Monday, January 3, 2011

1/3/2011 - Wet Sand Hunting

A Couple Additional Unidentified Items Recently Found in a Coin Hole Not Far From a Suspected 17th Century Wreck.

The strip of lead is about two inches long and seems to have a pattern stamped into it. The pattern appears to consist of slightly curved lines running at about 45 degrees from the long edges of the strip in a cross-hatched pattern.

Other than that, I don't have any ideas about it. It could possibly be from any of a wide variety of time periods.

I get the feeling that the shell pendant, or whatever, is modern. I haven't determined the type of metal yet.

Before the end of the year, I started answering a question someone asked about the best way to hunt a beach. I did a couple of posts talking about hunting what I call "recent drops" in the dry sand. I didn't finish the topic though because I had some other things to talk about.

Today I'll talk a little about hunting the wet sand. For today's purposes, the term "wet sand" will include the area from the highest extent of the recent high tides down to the water's edge.

Hunting wet sand is very different from hunting the dry sand. In the dry sand, items will remain pretty much where they are dropped. In the wet sand, they will change location because of the movement of water.

When hunting wet sand watch for any movement of sand. New sand accumulating on a beach is generally not a good sign, but cuts are a good sign. Big cuts are one of the easiest things to spot and can be one of the best places to hunt. Generally speaking, the bigger the cut, the better the hunting, but there are exceptions.

Often the area just below a big cut will produce a lot of coins and other items.
Sometimes that same area will produce nothing, but it is always worth checking. Sometimes someone will clean it out before you get there and sometimes the coins will get moved down into the water or down the beach in one direction or another.

Cuts will fill in. The next day it can fill in, and then the next day after that, it can erode again, replenishing the targets.

Related topics that I've talked about in the past are "vertical compacting," "coin lines" and "coin holes."

There are times, though few, when you can find a beach front with newly pile up sand containing a bunch of coins or other targets.

In the wet sand the coins will be sifted and distributed by weight, or perhaps more correctly, by density as they are acted upon by the water. It is something like the effect of moving water on gold nuggets in a pan. The denser materials are separated from the lighter materials.

The longer the water acts upon the targets over hours or even days, and the greater the force of the water, the more the items of different kinds will be separated.

It is actually not only by density that the items are separated. Other factors such as shape of the object and how much the materials adhere to sand and other factors will also affect the distribution.

In the past, I've also talked about how the shape of coins affects how they are distributed. Having a low profile, they aren't moved by the water as easily as object that are shaped in a way that offers more surface area for the force of the water to act upon. They hug the surface and tend to remain behind as the sand gets washed away.

Anyhow, what you want to hunt in the wet sand is the areas where the heavier objects are most likely to be deposited. Again, there will be a pattern if the water has acted upon the area very forcibly for very long. Heavy objects such as gold or lead will be distributed near the center and lighter objects elsewhere.

There will often be a progression and by identifying that progression, you can sometimes track your way from the lighter materials to the denser materials. That, by the way, is another reason to not use too much discrimination. If you discriminate out materials, you will not see the progression and you will lose information that could guide you.

In the past I have referred to tracking treasure. It is something like an old Indian that tracks down a deer. He benefits by knowing where the herds travel during the different seasons, he knows how to identify the clues, and he knows their tracks.

I think that is enough on that topic for today.

Do you know what 20th Century copper penny sold for $1.7 million dollars in 2010?

Here is the link that will give you the answer.

Forecast and Conditions.

It doesn't look like there will be any significant changes this week. The wind is out of the northwest and the seas are relatively calm

I'd rate the treasure beach detecting conditions as a 1 (poor) and likely to stay that way for a few days.

Happy hunting.