Tuesday, May 17, 2011

5/17/11 Report - Working the Beach in the Crashing Surf

Titanium from Challenger.

This piece is different from many of the other pieces of titanium that I've found. Many of the others were smooth and rounded. This one looks like it was blasted. One thing I noticed is that it tests like gold, testing between 14 and 18k. I wonder if titanium should do that, or if maybe my acid is going bad or something.

I just realized that I found an Ice Age fossil and a piece of space debris within yards of each other on the same day.

A lot of people probably don't care about either space debris or fossils. Different people like different things. I tend to like a lot of different types of things.

Yesterday I mentioned that I might give some tips on working the rough water when the surf is crashing on the front beach. It is not easy and there are some dangers in doing it, but it can be done. I've done a lot of it.

Caution: If you choose to try to following you can easily damage or lose your equipment or get hurt. Proceed with due caution and only at your own risk.

To help avoid damaging your coil, be sure the coil is not exposed to too much force. And of course, your coil must be waterproof. Your entire detector should be waterproof because water can splash up or you can get knocked off of your feet. Don't even try this unless you know what you are doing and you and your equipment are up to it.

A lot of people don't work the wet sand area because they get false signals. There are a number of things you can do to minimize that. The detector manufacturers will often tell you to turn down your sensitivity. I don't do that. Instead I operate in pin-point or all-metals mode. Operating in those modes you will hear some of the changes in salt mineralization, but that is OK. You can learn to distinguish between actual targets and changes in salt mineralization.

Another thing you can do is to slow down your sweep speed and sweep parallel to the shoreline instead of perpendicular to the water line.

If you haven't worked the moving shallow water on the front beach before, avoid going into rough water. Stay where the water comes and goes more quietly. You can work up and down the slope venturing farther out towards the ocean as the water recedes and then working back up the slope as the next wave or surge comes in. You'll find that the waves are irregular - sometimes building and going further up the beach and sometimes backing off for a while. You can work in and out with those changes.

Try to avoid dipping your coil in and out of the water. Try to either keep it submersed in a few inches of water or just an inch or so above the water. Going in and out can cause false signals and will stress your coil more.

The angle of the coil can make a big difference. Swiftly moving water can really put a lot of force on your coil. Keep the coil so you can easily cut through the water. If the coil must come out of the water, angle the coil so that it slides out smoothly, rather than picking it up and down abruptly.

If you are on a slopping beach and the water is moving in and out with some force, when you get a signal, turn your back to the water, pin point the target, place one foot an inch or so down hill from the target.

That reminds me of something else that I want to interject here. If the water is moving with a lot of force, you might need some foot wear to protect your feet and legs from rocks that are being thrown around by the water. A rock hitting a shin or ankle bone can really hurt. And a wave hitting you when your are off balance and don't expect it, can easily knock you down.

Back to the target. There are two reasons to place your foot by the target. One is to mark the target. You can easily lose the exact spot when water, stones and shells are rushing by, and you don't want to make it any harder than necessary to recover a target under those conditions.

Looking down at a spot while the water and everything rushes by makes some people dizzy. Again, be careful.

The other reason for having your foot close to the spot, is if the target is near the surface and the water is moving with good force, you should be in a position to quickly place your foot on the target to keep the target from moving. That generally works. The same thing applies if you have taken a scoop or two and don't yet have the target in your scoop.

If the water is moving with a lot of force, you can easily loose the target to the rushing water. When you put your foot on the target, in pin-point mode, keep sweeping your coil quickly over your foot to keep track of the target in case it does move. If the water moves it, you can often track it and put your foot on it again before it is lost.

Another reason for putting your back to the water is when you push your scoop into the sand, the water rushing back down the slope will push the material into your scoop and help sift the sand through your scoop. Sometimes the water will sift the scoop for you without shaking the scoop or anything, but sometimes you'll end up with a scoop full of rocks or shells.

Again, this can be dangerous if the water is moving forcefully and you are inexperienced. Don't try it until you are sure you have worked up to it. Begin in slightly moving water until you have mastered the process. I know one person that lost her detector to the ocean, and another that lost a nice long handled scoop.

The results of the most recent survey are now in. A little over one third of those responding are from the Treasure Coast area (35%), 45% are from other areas of Florida, 45%, and 30% from other areas of the United States, few of them being from the southeast US. And of the course the remainder are from outside the continental US.

That sounds pretty reasonable. While I might have expected the majority to be from the Treasure Coast, the Treasure Coast is not a heavily populated area, and those outside of the Treasure Coast area might want to keep an eye on the Treasure Coast to see when it might be worth making a trip.

There is a large number of respondents from outside of Florida. I often hear from snowbirds from the northeast who either have winter homes in Florida or who visit Florida during the winter months. Many of them like to keep up on the news about treasure hunting and the Treasure Coast beaches.

It is clear that this blog brings a lot of attention to the Treasure Coast and our famous shipwreck beaches. (My hit counter is over 180,000 now, and all of that is without any publicity efforts other than the availability of the blog. I don't do facebook, make offers to exchange links or any of that stuff.)

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

The wind is still from the west and the seas running down around a foot. It looks like things will remain that way for a few days, at least if the surf web sites are correct.

The water is calm enough for easy water hunting. There are some swells in the shallow water, but nothing you can't easily bob with.

I've mentioned before that you can work even rough water if you learn how to just go with the flow, and my post today might have opened up a new area for you to detect.

A lot of the beaches now have a sand bar real close to the beach and during low tide the swells will cut down. And there is the dip between the sand bar and the beach that might be real calm during low tide. Those dips differ. Very often they are too shallow and filled with loose sand and shells. Sometimes though, they can be very productive. You can quickly sample the dips to see if it is worth your time or not.

Remember, hunting in the water in leased areas is not legal. I've posted a lot about where those leases are in the past. You might want to use the blog search box to find rules and regulations for water detecting.

Happy hunting,