Saturday, June 4, 2011

6/6/11 Report - Records & Spikes, and Other Iron Objects

Watches are common beach and water finds, especially under conditions like those we currently have. They are often found in the dips between the beach and sand bars.

Once in a while when you have a slow spell, maybe an injury or bad weather or something, it is fun and helpful to go back over your old records. The better your records are the more fun and fruitful a review of your records will be.

I ran across some of my old records that go back to when I first began detecting. Unfortunately I can only find a few. I wish I had kept more detailed records, and I wish I could find more of my old records.

The records I found were from early 1987. It seems to me that I must have started detecting sometime in 1986.

When I look at my records, I remember a lot of old experiences and occasionally notice something that teaches me something new.

My record keeping evolved over time. For a while I was keeping track of my coin finds but that was about all. I later added where I hunted and many other details, including other types of finds. I also started to keep track of other details relating to the conditions of the hunt.

One sequence of records I found starts with a hunt at a high-end tourist beach in South Florida where I found one ring in the water, 4 quarters, 5 dimes, 2 nickels, and 12 pennies.

Next I went on a vacation trip to the Island of St. Lucia, where I found 1 gold ring and 15 dollars EC. I also found musket balls, military buttons and other artifacts, but I didn't include that in my records at the time, but I remember that. I also remember exactly where I found the gold ring and probably could walk to within a few feet of where it was found even though it has been over twenty years since the find. It was at the edge of the water in about six inches of water.

The next entry in my records shows that I had returned home and went to another hotel beach in Florida where I found 1 gold ring, 1 quarter and 3 pennies. That was on August 18, 1987.

And the next entry shows I hunted in Pensacola on 8/20. I traveled to Pensacola very frequently on business in those days and would take my detector. My records show that I found 1 ring (gold & black onyx), 19 quarters, 14 dimes, 12 nickels, and 46 pennies. That would have been at a beach at a Holiday Inn on the bay. I also remember where I found that ring within a few yards.

I guess I remember those finds well because they were among my early finds.

As I look over those old records, I notice one day when I found a lot of coins at a park in South Florida. The first day I hunted the park, I found 40 quarters, 25 dimes, 21 nickels and 56 pennies, but no gold. That is a good number of coins for one spot.

In any case, the next day I went back to the same park, but this time I know that I hunted in the water at a man-made swimming hole. In the pool I found 54 quarters, 44 dimes 48 nickels, and 152 pennies, and a heavy gold bracelet and two rings.

I am not sure now if the first day was in the swimming hole or just in the park. It makes a difference. I should have included that in my records.

I just thought I would give you an idea of how you can enjoy old records after many years of hunting. But the main thing is that by keeping good records, you can learn a lot. You can find out which sites are the most productive and under what conditions.

Its good to know your sites well. Some sites will produce a lot of gold and few coins, while others will produce lots of coins but little gold. And some will produce high quality items, while others produce lower quality items. Your records can quickly reveal that.

After getting to know your beaches, you can take all of those things into account when you decide where to go on any particular day.

Knowing your beaches and how they act and produce will make a big difference in determining what you do when you sample a beach. If you know that a beach produces a lot of gold relative to coins and your sample produces a few coins, that would be interpreted differently than a beach that normally produces tons of coins but little gold. That is the problem I had when I tried to tell you how to sample a beach and what criteria I use. It depends upon the particular beach.

I really recommend keeping very good detailed records. Keep more details than you think you will ever need.

Things I recommend including would be the location (in detail), finds, which detector you use, and conditions during the hunt, and leave room for additional notes so you can add other details that might not fit into any of your categories.

You might want to check back to my 3/20/11 post where I listed some factors that indicate a good coin shooting and jewelry hunting beach.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions

A few days ago I said that I would go out and check the front beaches when the seas calm down again after they have been refreshed. That is what I did today. And I found exactly what I expected.

There were a lot of iron targets on the front beach at low tide. I found two shipwreck spikes and some other iron.

The iron items were found over an area of about one hundred yards. I sometimes talk about coin lines, well this was an iron line.

Different materials flock together. The sea does a good job of sifting and sorting things.

I've been targeting an area where I've been finding a lot of iron shipwreck spikes in order to try to see if I can learn anymore about the distribution of materials from the wreck. I've found iron spikes spread along the beach for a few hundred yards. Today only about a hundred yard stretch was producing.

I am keeping a mental map about where these things are found. I probably should put it on paper.

I didn't get much besides iron today, but that is what I was targeting today. I did get a percussion cap and some copper sheeting, but no aluminum. Again, I was hunting where I expected to find iron.

Some of those items need a good cleaning.

There is a low pressure area down below Cuba that might bring us some rain later in the week. It is not expected to form into a cyclone.

The wind is from the southwest today and the seas are pretty calm. They will stay that way today and tomorrow, maybe getting a little rougher on Wednesday.

I have a lot more photos and things to say today but it will have to wait. I don't have time to do anymore right now.

Happy hunting,