Tuesday, March 8, 2011

3/9/11 Report - Sandy Point Wreck Site & Nautilus Shells

Google Earth View of Sandy Point Wreck Site.

Adapt or go the way of the dinosaurs. That is something that was on my mind this morning.

One of the problems with having a lot of experience is that you might tend to fall into old habits instead of continually assessing and reevaluating what you are doing.

You might have found things that worked in the past that aren't working now. And you might have had spots that produced in the past that aren't producing now. That woudn't be at all unusual, especially under the present conditions.

Cuts that looked like the cuts that we recently saw on some of the beaches used to produce but didn't seem to be producing this time. They looked pretty much like the old cuts that used to produce, but there were differences. The recent cuts were much further east and on top of, or out in front of, tons of sand. That is a big difference.

It takes a long-term perspective to realize that. If you have only been detecting for a couple of years, there is no way you could realize that.

I talked about this a little not long ago. One spot might lose sand year after year and be eroded back close to where the sand hasn't been disturbed in at least the last fifty years. If that particular spot eroded, the new cut would have a much better chance of producing old items than a spot that had a much bigger cut but which was cut into sand that has been accumulating over more recent years.

The closer you get to old sand that hasn't been disturbed for a long time, the better the chances are of finding some old items there.

John Brooks beach had a pretty nice looking cut last week, but that cut was in sand that had accumulated over the summer, and was on top of many layers of sand that covered the sand that was exposed back in 2004.

Occasionally a cob or two will fall out of recent cuts like that, but thoe conditions are not nearly as good as a cut in a place that is exposing old sand that hasn't been disturbed for a long time.

Unfortunately it takes a while for all those layers of recently accumulated sand to disappear, especially when they keep dumping new sand on our beaches all of the time.

Someone once asked me what level 5 conditions on my 5 point TCTBDC Rating Scale would look like. I showed a photo of a beach after the 2004 hurricanes as the example. You can probably find that post if you use the search box at the top of this blog.

John Brooks simply has tons and tons of sand on the beach right now. Again, that doesn't mean a cob or two won't be washed up and exposed occasionally, but those aren't the conditions that I like to see.

You can learn to identify the different layers of sand on a given beach. The sand will vary in courseness and color. Sometimes you will be able to identify the type of sand that produces old items. At different beaches it will be different. On many of the beaches it will be a nice course brown sand.

I do believe that there are some artifacts on the front of some of the beaches right now. They are hard to get to though. Right now smany of them are buried beyond what you can dig out. I'm waiting for the depth of the sand on some of the front beaches to decrease so I can go get the artifacts.

I recently mentioned Sandy Point and someone wrote in and asked where that is. That is why I posted the view of Sandy Point today. It is about a three mile walk from the Rio Mar beach access, and of course less from the Vero South Beach parking lot. I don't think it would be much different walking from Round Island Park that is south of Sandy Point. The wreck near there is thought to be the Nuestra Senora Del Rosario.

I mentioned that there was a good spot to look for shells just south of the Fort Pierce Inlet on Monday. The shell pile is now gone, but here is one nice shell that I picked up Monday.

Two Nautilus Shells Found on Treasure Coast Beaches.

The one I found Monday is the small one. These types of shells are not often found on the East Coast and are paper thin. I took one picture of the small one on my finger and you could see my finger through the shell. I found the other one a few years ago.

Like I said, that one shell pile was gone today, but there was sand continuing to build on the few beaches that I looked at this morning. The cuts at John Brooks continued to deteriorate and sand continued to pile up on the other beaches.

The seas are about five feet today, but the wind is from the south/southeast. As you know that is typically not good. Expect sand to continue to build on our local beaches while the seas decrease over the next few days.

You might think about some off-beach hunting until things change.

Travel Book Printed in 1830.

Or maybe do some research. Old rare books often provide good research material.

Happy hunting,