
A few guys from up north (and I do mean up north, like Wisconsin & North Dakota) have been spending the week on the Treasure Coast doing some heavy detecting. Unfortunately the beaches are not at their best right now. One fellow found a huge piece of iron whatever it is, and another reports that Daytona is yielding a lot more modern coins right now than the Treasure Coast.
Here is a big piece of metal that Todd of Wisconsin dug up on the Treasure Coast. Any ideas about identity are appreciated.
Todd did some digging. Digging will warm you up. It is a bit like cutting fire wood. By the time you cut it you are so warm you don't need a fire any more.
Beach hunting for treasure coins is not easy and depends heavily upon conditions and timing. I talked to a fellow on the beach about a week ago that found a couple very small half reales and he said those were the first that he found in four years. There are those cases where someone finds a gold coin on their first time out, but that is unusual to say the least. That is as rare as hitting all six numbers in the Florida Lotto.
Forecast and Conditions. You really have to scratch around for much of anything these days. The beaches that I've seen lately are all filling in. Maybe there are a couple out there that are different, but I haven't seen them. You might consider sifting through some of that new sand that is being pumped on to the beach down at Juno, or going for the tourist stuff at one of the tourist spots. There are still some coin spots to be found on the Treasure Coast if you want to scratch around a bit. For example, there are some coins just south of the Ft. Pierce inlet where this summer's renourishment sand has already been significantly eroded. You'll have to put up with the fishing sinkers there of course.
It has been tough on the Treasure Coast this year, all through summer and up to this day with few exceptions. It has not been the most productive year. Yet, as always, a few things find their way to the surface.
It seems like it has been a good year for shipwreck spikes. We've seen a number of them this year.
I'm tempted to downgrade my beach conditions rating to a 1, but I think there are still enough opportunities to barely keep it at a 2.
The wind is from the north, but where I've been, the waves are hitting the beach straight on. That doesn't generally cause erosion - just piles up sand like you see in the photo. The seas were high enough at high tide to top the berm, but not by much.
The surf web sites are predicting seas to decrease over the next few days, so I'm not very hopeful that things will improve in the near term.
In any case,
Monday, December 28, 2009
If you have any information or opinions about age or identity of the four items in the fore ground I'd be glad to hear them. The hair comb is copper. I guess I would be surprised if anyone recognizes the design. The center item is lead. I don't have any idea what it is. And the round cloisonne item appears to be the face of a button. The smaller item has a definite design on it, but is too small in this photo for anyone to have any guess about it. There is a small hole in the top of the lead item.
I like cloisonne. It has been used for centuries. There have been a few cloisonne items found that appeared to have come from Treasure Coast shipwrecks.
Here is a bigger picture of the button.
To learn more about cloisonne and to see some examples, both modern and older, take a look at the following.
Record Keeping. There are a lot of good reasons to keep good records on your finds. That is especially true if you are hunting old things like shipwreck artifacts.
If you keep a record of where and when you find items, that will provide information about where to hunt in the future. It might also help you to make associations between items found at different times. And it can help you make a nice display for your finds.
You can clean and restore artifacts and display them in a shadow box. The display will be that much better if you can create labels with the most relevant information. And having documentation on items that can be associated with a particular wreck can actually increase the value of the items if you choose to sell them.
I like looking over old finds from time to time. And having the relevant information available makes it even that much more fun.
Forecast and Conditions. The beaches along the Treasure Coast are generally filling in. There are some remaining spots where you can dig up some old green coins, but from my experience, the coins are becoming more scarce even at the better spots.
The seas are predicted to peak at 5.5 feet on Tuesday. Another cold front is coming through. Winds are from the north and the wave period is predicted to be 15 seconds. It should provide a little test of the effect of wave period. Both wind direction and shorter wave period could help some. I'm not expecting much, but I'm hoping for any small improvement that we might get. Right now my beach conditions rating is holding at a 2, but it is a minimal two.
Can you believe Christmas has come and gone already? And soon 2009 will be over. Time flies. Make the best of every day and every moment.
Make every day count.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Map Showing Where Sand Will Be Dumped at Juno Beach.
The pier is between areas 1 and 3 on this map.
Tom Gidus alerted me to the fact that Juno Beach is beginning a beach renourishment project. Sand will be pumped from around an off-shore wreck site. There is the possibility that items of interest might be pumped onto the beach. Here is a map showing the areas to be replenished.
For more information visit the following site.
I've heard stories of people finding gold coins and things that were pumped out of the dredge pipes. That type of thing happened at Jupiter and actually helped identify the area of a wreck there.
It is often very hard to tell the age and identity of items found on a beach. People often think of old things as being crudely made and when they find something that looks too good, sometimes they conclude it is just too nice to be that old. But some old items were made beautifully. Sometimes the workmanship is nicer than what you find on modern items. Just to give you some ideas, here is a web site that presents photos of 18th century jewelery. Take a look and try to notice anything that might give away the age of the item. One thing that stands out to me is how they used to mount gems. They often covered the backs with a type of foil instead of leaving the back open for the light to shine through. Diamonds, therefore, often looked dark grey and dull. They were generally cut more simply - one case in which the workmanship is better for the modern version.
Conditions and Forecast. There has not been much change since my forecast of yesterday. I'm still looking for that increase in seas that is predicted for Tuesday. Winds are out of the north, which is generally a good thing. Low tides are around 10:00. I'm sticking with my 2 beach conditions rating.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Shipwreck Spikes Found on the Treasure Coast.
Here is a good variety of spikes. As you can see, a few got clipped by my photo editing. There are two quarters in the photo for size comparison.
The photo was sent in by Ed P. along with photos of a variety of other interesting found items. The spikes were cleaned off using a home made electrolysis system. Ed says he has been living in the Treasure Coast area for two years and last year got a Sea Hunter detector for Christmas. He has done very well in that period of time. I might show some of Ed's other found items in the near future.
Thanks for all of the emailed Christmas greetings. I appreciate each and every one of them. It is nice to see once again the kind of people that most detectorists are.
Gary said he was surprised that I didn't talk about "real" treasures on my Christmas post. I did that last year and perhaps should have done it this year. I promise I'll get to that before long.
It is a wonderful day. Any day you can wake up and get around in decent health is a good day. I will say now, appreciate family, friends and all of the blessings of
This is what the beach at Corrigans looked like this morning. It is rather typical. Notice the sea weed and sand built up in front of the old cut. I saw two other beaches just like that this morning. Far from ideal conditions. Even the packed sand out front seemed to be pretty high, relatively speaking. I'll keep a 2 rating for now.
Forecast. Tides are around 9:00 today. Winds are out of the north northwest. They kept saying on the radio that seas are 5 to 7 feet, but they looked a lot calmer than that to me and that is not what the surf web sites are saying. According to them we'll have seas that increase to a peak on Tuesday. They are predicting 5.5 foot seas. We'll see. Right now the beach fronts are building instead of eroding. I'll watch for any changes in that.
I have some other photos ad web sites I'll be showing in the next few days.
Enjoy the Holiday season.
Gold and Emerald Ring Found on Treasure Coast with Metal Detector.
Gary D. stopped by his safe deposit box one day and got a new photo of the ring he found on the Treasure Coast back after the hurricanes. I decided to show it today because if you are real persistent and have a little luck to go along with it you could some day find a nice Christmas present like this to put under your tree. Merry Christmas!
Below is a recent photo of the kind of thing you will see around the Treasure Coast these days. The photo was sent by RD who found cuts at both Jupiter and Fort Pierce. He only had a very limited time to hunt and came up empty.
I appreciate receiving reports like this because I simply can't be everywhere, and to make it worse the last few times I got out, I forgot my camera.
In the photo, notice at the base of the cut some newly deposited sand. Sometimes I refer to fresh cuts. This is not one.
What I mean by a fresh cut, is one that recently occurred and still has a crisp well-defined bottom edge where the sand was removed. Most of the cobs I've found over the years have come from fresh cuts.
When I say a cut is getting stale, I mean that it has been there a while, probably has some newly accumulated sand at the bottom and has most likely been hunted at least a few times. You can see in the photo where some one had been there and how deep their foot prints are.
You won't see shells and sea weed right at the base of a fresh cut. Light materials like that will be removed and swept down the slope. Nor will the sand be piled up at the base.
On a few occasions, I've seen cobs fall out of the cut in front of me while I was detecting.
One important clue to watch when you are on the beach is how well packed the sand is. In general, the harder the sand is the more likely the spot is to be productive. If you are walking along and your feet start to sink into mushy sand, that is not the most likely spot to find cobs. If you come to a spot where the sand is hard packed, check it out. That is one of the better signs. Always slow down to check out the most firmly packed spots.
Especially look for spots where the sand has eroded back to a dense fine sand or clay - clay especially.
While I'm on the topic of clay, blue-green clay is formed by calm pools of water. There is one spot on the Treasure Coast where you can see some of that type of clay now. The coast line has changed a lot over the years and the natural tendency of barrier islands is to migrate to the west and what was once a lagoon or pond is now exposed on the beach.
You might want to check out Bill P's cob cleaning procedure. It was first posted back in 2008 but I think it is so helpful that I put it in my treasure links list.
I've tried a variety of techniques to clean cobs and I can say I got the best results using this procedure. I once posted a before and after picture of a Potosi half reale some time ago to show the good results that I got from Bill's procedure.
I've also tried electrolysis and found that it could be destructive.
I have some new photos of what I believe to be shipwreck artifacts to show, including a good number of spikes.
Forecast and Conditions. I'm sticking with my 2 rating for now. Not much change predicted either. From the surf web sites I would guess that there won't be much change at least until next week.
Have some fun with your family over the holidays.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Found Clay Figure.
This item was recently found on the Treasure Coast. As usual, I don't know much about this item. There are no marks to help identify it. It obviously is hand made. From the back, it appears that the item was made to be placed on or against something. The impressed mark running up the neck looks like it was on a rod or maybe that is just the way it was held during forming. Below you can see the back of the item. Any guesses as to the identity of this item would be appreciated.
I've found that photography can be a big help when you are researching an item, especially in these days of digital cameras and good free photo editing software. Very often when I look at a photo of an item on a computer screen, I see something that I didn't notice before.
In the photo that I showed yesterday there was a small metal item in the bottom of the photo (shown magnified below). Actual size is two inches by 1/4 inch. I could see a couple marks on the actual item, but when I looked at a photo of the item magnified many times on the computer screen, I could see additional features of the design. Not only are there two figures that look something like fleur de lis, but there are rectangles on both sides of the depressed area. Also it appears that there is a circle to right of the design. My guess, and it is really just a guess, is that it is WWII era.
You can often use the photo editing features to enhance the image to show some detail that is otherwise not easy to see.
I wasn't sure that the design is of a fleur de lis, but in my research I found a site that presents a lot of information on the design, including quite a few variations. You probably remember that you'll find the fleur de lis shield of the House of Bourbon in the middle of many of the cobs that are found on the Treasure Coast.
Here is where you can learn more about the fleur de lis if you are interested. Scroll to the bottom of the article to see some variations on the design.
Forecast and Conditions. The seas are expected to increase tomorrow to 4.5 feet. That is not much of a change. And within a foot, the seas are predicted to remain about the same for the next five days. That isn't much so I wouldn't expect any real changes in beach conditions. There are are still a few interesting spots to hunt and it would be worth scouting around to locate those spots where the sand is down a bit, especially around low tide. Many of the old cuts have pretty much filled in on the beach front.
You can probably find a few spots where lighter materials are accumulating at low tide in piles of shells.
I'll stick with my rating of 2 on my five point scale for now.
I just realized that I forgot to mention some of the topics that I planned to discuss today. I'll have do that some other day.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Miscellaneous Junk Whatzits That Could Contain Valuable Information.
These are some things that were found the last couple of days. Even though there is nothing of real value here, this junk might be more valuable than you think.
But the real value of this stuff is in what it might tell you. You might have to research items like this to get the information out of them. Where did they come from? How old are they? When you can answer those questions you will learn something about the site and the probability of related items being found in the area.
Look for any clues such as markings. Can you tell anything about where it has been from the patina? Most of these items do indeed have a patina of one sort or another.
And a proper cleaning could reveal information or even other small items attached or hidden by the conglomerate.
Are the pins bronze? Could they be hull pins? (If anyone has a good test to identify bronze, I'd sure like to hear about it.)
On the little item towards the bottom right, notice the two marks. I'll have to research them.
These kinds of finds can also keep your interest up while looking for all that silver and gold. I always enjoy the mystery of figuring out the whatzits. Its often really hard to tell the age and source of items like this, but if you manage to do it, you might have some good new information to guide your hunting.
I've been forgetting my camera a lot. Did it again today. Anyhow, there are still a few things being found. I haven't heard of any cobs lately but some older stuff - mostly WW II and a little later, including number of mid-twentieth century coins. I haven't seen or heard of any old shipwreck artifacts being found the last two days.
One beach still wasn't bad today even though it had filled some from yesterday. Many of the beaches have filled in pretty heavily below the cut. Lots of mushy sand.
The forecast predicts gradually building seas over the next five days, eventually getting up to about 5.5 feet if the surf web sites are correct.
There are a few spots out there with some interesting low tide hunting. One spot where the shells were washing up yesterday held some Indian pot shards.
Overall I'd only rate the beach conditions as a 2 on my five-point rating scale.
Hopefully some of that sand on the front beach will get removed before long.
I mentioned before that my best day for hunting cobs was Dec. 23rd 1988. I have to correct that. I heard on the radio today that the big freeze was in 1989, not 1988. And it was during the freeze. I can clearly remember how cold it was on the beach. On leaving, I even hit some icy roads.
Someone that is coming to the Treasure Coast from out of the area mentioned that they wanted to hunt the dunes. In many places that is not allowed.
Its good to know what your detector is telling you. Even in all-metals mode the signal tells a lot about the target. You can generally tell the approximate size of the object and how deep it is. And if it is fairly large you can trace the general shape and orientation. Compare the area of the signal with how loud and clearly defined the signal is.
You can often also identify elongated objects like nails by sweeping first in one direction and then sweeping over the object at ninety degrees to that. In one direction the signal will be solid and in the other it will be broken if the object is shaped like a nail.
Well, that's it today. There is enough stirring going on that at least it is fun out there.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Photo of Strange Found Silver Ring.
It looks like an eagle beak. I don't know what it is supposed to be, but it would be a pretty good weapon if worn in a fist fight.
Everything I've been digging lately has been pretty deep - unusually so. I don't know if that means that other people have been getting the surface finds and leaving the softer signals or if things are just deep.
When everything is deep that is a sign of less than optimal conditions. Ideal conditions generally leave things on the surface of very near to the surface, even if the items are old. Even the modern coins that I've been finding have been deep the past few days. They look like they've been out there for quite a while. Yesterday I dug a zinc penny near the water and I must of removed at least ten gallons of sand and water before I got that stupid penny. Zinc pennies usually don't sink very fast. Not only are they light, but the zinc surface tends to adhere to sand. I'm guessing that they didn't sink through the sand as much as they got covered by the shifting sands. There is a slight difference even if I didn't describe it well.
I also dug some clumps of conglomerate. I haven't determined exactly what are in those yet. They were pretty deep too.
Talking about deep - I received a email from someone asking about going after big deep targets with a good deep-seeking pulse detector. That is fine, but all I have to say about that is be ready for some real work.
The guy that used to make my detectors once told me he had a new modification that would make the detector detect even deeper. I told him I didn't want to dig any deeper. He laughed. From everything I hear from everybody else, that would seem to be a strange response. Who doesn't want to detect deeper?
I look at detectors something like golf clubs. There are different types for different situations. I categorize them into three main categories - power detectors, general purpose detectors, and special purpose detectors.
A power detector would be detector that primarily provides depth. A general purpose detector provides flexibility and is pretty good for most common situations. And a special purpose detector provides some special feature, like notch discrimination (accept/reject), target ID, or some other feature that is especially good for a particular situation.
Back to the subject of targeting big and deeper targets. That requires a lot of digging which takes a lot of time and sometimes can not be accomplished without additional resources. Did you ever try to dig a big hole in dry sand, or worse yet recover a target from the wet beach below the water line. That is definitely not easy. I think I gave one tip on recovering items from below the water line recently in a previous post. But if you want to dig big holes in sand, especially wet sand, be prepared to do a lot of work and spend a good bit of time on every hole.
Secondly, most detectors like that detect a lot of iron junk, and you might spend a lot of time trying to recover Bobbie pins, fish hooks, or pieces of iron that you can barely see. It could take some time and experience before you get efficient at using a pulse detector if your experience has been with another type of detector.
My strategy when targeting big deep targets, is to first qualify the area. First go over the area with a good general purpose detector, determine how much junk there is, clean the area up if necessary, and determine if the area seems to promise deeper targets of value that might justify the expenditure of time and energy. Then when you know something about the area, switch to the power machine if that seems to be justified by your preliminary research.
Remember though, if you are going to be digging deep for a large target in wet sand, you might not be able to get some objects out without assistance of some sort. And with pulse detectors you can get into digging a whole lot of junk if you don't know what you are doing.
On another topic, here is a nice web site on the Torrent that sank in Alaska in 1868. The web site gives a couple of nice photos of a copper hull spike and drift pin sitting on the ocean floor. I don't like to think about diving in freezing water these days.
Oh, it seems the sharks are patrolling the Treasure Coast. I saw one caught by some fishermen yesterday.
Forecast. There isn't much in the forecast to take note of. Seas are predicted to be less than five feet for the next few days. That might give you a good chance to check out the low tide areas. I decreased my beach conditions rating to a 2 and I'll stick with that for now.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Photo of Unidentified Item With Previously Posted Ring.
The top item is the whatzit. It is constructed like a ring but is crushed and flattened. I post it with the other ring (which I am told is probably Spanish colonial) for size comparison. I don't believe the bigger item is a finger ring. It looks more like a decorative band. I have no idea what it actually is and hope someone may have some idea.
A few days ago I presented an illustration of two types of beaches that are found on the Treasure Coast. The cuts that I found and talked about yesterday are on what I labeled the middle beach. They were not back as far as the back dunes, but they were further back than the front beach. Furthermore, the cuts were not real deep and there was a fairly steep slope in front of them, with the front slope being composed of fairly loose mushy sand.
Other things being equal, the further back towards the dunes, the more productive the cut. And other things being equal, the deeper the cut, the more productive the cut, even though on occasion I have found good numbers of cobs in shallow cuts towards the front beach, as well as on the flat uncut middle and back beaches. So what I am describing is a complex set of factors that is difficult to describe.
As I noted before, on some beaches, coins are washed out of the back dunes. That occurs more often when there is some elevation to the back dune on beaches such as that at Turtle Trail rather than that at John Brooks. The erosion that occured most recently was not far enough back to cause items to wash out of the back dunes.
But the main point I want to get to today, is that at least one cob that was found the day before yesterday was found very very close to the foot of a cut. It was so close to the foot, that the most likely conclusion would be that it fell out of the wall of the recently eroded cut. I know that happens at times, because I've seen cobs fall out of a cut right in front of me while detecting.
Yet cobs could end up at the foot of a cut by being washed up out of the water to be deposited at the foot of a cut. I've also seen cobs move up the slope with the incoming water.
If the cob fell that I am talking about came from sand that had accumulated within the past year. That means that it had washed up with that accumulated sand earlier because that and simply wasn't there before that. I can't think of any other reasonable conclusion. I should mention that this was indeed naturally accumulated sand rather than dredged sand that was dumped by a renourishment project.
On many of our beaches, we know that at times, such as after the hurricanes of 2004, the sand was cut way down well below present levels, and now, even with the recent cutting, the beaches are still up many feet above those previous levels. So any cobs falling out of that accumulated sand had to be washed up on the beach with the accumulated sand.
In any case it is worth thinking about how cobs end up where you find them. By formulating a theory about their distribution you can predict where you think you might find them on any given day. If you are surprised by where you find one, then you have to consider correcting or elaborating your theory.
I often say that information is more valuable than most single finds, because information can lead you to many more finds. Of course, any single find can provide information if you observe the conditions and incorporate the results of your new observations into your theory.
One reason that I often discourage using discrimination is that even the presence of junk can provide valuable information that can guide your detecting. That is something else I should discuss more at another time.
If you have a theory, don't be overly controlled by it. Do not let your theory overly restrict you. If you only detect in one kind of spot, your theory will become self-fulfilling and you will not continue to learn and you will miss some good finds. Be open to learning. Test your theory from time to time and take surprises as a welcome opportunity to improve your knowledge.
I've know people that believe cobs only washed up from the water and I've known people that believe that cobs are only washed out or uncovered by the erosion. I believe that it works both ways. Some cobs are found after they wash up and some are found after they wash out.
Conditions and Forecast. As usual, after a front passes through the wind changes direction and yesterday was coming from the west. That means that the water will probably smooth out and be pushed out so you can access more low tide area. It would be good to search the low tide area to see what the recent waves stirred up.
Today I see the prediction is for wind out of the north/northwest. There is enough of a northerly direction, that I will be interested to see what happens. For now, I'm dropping my beach conditions rating back to a 2.
Most of the cuts at the main beach access spots have been detected a few times by now. You might want to try some of the out of the way places.
I've mentioned before that one of my best ever cob hunting days was December 23rd back in 1988. It was very cold that day.
Only a few more days to find your Christmas present.
Friday, December 18, 2009
I forgot to take my camera today so I don't have photos, but I do have a report on most of the main Treasure Coast beaches.
This morning it looked like almost every beach in St. Lucie and Indian River counties had 2 to 4 foot cuts. Unfortunately the cuts were generally ten or more yards from the back dunes. And there is still a lot of beach renourishment sand and summer sand accumulation to work through. There were some monster waves above Vero, but they were breaking about fifty yards out from the cuts. That means that there is a lot of sand in front of the beach.
Ambersands to the north had cuts of about four feet. Yet the cuts were in beach renourishment sand.
Wabasso had some cuts but didn't particularly impress me relative to some of the other beaches. Most of the cuts there were also in beach renourishment sand, but a lot of that sand had been moved in the past and I know that older things were being uncovered.
Turtle Trail looked better than Seagrape, with the biggest cuts to the south of Turtle Trail.
Pepper Park surprised me and had scalloped cuts in the range of two to four feet.
John Brooks was cut today right in front of the access where it was not cut early yesterday. The the cuts there were not as big as those on many of the more northern beaches.
Things were being found. Some small half reales were found and I know of one small copper shipwreck spike that was found.
With the south winds, the waves were hitting in a way that cut the sand from from south to north. You could in many cases see thin layers of black sand that was laid down during the summer washing out on many of the beaches.
I am issuing a Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Rating upgrade from a 2 to a 3. I don't expect the 3 rating to hold for more than a couple of days. The seas will probably be slacking off later Friday and continuing for a few days. At some point the winds will probably change and we'll be able to get out to the low tide areas to see what happened there.
Someone asked me a question about using a deep seeking pulse induction detector to go after the bigger and deeper targets. Because of the number of small pieces of iron and things on many beaches and the time spent in digging deep holes, my advice would be to first go over the targeted area to clean it up and qualify it. By qualify it, I mean determine if there are signs that indicate that the area is promising in some way. If you are going to spend the time and effort to dig deep holes in sand at least don't do it randomly. Try to improve your chances and minimize wasted effort by looking for something that says the area is promising enough to work that way.
One other thing I'll mention about that is that digging deep holes in sand is not easy. And digging in wet sand can be even more difficult. Some of the deeper targets will be very difficult or impossible to retrieve, especially when you are getting down to the water level.
There are some tricks for dealing with that. For smaller targets you can take a something like bottomless bucket to place in the hole to keep the sides from falling in as you dig. Of course for larger targets that won't really work.
Well the main thing today is the beach upgrade and the similarity of the beaches across most of the Treasure Coast. They seemed pretty much the same today.
That's it for now.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Photo of John Brooks Park Beach This Morning Around High Tide.
As you can see this beach didn't look very good this morning.
I was waiting for an increase in seas. It was windy last night and this morning. Also very rainy at the beach today. The highest seas are predicted for later in the day - about 6.5 feet. That is getting up close to where it might do some good. My experience suggests that it usually takes something close to six foot seas to do much good. It depends in part on how the waves hit the beach though. You could actually see that where the beach curves. One part would be filling in while another part showed some cutting.
There were beaches that looked better than John Brooks this morning. In some of the places where the beaches were already cut, they lost a little more sand. I only saw a few beaches this morning so I can't give information on any other specific beaches. From what I saw toay I would say that there would be some additional cutting at spots, but not anything great.
For now I'll stick with my 2 rating. It might take some scouting around to find whatever good spots there are. The low tide hunting probably be decent when the seas go down again.
If the waves decrease tomorrow as predicted, whatever happens tonight will probably be the end of it for a at least a few days.
I'll be watching the period of the waves to see how that seems to affect things the next few days also.
Here is an interesting article which reports that new artifacts have been found that changes our ideas about the path of Hernando de Soto. You can read more about that at the following site.
There was a considerable amount of black sand at one beach this morning. Black sand can be tricky to work well. Depending upon what type of detector you are using, you might actually find it easier to work black sand in all metals mode. You'll hear the sand, but you should also be able to pick out the other targets. You might want to slow down a little though.
Well, I'm eager to see what happens tonight, but while I am expecting some improvement in conditions, I'm not expecting anything great now.
Illustrations of Two Different Types of Beaches.
The top illustration represents a low beach such as the beach at John Brooks park. The dunes at the back are not much higher than the middle beach and keep getting moved to the west by the wind.
The bottom illustration represents a beach like that at Turtle Trail with a fairly high steep cliff at the back.
I'll just barely introduce these illustrations today and refer to them from time to time in the future.
Cobs on the top beach are primarily washed up. That type of beach would probably lie west of where it was years ago. It would tend to be fairly broad.
Cobs on the bottom beach would come from both the back dunes, when it erodes,and to some extent from the water. I have actually tracked objects from the back dunes to the middle and front beach, so I certain that is where some of them come from.
If the sand on the top beach was eroded back to the dunes and fairly deep, as actually happened during the 2004 hurricanes, that would mean that the sand in that area now, would be recently filled sand. Any coins in that area before the erosion, if not washed out to sea, would have dropped down to the highest layer that was not eroded. The new sand that filled in after the storms and erosion would then cover any remaining old coins. Those coins would not be accessible until the sand on top of them was eroded again. Few other coins would end up on the middle or front beach from those low dunes.
I'll continue my tale of two beaches sometime in the future.
Forecast and Conditions. 6.5 foot seas are now predicted for tomorrow (Thursday). According to the predictions the seas will then increase after Thursday. I'll keep my "2" Treasure Coast Beach rating for now and wait to see if tomorrows seas actually do anything for us.
This morning the winds were out of the northeast and still are.
My beach illustrations are simplified, but I think they'll help me to describe some things.
I also need to talk some more about metal detectors and depth in the future. I mention it now primarily to help me remember to do that.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The Photos Are of a Couple Nice Shipwreck Spikes Recently Found by Gary D.
My ideas about when and how the beaches produce shipwreck coins are based on my personal observations over the years. Learning to identify the most promising spots will make your time in the field both more productive and efficient. Even though I've learned a bit over the years there is still a lot that I don't understand. But when it comes down to it, the theory about how things work is not that important to me except in so far as it helps me be in the right spot at the right time.
Anthony V. sent an email and mentioned something that might help me to understand some things better and make better predictions. He said, "...wave period is probably just as if not more important than anything in determining erosion. The longer the period the wave the more energy. A smaller long period swell will usually do more "damage" to the beach than a larger short period wind chop." And, "...best bet for erosion is a big storm far away with high wind over a lot of fetch. this will make a large long period swell that will do the most damage..."
We haven't had that big storm that sits and churns off the coast for quite some time.
What I want to predict is not erosion, although that is part of the story, what I want to predict is when shipwreck coins will be within range of a metal detector and where. The correlation between number of cobs found and amount of erosion is far from perfect. Some cuts produce cobs while others do not. Erosion is one thing, and the accessability of cobs is another. But all things being equal, an eroded beach is generally a better place to hunt than a beach that is sanded in. There is a relationship, but it is not a perfect correlation. There are other important factors in addition to erosion.
We might be able to observe the effect of wave period a bit this week, since on Thursday the surf sites are predicting six foot seas with an 8 second period, and on Monday they are predicting lower seas with a larger period (13 secs.). I'll be watching to see what happens.
Different materials are washed up on the beaches at different times. One day it might be sea weed, another day shells, and then another day the shells will be gone and there will be rocks or something. Cobs, in my experience, are most often found when the beaches are relatively clean of most other types of objects. There are however times when they are found with patches of shells that are washed up and sometimes over the top of a cut. I'll try to get into more detail on that topic some other day. In fact, it will probably take a number of days.
If you are interested in learning more about waves and how they affect the beaches, here is a nice site that might explain more than you want to know.
I am putting together my ideas on how beaches change and what signs to look for and where to detect on beaches. It gets pretty complex. I'll have to post it in installments if I ever do get around to it.
One reader, another Tony, said my information on finding coin lines has been very helpful to him. I'm glad to help.
And JC said that the silver ring that I posted on 12/10 looked just like a 22 kt. gold Spanish ring that he had found and was in the process of researching.
I want to thank everyone for their emails again, and mention that if you want me to give your full name in my posts when I use your information, just let me know and I'll be glad to do that. I only use emailed information when it seems to fit in with my blog and post for the day. If you want me to keep your name or any information private, just let me know, and I'll do that. If you don't tell me otherwise, I'll assume that I can post your information and will just give your first name and last initial in the blog. And of course I'll keep anything private that you don't want posted. Just tell me if you want me to keep something private and I will.
Forecast and Predictions. The local beaches haven't changed much yet. As I said, I'm looking ahead to Thursday. Hopefully that will do something for us. I'm keeping my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Rating at a 2 for the time being.
As you've seen the past few days, shipwreck artifacts are being found even though conditions are not that good for finding silver and gold cobs.
Monday, December 14, 2009
I've mentioned before that the Jupiter Inlet beach is one of my favorite detecting beaches even though I don't often get down that way these days. A guy named Dave and I used to hit it pretty hard back before that fateful discovery of the wreck site on that morning when a life guard was out for his morning swim. Tom Gidus sent in this photo of the beach along with a photo of some of his finds from down that way.
I actually didn't think I was going to be able to get a report in today, but it happened that I received a bunch of good emails, including Tom's. I'll get to some of the others in the next few days.
Tom also sent this photo of some of his finds down in the Jupiter/Juno area. As I've been saying things are being found.
Detecting Tip. One thing I would highly recommend is to take a small sample of what you intend to target with you to the beach. If you want to find cobs take a small cob or something very similar to a small cob to the beach with you. Before you begin to hunt, put the sample on the ground and detect it. Adjust your settings and your sweep speed until you get the clearest signal. That does a number of things. First, it helps you adjust your computer to the type of target that you want to find. Second, you make sure that your detector is working well before you waste your time covering ground with a poorly functioning machine.
I've started to detect not realizing that one or more of my settings were way off and as a result wasted time and maybe missed perfectly good targets. I've also walked way down the beach before beginning detecting only to discover that when I turned my detector on, that the batteries were dead. Both of those mistakes could have easily been avoided.
Using a silver cob as an example of something you might want to target, take a very small one to use to adjust your settings a sweep speed. If you can find the smallest ones, the bigger ones will be easy enough to detect.
If you don't have a sample of what you want to find, get something similar. Again, using a silver cob as the example, you could take a worn silver dime, cut it down to a gram or less and use it. It will give a very similar response. Try to get something of the same or similar composition, size and shape as the target.
And sweep speed does make a big difference on many detectors. Swinging your coil either too fast or too slow will diminish the signal and make it easy to miss perfectly good targets. People who put a lot of emphasis on depth and pay for a good machine so they will get good depth, lose depth by swinging their coil at less than an optimal speed. If you test the speed needed to get the best signal before you start detecting, you'll get a good feel for how fast to go.
You might be hunting with settings that will not even pick up small half reales. I've found half reales as small as half a gram and gold beads that you can barely see once they are detected. You can easily miss small targets like that if your discrimination, sensitivity or other settings are off. Make sure that you can detect the items that you want to find before beginning. You might be surprised at what you are missing. It is always good to test your detecting skills on known targets, especially under actual field conditions.
If you find a lot of men's rings and very few women's rings with nice solitaire diamonds, the reason is probably the detector settings that you use and/or your sweep speed. Men's rings are usually larger and the best women's diamond rings are often small and thin.
Forecast and Conditions. I'm not changing my beach rating at this point. I'm sticking with a 2 rating. I am primarily focused on the change in wind and seas predicted for Thursday. I hope that happens as predicted.
I got an email from another reader giving me some good information relative to factors causing erosion. I'll get into that in detail someday soon.
I also got some additional information on some of the find photos that I posted recently. Again, I'll get into that later.
Thanks to all for the emails and information.
In the mean time,
Sunday, December 13, 2009
This is a half reale that was found on a Treasure Coast beach. I selected it because it shows very little on the shown side that would help you to identify it. The other side does have identifying information. If you haven't found your first beach cob yet, this cob might help you to recognize one when you see it. Many have been thrown away. It is not always easy to identify things in the field. I'll be talking about that more in the future for a variety of reasons.
The seas increased to about five and a half feet. That is higher than I expected. Still, it is not enough to do a lot of good. What I am excited about is the projections for this coming Thursday. After slacking off Monday through Wednesday, the surf web site is projecting something close to seven and a half foot seas. In my experience, most often it take something on the order of six to eight foot seas to begin to do much good. And that depends upon more than the height of the waves. It also depends upon the angle of the waves. Waves hitting the beach straight on usually don't do much good. And waves coming from a more southerly direction often just push more sand up on the beach. What it usually takes is waves hitting from a good north/northeast direction to really cut the beaches. We'll have to wait and see how that turns out this week.
I've been getting email from people asking what beach to go to. And most often these requests are sent days or weeks before the detectorist expects to actually get out on the beach. If there is one question I would discourage you from asking, that is it. First, if I am going to give that information, I'll do it here. I usually give a near update in this blog. If I don't tell you a specific beach to hit, there is a reason. Sometimes I don't want everyone running out to the same beach. And I never know what all the beaches are doing. Obviously I can't look at every beach every day. That is simply impossible. As a result, I don't usually comment on specific beaches. And also, you should go out and scout around for yourself. I wouldn't want to take all the fun out of hunt even if I could.
What I can do fairly well, is give you an overall rating. Sometimes the chances are very slim of finding silver or gold cobs on the Treasure Coast, and sometimes the chances are much better. That is why I have my rating system. A "1" rating says that there is very little (not no) chance of find silver or gold cobs on the Treasure Coast beaches, and five says indicates that the chances are about as good as they'll ever get. By giving a rating, I think I can help you get an idea if it is worth going out to the beach at all. I think it will help you make better decisions about how to spend your time and gas money.
Remember that the beaches are constantly changing. And they don't all change the same way at the same time. I already mentioned that the angle of the waves is important. And the beaches are not straight - they have curves and they are oriented differently. They also have different features and many have obstructions that change the flow of sand. As a result, one beach might cut while the others do not. The angle of the beach relative to the waves is important, but there are other factors.
Just the other day I pointed out that one beach was good and firm while a neighboring beach just a couple of miles away was soft and mushy. Each beach is different, and the different parts of a single beach differ. Sometimes just a few yards of a beach will be good and the rest terrible. Furthermore, the good spots and to poor spots can change a by a few yards or more on every change of tide. You really have to learn to stalk beach treasures very much like you would stalk wild game. It moves, but there are signs to follow.
I say all of this to indicate why I would prefer that you don't ask which beach you should go to. Like I just tried to explain, beach hunting is very different from metal detecting on dry land. For best luck, you need to learn to read the beaches and learn to follow the sand. Most often what you want to do is detect where ever the sand is leaving and avoid the spots where it is building up.
The second most frequent question that I am asked is what detector to buy. That question is very complex. It depends very much on you and what, when and how you want to hunt. I usually do not know enough about you to be able to answer that question. It is more complicated than you would think if you are someone that would ask that question.
I always like to hear from readers of this blog, so feel free to ask questions or make comments or whatever, but I did want you to know that there are a couple of common questions that I can't answer very well.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I think you can see some of the detail of the handle even though much of it is covered by concretion and hasn't been cleaned yet. The handle is from the same item shown in a post a few days ago.
Joe McCormack believes he has found a sunken French vessel that was loaded with 426 tonnes of gold. He was teaching his son to dive and they found what they thoght was a dress button that remained in a drawer at home for six years, but was later discovered to be the ring seal of Mary Queen of Scots. That information helped them identify the wreck.
You can read more of the story at this web site.
It just goes to show how important it can be to properly identify a found item. Digging up an item is only the first part of the job and of the fun.
Clean Water Restoration Act. In the rush to take control of virtually everything, the Federal government in one Act is in the process of taking control of anything and everything wet. This Senate Bill could have many far-reaching and many unanticipated results, and could mean lots of changes in the salvage business. If it passes, I would expect many legal battles, and although I have not studied the bill in detail yet, it looks like Florida's control of the waterways could be challenged. If you are interested in looking into this, here is a starting place.
Forecast and Conditions. It looks like we'll have East winds and five foot seas today with a low tide about 11 o'clock. The seas will be decreasing gradually over the next few days until another front comes through on Wednesday. We'll get a nice increase in seas on Thursday if the surf web sites are correct. That looks like the best chance for something good to happen. Unfortunately the five-day projections are often off a bit and we'll have to wait and see if things materialize on Thursday.
Secondary targets are still being found. I've received a few reports of shipwreck artifact finds over the past few days - spikes, pins, etc. I might show you a few of those in the near future.
Also a gold coin from around 350 BC found on the Treasure Coast.
I'm maintaining my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Conditions Rating of 2.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Front and Back of Unidentified Found Button.
Here is a button found on a Treasure Coast beach. It is another one of those Whatzits.
There is a lot of research to do when you find artifacts. And then there is the cleaning and preservation that follows if you got something interesting.
Metal detecting is a great way to introduce young people to research and a variety of academic disciplines.
I don't know the composition of the button face, but I think you can see from the rust on the back that at one time the shank or some part of back was iron. I think the front shows an eight. Well, I have some research to do. As always, if you have information or ideas about this button, I'd like to hear from you.
Oh, it is 5/8 inch across and it appears to be hollow. It could be modern for all I know at this point.
Conditions and Forecast. Yesterday afternoon (Thurs.) the wind shifted from the west and was coming from the north. If the animated wind charts are correct, we'll get north winds for a while, and if that occurs during high tide and high seas, we might get some cuts. Not much happened to the beach yet as a result of the change in wind (at least those that I have information on).
We are getting northeast winds today, but I don't expect much to happen until Saturday when the seas are predicted to be around six or seven feet. So I wouldn't expect much until then and even then it might not improve much or at all.
There is still a lot of summer sand on the front of many of the beaches. I wouldn't rate conditions any higher than a 1 or a 2, at best.
Some of the well-known treasure beaches are really sanded in right now. I'd recommend scouting out some of the less detected beaches.
Some time before long we should get a front that really moves some sand. It is long overdue.
I hope you enjoy the links on my list of treasure links. There are some really good sites listed there. I need to check some of them again myself to research some items.
Hopefully the latest cold front will do a little more for our beaches than I am expecting at this point.
You'll notice that the change in wind direction took away some of the access to low tide areas that we were having.
There is a Treasure Coast shipwreck treasure map now on ebay, item no. 110467155011.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Yesterday you saw a photo of another recent beach find. The item that I showed was tapered to a point at one end. The more I look at the handle the more sure I am that it is a handle. The next thing is to properly clean it.
I thought the long thin extension did not look like a sword blade since it wasn't flat. I thought that fact made it unlikely that the item could be a sword. What I found out shortly thereafter is that rapiers often did not have flattened blades. In fact, more often the blade of a rapier was some other shape - the cross section being more like a diamond, or hexagonal or something like that. No matter what the item is, it may be useful to know that fact.
The following is a good web site describing and illustrating a variety of rapiers.
Another fact that I ran across gave me the meaning of cloak and dagger and described the use of a cloak wrapped around one arm to be used defensively when also using a dagger. Thus the term cloak and dagger. Here is a site that provides a digital copy of an old book that gives instructions on how to use various weapons and defensive items of past centuries. You might find the site as interesting as I did. Here is the chapter on cloaks.
You can also back up and look at the rest of the book if you are interested.
I wish I took my camera with me today. I saw several things that I would like to have a picture of. Among other things, I saw a nice size shark hanging right next to shore. At least one fisherman lost everything but the head of his catch to that shark. And there were fish galore.
Conditions and Forecast. I'm sticking with my 2 beach conditions rating even though the few decent places that there are, are getting old and worn out. Due to the west winds we still have some interesting low tide hunting.
Shells were washing up in spots today.
One surprise is that the surf web sites are now projecting higher seas, building to over five feet on Saturday. That isn't much, but it might be enough to help freshen up a few of the decent spots that are still out there. I am hoping that the water gets high enough to cut into some of the old cuts that haven't been copletely filled yet.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Photo of Recent Unidentified Treasure Coast Find
The object is about four and a half feet long. It tapers to a point. But what is very interesting to me is the one end that looks something like a handle has a different shape along the rod
I don't know if you can see it in the top picture, but above the big clump there are horizontal lines running the same direction as the rod and then above that are lines running at 90 degrees or at ninety degrees to the length of the rod (I think you can see those in the top picture. As hesitant as I am to say it, it does look like a designed handle.
Always inspect conglomerates and never throw anything away until you are sure that it is junk.
One tip for continuing to make interesting finds during more challenging times like we have on the beaches now is to walk a little further. Most people spend a limited amount of time detecting and as a result tend to hunt the areas near the parking lots. Those areas often become over hunted while a little further down the beach you can often find some goodies that haven't yet been touched.
I often mention the time I stopped by a beach up near Pensacola. I could quickly tell that it had been thoroughly hunted on a regular basis. But there were a couple of poles sticking out of the water and I could tell that whoever usually detected there had a regular pattern and detected the area defined by the poles. I decided to detect the area just outside over-detected rectangle and quickly picked up three gold rings in practically no time. Each ring was within about two feet of the detected area.
Here is a picture of a spike that I showed a few days ago. The curved end made me wonder if the bend was intentional or accidental. I thought maybe the spike was intentionally bent to hold better and was the reason the bolt appeared to pull through on the other end. I ran across this description just the other day that might apply. Here it is.
"Dead as a Doornail" is a phrase that comes from the "dead nail".
"A dead nail was one whose tip was clenched back into the wood. This was a common way to fasten door and gate hinges to prevent the nails from working loose."
Info courtesy of Blacksmiths Guild of the Potomac newsletter.
Forecast and Conditions.The winds are from the southwest, which makes hunting at low tide easy. That is what I would be doing these days. You might be able to hunt a little further out than usual. There are some things being found in the low tide areas. I'm very close to dropping my beach coditions rating to a 1 (poor) but won't do it quite yet.
I don't think we'll see much improvement for the next few days unless the surf web sites are wrong. From the weather, I would expect another front to pass through. in the mean time on the Treasure Coast, you'll have to hunt out whatever spots are still promising.
The word for the day is "create." Create special moments with family and friends. Preserve the memories, display them and frequently pull them out to share.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
A Musket Ball and an Unidenified Item Found with a Metal Detector.
The musketball doesn't require any comment, but I post the other item because I've found a number of them and have never figured out what they are. The square washer-like items have always been found in close proximity to musketballs or other weaponry of the same general period. It is made of lead and is somewhat concave on the side shown. In the center is what appears to be the remains of an iron rod. It looks like the rod went through the center of the lead item and on the other side of the item the lead is raised in the center around the remaining piece of iron as if an iron rod had been pushed through the lead. I found the first of these many years ago and have not been able to find any clues on what the lead squarish items might be. Any ideas or opinions would be appreciated.
I know that there are a number of people who have recently discovered this blog. One thing I do is rate the Treasure Coast beaches on how productive they are likely to be at a given time. When I say productive, I am primarily concerned with shipwreck coins and artifacts made of precious metals. Those are what I sometimes refer to as primary targets.
Of course there are other things of interest that can be found and the rating system is useful for finding other things such as other types of artifacts and more modern items, but the rating system focuses on the probable availability of shipwreck coins or artifacts made of precious metals. I often refer to other types of related older items as secondary targets. Secondary targets, either because of size, shape or composition, can often be found when conditions are not ideal for finding primary targets.
Secondary targets, in addition to being of less interest to some detectorists, are generally items that are light in weight, less dense, easily adhere to sand or conglomerates, have a lot of surface area relative to weight or simply are big enough to be detected through layers or sand. Therefore secondary targets can often be found when primary targets are more scarce. Secondary targets often indicate that primary targets may be nearby.
My rating system goes from one to five, with one indicating the poorest conditions for finding primary targets and five, the best conditions for finding primary targets.
I am sorry if you've read this before, but the blog has a lot of new readers so I thought I should make that clear. If you are a new reader, it would probably be a good idea to go through many of the previous posts.
I receive email, and one of the questions that often comes up is where can a person hunt and what are the rules and regulations regarding finds. You can go back to the 9/3/2009 and 9/4/2009 posts for information on that topic.
Another common question concerns cleaning cobs. For information on that topic, read the 12/29/2008 post.
I found a nice web site that gives a lot of good information and underwater photos of the wreck HMS Speedy. It is a northern wreck, but the web site is interesting. You don't often find these types of underwater photos.
The word for today is "believe." Believe in something bigger, better and more important than yourself. That will elevate anyone out of a petty existance of greed, selfishness and smallness and lead to higher values and aspirations.
Forecast and Conditions. Beach conditions have not changed much on the Treasure Coast and from what I'm seeing, and I would not expect much change for the coming week. There are a few interesting spots out there even though most of the old cut are filling in. I'm sticking with my 2 rating for now.
The surf web sites are projecting less than five foot seas for the next several days. I would be focusing on some of the out-of-the-way beaches near the water.
I've been hearing about some finds and getting some tips to pass along in the future, and I have some more find photos to post.
Monday, December 7, 2009
A front came through over the weekend but didn't do much to the beach. While there are a few beaches out there that are not in terrible shape, most are not very good.
You can see the sea weed which indicates that the beaches are building rather than eroding. The waves are coming pretty much from the east, which rounded off some of the old cuts where the waves got high enough.
Because of the few spots that are not as bad as most spots, I'm giving an overall Treasure Coast Beach Conditions rating of 2 on my five point scale. One is terrible and five is great.
One reader of this blog sent me an email recently and mentioned that since they have been reading this blog they have become a much more visual hunter. He went on to explain that what he meant is that he no longer simply goes out and randomly swings his detector, but rather looks at the overall picture.
I guess that means that I have been somewhat successful with this blog. I always tell people to keep their eyes open when detecting. You could never cover all of the sand that there is to cover on a beach, so you have to assess, or read, the beach and decide where to spend your time.
You will find that there are some spots that are more promising than others. Some types of areas will be more productive than others. When you learn to identify the areas that are most likely to be productive you can use your time more efficiently.
There are a lot of signs to look for too. And there are also a lot of things that you might eye-ball that you might miss with your detector. Those things can help you make better use of your time.
Here is one item that that detectorist eye-balled. It looks to me like it could be a fossilized gator tooth.
If you keep your eyes open, you can often find non-metallic as well as metallic items of interest. Gary D. recently eye-balled a very thin gold chain with a diamond.
Many detectors will not pick up thin gold chains unless they have a medallion or something larger on them.
I got a couple of email reports that I'll pass along. Gary D. said that down in South Florida there were some three foot cuts but mush at the bottom. Sounds pretty much like what we find around here. What cuts remain are getting old and filled at the bottom.
And another person said that below Jupiter Inlet - down towards Carlin Park - there are some good cuts. He rated that beach a 4 on a five point scale. Sounds worth checking out. Oh, he also mentioned a gold Rolex found down that way.
Well that's it from me for today.
Oh, one last thing. The word for the day is "appreciate." Good fortune left unappreciated is good fortune lost. Work to appreciate all of your blessings so that not one will be wasted.
I appreciate all of the info I receive from others. There is no way I can be everywhere.
Friday, December 4, 2009
This unidentified silver item was found over the Thanksgiving holiday on one of our Treasure Coast beaches by Jeremy S. He also found a few non-metallic items of possible interest. I might show one of them some other time.
The item is silver. You can get an idea of it's size by comparing with the fingers that are in the picture.
If anyone has an idea what it might be, I'd like to hear from you. It seems that it has a definite front and back. It looks to me as if it might be some type of decorative ornament.
This is what one Treasure Coast beach looked like at low tide yesterday afternoon. You can see that the sea was calm, and you can also see that there was about thirty or forty yards of sand exposed in front of the most recent cut. That is a lot of sand to detect.
I don't expect any significant changes for the next few days. The seas will be less than five feet. There still might be a few nice low tide spots to hit. Nonetheless, I could easily downgrade my Treasure Coast beach rating to a 1 (poor) again, but won't do it quite yet.
This has been a very quiet year so far. Something has to change someday.
The seas are calm enough to do some easy water hunting if you have a place where you can do that.
You can learn to water hunt in some pretty rough seas. It takes a while though. I remember one time when the waves kept knocking my ear-phones off. I learned how to avoid that after a while.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I've shown this cob before but I wanted to show it again today because I am also posting below an article about the silver coins that come from Potosi.
I like monogrammed half reales, and this is one of my favorites because of the clarity of detail.
If you read back through this blog, you'll see that this side of the coin was completely encrusted when found. None of it was visible until it was cleaned. The crust, it turns out, protected the detail of the coin from corrosion.
Can you beieve it? Gold was well over $1200 yesterday. It just keeps going.
Silver is doing well too.
Talking about silver - yesterday I mentioned the Jupiter Inlet shipwreck and gave you a link to an article written by Tom Gidus, the West Palm scuba dive writer for the Examiner, that talked about that wreck site. If you want to know more about where the silver coins on that wreck came from, here is a great article on Potosi where the silver was mined and the coins made.
The coins from Potosi made a long trip before they ended up in the water off of Jupiter Inlet. I saw a TV documentary once on how they were carried over long and dangerous mountain paths before they were loaded onto ships. Its an amazing story when you know something of the travels of the coins that are found on our beaches. Some of our Treasure Coast coins were lost in shipwrecks and salvaged before they were lost a second time near the Treasure Coast. One gold coin I found, I know was lost and salvaged at least twice before I got it.
Here is the web site on the history of the Potosi coins.
Thanks to Gary D. for sending me this article.
Gold Pendant Found. I always tell people to keep their eyes open while detecting. Here is the story of a hiker who found a 6500 year old gold pendant in a field.
Keep your eyes open.
Forecast and Conditions. The wind this morning is coming from the southwest. The seas are relatively calm. The tides are going to be pretty high though. That might do some good.
At this point it looks like we won't see anything over four foot seas for the next frew days. I'll keep my 2 rating for the Treasure Coast treasure beaches.
There is a little thunder and a few showers this morning.
I've received some reports and got some photos of recent finds.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Photos of Two Eroding Beaches This Morning
The big news for today is a Treasure Coast treasure beach conditions upgrade. I saw two different beaches this morning and even though the wind had shifted to the southeast, both beaches were in the process of eroding. I can't speak for the beaches that I didn't see, but since the ones I saw are very different and yet both were eroding, I have to assume that some others were eroding also. You can see both beaches in the photos. Both had close to three-foot cuts.
The beach in the first photo was cut for a few hundred yards but was still pretty mushy out front with the shell layers being pretty deep. The beach in the second photo had shells at different layers, but many being close to the surface. Both beaches were cut more to the east than previous recent cuts.
Seas are under five feet now and coming out of the southeast. The surf web sites are not projecting an increase until later this weekend or early next week. At this point the increase is expected to be up to about five feet. That is typically not enough to do the beaches much good but it could help currently eroded spots.
Projections more than a couple of days in advance are not real accurate and generally change some as we get closer to the time, so watch for early next week to see what actually happens. The tides are fairly high so check after high tides to see if any back beach sand has been removed and check the low tide area at low tide to take advantage of any churning on the front beach.
I'm upgrading my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Rating from a 1 to a 2 on my 5 point scale. 1 is poor and 5 is fantastic. I believe that the beaches look better than they actually are even though they are improving.
If you've been reading this blog for very long, you probably know that the beach just south of Jupiter Inlet is one of my favorites for metal detecting. Not only can you find an occasional cob, but you can find other older US coins and some modern jewelry there. The best time to hit that beach is when the waves are eating away at the old dunes.
Here is a nice web site that gives the history of the shipwreck being salvaged there. Back in the late eighties I knew a guy named Dave that got a lot of cobs from that beach.
Here is the web site.
I'll have another web site talking about the history of the coins found on that shipwreck in the near future - maybe tomorrow.
Ebay Treasure Map. There is a Treasure Coast Shipwreck Metal Detecting Map listed on Ebay that does not yet have a bid yet. The item number is 110463182844.