Monday, February 21, 2011

2/21/11 Report - How It Was & Hidden Metal Detecting Spots & Lyons Share

One of the few advantages of age is knowing how things were - not just yesterday or the day before, but a few decades ago.

I recently mentioned how I liked detecting places that few others detect. One way to do that is to detect places that are no abandoned and over grown that no one would ever suspect was once a hub of activity.

You can find places like that in the most surprising place. Who would ever suspect, for example, that there are abandoned beaches on the 28,000 acres of Disney World. That is just not the type of thing you think of when you think of Disney World. Yet there is at least one abandoned swimming beach there that doesn't look like it was ever a swimming beach.

That beach is at the camp grounds. It used to be a well kept white sand swimming beach with life guard and all the amenities. Now it is an unused weedy place. I know about it because I detected there about 20 years ago when it was in use.

And within site of that is an island that was called, I think, Adventure Island, which was where they had animals in a relatively natural setting before Animal Kingdom was built. Now that little island is like a overgrown ghost town, with many of the structures still in place, yet hard to see because of the weeds, bushes and trees.

I'm just picking those two places as examples of places that might seem surprising. The fact is there are hidden detecting spots all over Florida, and many of them are in areas that you would never suspect.

One big tourist area in South Florida has a large park where many people detect. But the detectorists now go to what is the heavily traveled spot. In years past, the heavy traffic was actually on the other end of the park. You can see that on maps that go back to the early 20th Century, and you can tell that from the older coins that are found when there is erosion.

I just wanted to give you some examples, but will leave you to find those hidden detecting spots around the Treasure Coast.

Bill P. sent in an interesting tip for treating iron artifacts. Here it is.

A number of years ago a friend gave me a small cannon ball or large grape shot that was a saltwater recovery. It was a rusty mess but was told I could "preserve" it by "cooking it in motor oil. With nothing to lose, I tried it. I filled a pot about 3 inches deep with motor oil and heated it with a hot plate being careful not to get it hot enough to boil. I let it cook for a couple of days, adding oil when needed. After taking it out I had to let it sit for weeks as it absorbed the oil. I eventually painted it with black spray paint to seal it. It has a couple places that have flaked off, but it has been 11 or 12 years and it still looks decent. I suppose if I cooked it longer it might totally preserve it but for my first and only try, I would say it was a success.

Thanks for the tip Bill.

You might want to test this out yourself.

I just discovered an interesting document discussing some of the early ventures of the Spanish in the New World, especially those of Pedro Menendez. The document is the doctoral dissertation of Eugene Lyons, whose work in the Spanish Archives helped to locate and identify some of the most famous Spanish treasure wrecks.

Being a doctoral dissertation, you will find plenty of detail, which may or may not be of interest to you. There is mention of shipwrecks, Indians, and all sorts of things of interest to the archaeologist, historian and serious beachcomber.

Here is the link if you are interested in exploring the dissertation.

Forecast and Conditions.

The wind is out of the south. That usually means light materials piling up on the beach front, but no very significant improvement to detecting conditions.

There is one very nice low tide coming up later today.

Conditions are poor and will remain so for a few days if the surf web sites predictions are correct.

Happy hunting,