Sunday, March 6, 2011

3/6/11 Report - Seas Starting to Decrease - Fake Treasure Coins

Slab Ready to Fall on Next Wave or Two.

If you talk to some of the guys that used to metal detect on the Treasure Coast beaches, some of them say that most of the beach treasure coins have already been found and that the hunting isn't good anymore. There are a good number of guys that have given up on beach hunting. Some of them will tell you how much better the hunting was ten or twenty years ago.

I was hunting treasure coins on the Treasure Coast beaches twenty years ago and more, and I have to agree with the fact that it was easier - sometimes. It did seem like there were more days when you could find multiple cobs. It did seem like you could find cobs when there were only small cuts. But that doesn't take the whole situation into account.

I can remember hunting, along with a lot of other detectorists, when the trees were rolling around in the surf like a bunch of battering rams. That was dangerous, but I can't remember the surf ever being like that again in the past two or three years.

I can remember when the beach was cut back to the tree line by the condominiums north of John Brooks Park. Now there is what seems like about three hundred yards of sand in front of that.

I can remember when there were old tree stumps lining the water line and other exposed landmarks that I haven't seen for probably 15 or more years.

Those things tell me that the conditions have just not been that good over the past few years. The one exception being immediately after the 2004 hurricanes.

I don't think it is that the cobs have all been found. In fact, I believe there are plenty yet to be found. It is just that the conditions have not been that good.

There has been way too much sand on the treasure beaches. If you ask me, that is the problem. Of course I realize that some of the treasure coins have been removed. No doubt about that. But the numbers that have been removed from the beaches, are a very small percentage of what is still out there.

If you look at the Atocha plot I showed the other day, you'll see how much has been picked up, and you know how long they have been working that, yet they are now hitting new virgin territory that is really producing. It's a big ocean.

There are long term changes in beach conditions and short term changes. In any given week the conditions may change significantly at a given spot and then change back again before long. But in addition to short-term changes like that, there are longer duration changes of years or even decades.

I believe that right now we are in a period of a lot of sand accumulating along the coastal beaches. That is made worse by all of the beach rounourishment programs.

I forget which year it was, but it has been quite a few years now since they dumped the sand in front of the Ocean Village condos. That area and to the south has had tons of sand on the beach front ever since. I know that there is older stuff under all of those tons of sand, but we won't see it until those tons of sand are moved. There is a concrete foundation near the water line that was exposed at one time, that I haven't seen for years.

What I am saying is that there is a long-term beach renourishment (natural and man-made) going on at many of our beaches that has made it harder to find treasure coins. On top of that long-term accumulation, there are periodic short-term local variations, but those short-term effects are small in comparison to the long-term accumulation.

When you get a four foot cut when the water line is three hundred yards to the east of the old tree line, that four foot cut doesn't have the same effect as it would if there were only fifty feet of sand in front of the tree line to begin with. Due to the overall beach sand accumulation that we've been having over the past few years, the short-term conditions changes are not nearly as significant.

The amount of sand you see on the beach is not the only sand that is important either. Even when a beach is eroded, if the sand remains in front of the beach, it will keep the cobs buried and keep them from being washed up.

There is a lot of sand in the water in front of the beach now too. That sand covers items and protects the beach. When the wind is right, it pushes the top layer of that sand right back up onto the beach.

Well, I can't speak to all of the variations and exceptions in one post, so I'll quit on that topic for now.

I'll try to sum all of that up. Due to the large amount of sand that has accumulated on the beach and in front of the beach over the past few years, it will take a lot of erosion before that erosion produces a lot of treasure coins. Right now, most of those coins are deeply buried and will remain buried until we either have a long term loss of sand, or some big erosion from a good storm or hurricane. Just my opinion.

Maybe you read about the fellow that fell into a mine shaft and died. There aren't any mine shafts on our beaches, but there certainly are dangers. I've done things in the past that were stupid. There are dangers that simply aren't worth the risk. Be careful, especially when the weather gets rough.

Here is the link to the mineshaft incident.

He wasn't a young ignorant kid or city slicker either.

The Oak Ridge Boys are going to appear at the Sunrise Theatre Sunday night. I saw their tour bus at one of the motels on the causeway to South Hutchinson Island Saturday.

I have mentioned the number of fake coins that are for sale at places such as eBay. Maybe you've noticed the green encrusted coins that someone says they found while scuba diving. They've been selling quite a number of them. One guy says that he bought one and after cleaning it, he found that it was a silver-plated fake. He is reselling the coin he bought, and for a good price.

You might find this interesting.

At the top of this post, there is a photo of a crack behind the face of a cut. What happens is that a wave will hit the face of a cut, create a crack like that shown, and then the impact of the next wave will cause that slab of sand to fall to the base of the cut, where the next waves will wash away the sand and leave any heavier items such as cobs.

Forecast and Conditions.

Cut Rounded Off.

Only minor changes were taking place yesterday despite the big waves which were breaking on the sand out in front of the beach. In a few spots there was a little sand lost and in some a little sand added.

The photo above shows a cut that was being rounded off by the water washing over the cut and then running back down the face of the cut. Sand was accumulating at the base of the cut in some spots.

I'm keeping my 2 rating on my TCTBDC scale. I didn't see much significant change yesterday.

The wind is more from the south now and the seas are decreasing but not quickly. Seas will be in the four or five foot area for the next couple of days.

I don't expect any big changes.

Hunt out those little spots that are showing some local variation.

Happy hunting,