Saturday, April 2, 2011

4/2/11 Report - Shipwreck Wood and Spike & $290 Million Treasure

Recently Found Wood Showing Spike Hole.

Here is a piece of wood that I picked up in a shell pile the other day. As you can see it has a nice square hole through it.

The wood is very hard almost like it is fossilized. It appears that the rust leached onto or into the surrounding wood, which seems to make the wood harder and more resistant to deterioration. I've noticed that before on shipwreck wood that was next to rusting iron. See for example, the pieces of shipwreck planks with pieces of spikes that I showed in this blog in the past.

I know this is no big find, but I really like it. I like the look of the wood and the perfect mold left inside. You can even see the marks paralleling the spike along the sides of the hole showing the impression of the spike.

Opposite End of Same Piece of Wood.

Here is the opposite side of the same piece. The hole on this side is more rectangular and shaped like the head of a spike. I really like how this wood preserved an almost perfect image of the spike.

I think I actually like this better than if the spike had been present.

I did find a spike that I showed maybe a few weeks or a month ago. I'm talking about the iron spike that I showed before and after cleaning by acid and electrolysis.

After I wrote this I decided to go get that spike and see how it matched with the hole in the wood. The spike was found on the beach probably a bit over a hundred yards from the wood.

Here is that spike matched to the hole. I should have photographed it from another angle, but I guess this will do.

Wood Found Recently Matched with Spike Found a Few Weeks Ago.

I slipped the spike gently inside the hole. Perfect fit! Couldn't fit any better.

I don't know if the part of the wreck that these two items came from were originally in the same location on the ocean floor, but if so, the water moved them apart - wood being so much lighter than iron.

The sifting action of the ocean over time is an important thing to remember. It is one of the most important keys to beach and shallow water hunting.

Similar materials tend to be be gathered in one area while other types of materials will be moved differently and dropped in different locations. Of course, there are many factors affecting where things eventually end up, but still, remember this important fact.

It was the last time that we had rough seas that a lot of shipwreck wood showed up on the beach, probably being uncovered and then washed up.

Another thing to remember is that many of these ships wrecked during a hurricane or strong storm. The seas was very violent,which means the effect would be extreme. Items could have been moved miles and miles before they settled, and then they could have been moved again and again after that.

On that topic, I was talking about olive jars the other day and was thinking that if the jars were corked, many probably did not sink right away. Some were probably trapped in a section of the hull and dragged down until the water pressure pushed the cork inside the jar. As I mentioned, corks, both whole and unbroken were found inside some jars. But if some jars were either partly empty or held light materials, they could have floated a very long way from the wreck, like a corked bottle with a message inside.

Some of the points I made today apply to hunting tourist beaches as much as shipwrecks. Items get sorted and sifted by the sea. The main difference is that tourist beaches haven't had as long for the sorting and sifting action to affect the location of the more modern items.

The better the hunting conditions are, the more likely it is that you can find gold rings clustered together.

I believe I once showed an encrustation that also had a perfect hole where a shipwreck spike once was.

Here is a web site that shows inside nice shipwreck concretions and what they held.

Treasure hunters are looking for a city that sank into the waters of Guatemala’s Lake Izabal along with priceless gold tablets. The treasure is said to be worth $290 million. Don B. sent me the link for this fascinating story.

I have some more information on the mystery piece of metal that I posted the other day. I'll have more on that soon.

Treasure Coast Forecast and Conditions.

The wind is coming out of the northwest today and the seas are calm. Light materials are building up on the front beaches. That means that you can find light things like wood and pottery and thin sheets of metal and some iron.

Sunday the seas are predicted to be a little higher and then again in the middle of next week, but still under five feet. That would be just enough to refresh some of the front beaches.

Conditions remain poor for finding cobs and precious metals on the Treasure Coast beaches.

Happy hunting,