Tuesday, May 31, 2011

6/1/11 Report - Pot Shard, Beach Dangers & OMEX

Another Signal Find.

This one is a pot shard. Too bad it has no markings on it.

It was found a few days ago on a Treasure Coast beach. It tells me that there are probably more Native American artifacts in the area, and that the area was used hundreds of years ago and deserves a good going over.

Once again the readers of this blog prove their superior knowledge and helpfulness. The responses that I got about the Res-Q-Lite were beyond my expectations. All of those questions are now answered.

Robert K. sent a ton of detailed information.

Here is a little of what he said. The embossed illustration on the canister tells the story; these devices were attached to ring buoys (also called 'life rings') via a lanyard of 6-feet or so. The ring buoy lived in a bracket attached to the pipe rails of a weather deck, and the waterlight was hung from an adjacent fitting. There would be several of these assemblies scattered about the decks. Some life rings would have waterlights and some would not.

In practice - if a man went overboard, the first people to be aware of the fact were supposed to go to the rails and throw ring buoys overboard, in the hopes the man could grab one. The waterlight, hanging from its bracket would be thrown over with the ring buoy it was attached to.

The act of pulling the waterlight from its bracket would break the solder holding an axial rod that penetrated both the top and the bottom of the waterlight. When the unit hit the water, it would start flooding through the hole in the bottom. Water coming in contact with the lumps of calcium carbide inside the canister would start the production of acetylene gas. The gas would emerge through the hole left by the axial rod in the top of the waterlight, and the gas would burn - giving off light and thereby marking the location of the ring buoy and, hopefully, the man grasping it.

And Stan submitted a link to vol. 33 of the Marine Review (page 27) that included the following information.

The Cleveland & Buffalo Transit Co. has decided to install the water light manufactured by the Marine Torch Co., of Baltimore, Md., on its fleet of steamers. Mr. Carl Virgin, general manager of the Marine Torch Co. who was in the great lakes district recently visiting vessel owners, left a number of torches with Capt. Hugh McAlpine, master of the City of Erie. On Saturday night last, Capt. McAlpine threw them overboard en route between Buffalo and Cleveland and reported that the torches ignited instantly, making a powerful light which was visible for a distance of twelve miles. Mr. T. F. Newman, general manager of the line, immediately ordered his steamers to be equipped with the torch upon the recommendation of Capt. McAlpine.

As explained in last week's issue of the Review, this torch consists of a can about 9 in. high and 3 in. in diameter. Both on the top and bottom of the can is a strip of soldered tin which can be ripped off just as the torch is being thrown overboard. Water entering immediately generates a gas. At the top of the can is a small chamber containing a substance also generating a gas through the action of water and which instantly causes the . gas escaping from the lower chamber to ignite. Therefore nothing is needed to produce a flame except water. It does not matter how completely the light is submerged it instantly relights upon coming to the surface. Nor can wind extinguish it for though it blow the flame away is instantly renews itself. As an emergency light nothing can equal this as it derives its power from the elements which are fatal to other lights. It would be useless to dilate upon the advantages of this emergency light to steamers and wrecking outfits. They are too apparent.

Here is that link.


The Marine Review is a good resource. You might want to browse through it.

And from information submitted by Kevin B. I learned that these lights were done away with by the Coast Guard during WWII because the lights could ignite spilled oil coming from a sinking ship. The chemical lights were then replaced by electric lights.

Thanks to all of you guys that submitted this information. It helps me a lot.

As a follow up to a few comments I posted a day or two ago about the negative detecting experiences of one detectorist in South Florida, I wanted to add a note of caution. There is a lot of crime down there and you should be cautious about where you park.

Here is an article describing the kind of thing you might run into down there these days.


I never recommend hunting crowded or busy beaches. Either go before or after the crowds.

Did I mention that I've noticed more police patrolling Treasure Coast beach accesses lately? I don't know if there have been some recent problems or if it is just precautionary.

I've been following Odyssey Marine Explorations a lot lately and just found an article that lists a variety of events that could affect their stock price. Most of the listed events are shipwreck related, but the minerals exploration they are doing is also very significant.

Here is the link.


I mentioned rip currents the other day because I could see that conditions were right for rip current development. Any time you have a sand bar that is being breached by a lot of water, the water has to find its way back to the ocean. That means rip currents. And as I mentioned, they can be dangerous to inexperienced swimmers. 55 people were rescued from rip currents by Martin County life guards last Sunday and Monday. I think that makes my point.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

The wind is almost directly from the east and the seas remain at about 4 feet. Conditions remain poor.

A lot of the beaches have a dip and sand bar just off shore. Most of the dips are too small and filled with sand and small shells, so aren't producing much but light junk.

Watch those rip currents though. They can create areas where heavy materials are uncovered and left behind. I'll remind you again, they can be dangerous.

You might want to wait until the seas calm down. While we'll have four foot seas for a couple more days, the seas will be slacking off until it gets very calm again, like is predicted for next Tuesday. When it gets calm again, you might want to go out to see what the recent tides left on the beach fronts.

Happy Hunting,