Friday, January 28, 2011

1/28/2011 - Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster 25 Years Ago Today & Pieces Still Being Found

One Nice Cut on a Treasure Coast Beach.

This cut was about three feet high and went for a few hundred yards. It was at least a few days old.

Yesterday I took a look at three different beaches. I saw detectorists at all three, but all three of them were near the beach access. The cut shown in the photo above was a good distance from a beach access and I saw no one there.

Most detectorists hit the same old over-hunted spots over and over again. Yes, any of those good spots could become productive over night, but when conditions are not changing you might do better trying some new areas. It is a good idea to hunt proven areas, but sometimes you should invest some time in exploration.

The space shuttle Challenger disaster occurred 25 years ago today. How time flies! It's not subject to gravity. Actually I think it might be - in a way.

It seems people are still finding pieces of melted metal on the Treasure Coast beaches that might have came from the Challenger. Some have been reported recently.

You might want to go back to my 3/26/2010 post where one of this blog's readers, who had some pieces that he found tested by NASA, told how to test those pieces of metal.

Of course you can also use the blog's search box to find posts mentioning space shuttle finds.

I don't think people use the search box enough. There are over two years of posts in this blog now.

Now back to the topic that I began at the beginning of this post. There are definitely some spots where coins tend to wash up (or out) whenever conditions are good, but when beach conditions haven't changed significantly for a while, there is very little use of everybody hunting the same ground over and over a thousand times.

I don't mind hunting behind people - even a lot of people - when conditions are good. But when conditions are not so good and haven't changed for a while, it might be better scout around a bit.

I often refer to cuts as being either "fresh" or "stale." A relatively new cut with a crisp bottom edge is what I call a fresh cut. And of course a stale cut would be an older cut that is starting to collapse of fill in. And a stale cut would also be a cut that has probably already been hunted at least a few times.

Fresh cuts are generally more desirable. But sometimes there aren't any. In that case a stale cut might be better than a newly filled beach - especially if it was producing when it was fresh. Things can be missed, and things can fall out of the deteriorating bank.

Again, I don't mind hunting where others have already hunted. Take note of any clues you might see that would tell you how the previous hunters hunted, and do something different.

If an area is especially promising, I like to cover an area using more than one type of detector. All detectors have their own strengths and weaknesses and one will find what another misses. Of course, different people hunt differently too. In the past I've talked a bit about how to tell what the previous detectorists did or didn't do.

I talked to a few guys on the beaches lately that were saying that they were thinking of getting an Excalibur. They all had what I would call very good detectors. And even though the Excal is a very good detector, I don't think they'll see much improvement over what they already had.

When people aren't finding much, they tend to blame their detector - or at least start to wonder if another detector would help them find more. In most case, I would say, "Maybe a little, but not much." In many cases, I don't think there would be much improvement at all.

If you are concerned about money, and who isn't, I'd advise trying to test any detector before buying a new one. You might be surprised to learn that your present detector does just as well as the one you haven't yet tried. A dollar saved is a dollar found.

It seems that the Excal is now one of the most common detectors used on the Treasure Coast. Ten and twenty years ago, Garrett detectors seemed to be the favorite.

I personally don't put a lot of emphasis on which detector is best. Like I said, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. I look at detectors something like golf clubs. Pick the right one for the situation. And learn to use the one you have. I would say that a lot of people have good detectors but they aren't always using it to best advantage.

I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. When I started detecting, I used a Fisher 1280. It was and still is a good detector. I used it for quite a while and it paid for itself in clad coins alone the first year. But at first I thought that women didn't lose many gold rings, because I found a lot more men's rings. What I later learned is that just as many women lose gold rings. The thing is, I was using discrimination at first, and as a result, only finding the bigger rings. I tell you that to emphasize the fact that how you use your detector is just as important as what detector you use.

I ran across a nice web site the other day showing some neat pictures of the Hallaton Treasure.

You might want to take a look. I enjoyed studying the artifacts.

Forecast and Conditions.

I've already talked about this. Current beach conditions are poor. However, if you take a long walk, you can probably find some cuts to hunt.

The wind is out of the northwest and the seas are calm. It looks like the ocean will remain calm until next week. That means that conditions won't be changing much until then.

Happy hunting,