Saturday, May 7, 2011

5/7/11 Report - Metal Detecting and the Splash Zone.

Beach Showing Splash Area.

I looked and looked but couldn't find any of my best photos of the splash area. This one does show the splash zone but not as well as I would have liked. You can see it if you look closely.

The blue line shows the approximate border of the back of the splash area which is between the blue line and the top edge of the cut. Where the arrow is you can see a bunch of shells. The shells run along the entire splash area, they are just more visible in the area that I am pointing to.

As I mentioned in my last post, the splash zone is where the water splashes up and over the face of a cut and deposits shells and other light materials behind the cut. There will usually be a lot of small shells, some sea weed and other light junk in the splash area. Splash areas do not form behind all cuts.

When a clear splash area does form and there are a bunch of shells behind the cut, there is also a good chance you will find a small cob or two there as well. They will be small cobs.

As I've mentioned, I don't know exactly how those cobs end up in the splash zone, but have observed old US coins flipping up over cuts.

As you can see from the survey results, the splash area is one of the areas where only one cob was reported found in the survey results. I didn't take the survey myself, and if I did, that number would have been a little higher, because I have found cobs in that area. In fact, my personal experience verified much of what the survey said.

I also know some other heavy duty detectorists and have observed some that hit the splash zone very heavily - too heavily to have never had success there. You just don't focus on an area that often unless you have found something there in the past.

Below is a cob that I found in the splash zone. It is typical of the type of cobs that are found there.

King Carlos Monogram On a Corroded Half Reale.

If I correctly recall this cob was found in 2010 on a 1715 Plate Fleet beach. It is a Mexican half reale. As you can see it is very corroded and is pretty light. It is fairly typical of the type of cob that you can expect to find in that type of area.

The assayer mark looks like a "C", but I think it must be a "G", which means the assayer would be Geronimo Bercerra, and would make the date somewhere in the 1665-1677 range.

I show the cob because it is so typical of the type of cob that would be found in a splash zone. As you would suspect, these small light cobs do not produce a real loud signal.

Here are some reasons why not too many cobs are found in the splash zone. First, splash areas do not form above all cuts. A number of conditions must simultaneously exist. Second, from my own personal observations, not too many people hunt that area, although as I mentioned I have observed some serious detectorists that hunt that area frequently and heavily. Third, the cobs found there tend to be smaller cobs that I am sure are missed by some detectorists.

Overall my personal observations support the survey results. The splash zone is not an area to be dismissed, but don't expect to find any eight reales there.

I hear that there are beach clean-ups this weekend for Fort Pierce and Martin County. I didn't really hear the date, but assume that they were talking about this weekend. They'll provide T-shirts, water, gloves, bags and a free lunch. You might want to look into that. It might not be too late if you want to look into that.

I also heard on the the Swap Shop on WPSL this morning that someone was looking to buy a metal detector. If you have one for sale you might want to call the show tomorrow.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

Typical Beach On the Treasure Coast Friday.

Current beach conditions for finding shipwreck cobs or coins on the Treasure Coast remain poor. There is a lot of sea weed and a lot of loose sand piled up on the beaches.

If you aren't familiar with this blog, I use a five point rating scale to rate beach conditions for finding old shipwreck cobs or coins on the beach. I haven't gone over that for a long time now.

The five point scale goes from a 1 to a 5, where 1 means poor conditions and a 5 rating means excellent conditions.

Below you can see how the new sand at Fort Pierce inlet has already deeply eroded. It might be worth taking a look along the bottom of the cut although I don't expect much there. The sand came from out west of town.

New Sand Leaving Already.

The wind is from the west northwest today. Seas are running two to three feet, and will remain at those levels for several days. That doesn't look good for the weekend.

You'll have to work for finds on the Treasure Coast.

Happy hunting,