Monday, July 11, 2011

7/11/11 Report - Ice Age Treasure Coast Finds & Blaming Detectors

Fossilized Ice Age Antlers (Tine & Base in Matrix)

I recently found the tine on the beach. I found the base sometime ago. I like the matrix.

I am thinking of making the tine into a pendant.

A lot of people think that if they aren't finding anything, or not what they want to find, that the reason is their detector. That is usually not the case.

Most detectorists (those that I see anyway) have a decent detector. It is seldom that I see someone using one of those cheap models that won't detect anything but huge pieces of metal.

Most people that I see have a mid or upper range Garrett, Whites, Fisher, Tesoro, or Minelab detector. There are a few others good detectors that you see from time to time on the beach, but seldom do you see a detector being used that is simply not any good. Of course, some are better for one thing or better under specific conditions than another. Some that are fine on dry sand are not very good in the wet sand, for example, But generally speaking, the detector is not the biggest reason for a lack of finds, especially if you paid a few hundred dollar and purchased a detector marketed by one of the major manufacturers.

One way to avoid selecting the wrong detector for your needs is to read detector reviews and talk to others. Another thing you should do is do a test of any detector that you might want to buy using the type of target that you most want to find.

Some detector stores have test gardens. If they don't, at least do an air test. Take a sample of what you want to be able to find. The sample should be on the small side.

Assuming that you have a detector that will detect the targets that you are interested in under field conditions, you have to use it well. Learn how to set the settings for the conditions you are hunting in.

Take a test object, or several, to the beach or wherever you plan to hunt, and practice. Change the settings on your detector until you get the best signal on the targets that you want to find. Modify your sweep until you get the best sweep speed.

I would recommend using test objects and trying to learn the sounds of different objects every once in a while. By practicing you can better learn to recognize what your detector is telling you.

The other part of detecting well is where you look on the beach. Some people do the same thing over and over again. They get stuck in a rut or assume that the targets will be where they found them in the past. Beaches change. Targets will be found at the same place, or zone, until you clean them out OR the beach changes.

I highly recommend sampling a beach, either to see where targets are accumulating, or to see if targets are present, or if they are moving.

In order to sample a beach, run a loose pattern, hitting all of the different beach zones, until you get a few hits, and then when you see where different types of objects are being found, focus your time on the most promising areas.

If you are highly selective and hunting only one or two different types of objects, it might be that beach conditions are simply not good for finding what you want in that area at the present time.

Once you have a decent detector and know how to use it well, the next determinant of success on a regular basis is being at the right place at the right time. That is not luck. It comes from learning about the beach and learning how objects are sifted and sorted by the ocean.

As you might know, conditions have not been very good for finding shipwreck coins on the beach on the Treasure Coast for quite some time. That happens sometimes. That means that you have to learn where and when to look, and it also means that you will have a better chance if you are flexible.

When conditions are poor for finding one type of target, I don't mind finding something else. I take whatever the beach is offering. Fortunately there is usually something to find - either old shipwreck coins, or artifacts, or modern coins and jewelry, or fossils, or something. As I often say, when conditions are not good for one thing, they usually will be good for something else.

At different times I like to focus on one thing or another, but if the beach isn't offering that particular thing, I might switch targets, which involves changing both the area that I focus on and the way that I hunt.

I'll always do some sampling, no matter what my target. There is no use in spending lots of time in an area that simply does not hold any, or just a few, targets.

To summarize my main point, the detector you own will seldom be the primary determinant of success. Once you have a decent detector, you must learn how to use it and how to find the most productive places to look.

I know that I've said a lot of this before, but there are new readers, and some things need to be repeated.

Much of this blog focuses on how to find the most productive place to hunt at various times. That is why I spend so much time on the beach conditions and the forecast.

If you ever start to think that your detector isn't working or isn't any good, just take some sample targets out to the beach and test your detector. You'll most likely find that there is nothing wrong with your detector, and you'll be able to fine tune the settings, and your ears. That is a very simple thing to do, but a lot of people do not do it enough.

In my next post I think I'll talk about the misunderstood issue of depth.

The Dow Jones Newswires, 07-07-11, says that Odyssey Marine could in two to five years receive more revenue from mining than treasure hunting, and be a more consistent source of income.

As you probably know, Odyssey Marine is a Florida based treasure hunting company that has a number of famous finds, salvage contracts and prospects.

I received a nice email the other day talking about the old pineapple plantations along Indian River Drive.

Did you know that there was a pineapple plantation near the town of Jensen that had its own dock, which extended out 1500 feet into the river, and its own railway depot?

There is a lot of history along our Indian River Lagoon. Sometimes that is not appreciated enough.

Here are a few hints about some of the old communities around there.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

Conditions haven't changed for quite a while. The wind is still from the southwest and the seas are running about one foot. The calm seas and good visibility are good for water hunting. Too bad there aren't more places where you can water hunt on the Treasure Coast.

Beach hunting is a real challenge on the Treasure Coast right now. Even a lot of the dry sand tourist sites are pretty well cleaned out.

The surf web sites are showing one foot seas for another week.

There is a tropical wave now, 600 miles south of the Windward Isles. There is only a 10% chance that it will turn into a cyclone.

Happy hunting,