Friday, August 26, 2011

8/26/11 - Irene Gone and Soon to be Forgotten

Detectorist at Green Turtle Beach (Nieves Site) on the Treasure Coast Thursday Evening.

There were actually about a half dozen guys detecting this beach last evening. Some were further south and some further north. Between the sights and sounds of the breaking waves and all of the people that came out to see the high seas, it was pretty exciting. One of the TV news trucks was down at the jetty where so many people accumulated it looked like the state fair was being held there or something. I couldn't believe the number of people, mostly just spectators that were out yesterday. And the show wasn't really anything very remarkable. I really couldn't understand all the commotion this time. Some were tourists. I could understand their curiosity, but for some reason everybody came down to take a look at the ocean.

I got word that the House of Refuge and Bathtub beach area was badly eroded. Of course that beach, like many of the others, was recently replenished and only losing much of the sand that was recently dumped on it.

Replenishment sand almost always erodes first. I don't know why people think that if they dump sand by the ocean it will stay there after the previous sand has obviously departed.

Those replenishment projects often use a type of sand that is easily moved when the water hits it. Sometimes it is very fine, but whatever type of sand it is, it won't stay very long because it is in an unnatural position and does not have the support of natural beaches around it. It is a little like dumping a shovel full of dirt in a river. It won't stay there because it is exposed to the currents and does not have anything to shelter it like a natural beach would.

I saw one lady coming off the beach with her detector last night. She had her purse over her shoulder and her detector in her other hand. You don't want to leave valuables in the car so either leave them at home or be prepared to carry what you have to in a small waterproof container of some sort.

The beach you see in the photo at the top of this post is the Nieves site. Notice the water coming up onto the flat beach. The water got pretty far back towards the dunes there last night.

Here is a cut at the same beach a day or two before. The cut disappeared with the high water and the front beach, which was two steps, is now one mushy slope.

If I was going to spend any time detecting there now, I would sample the area where the shells washed up over onto the flat beach and the area just below that, but mostly the shelly flat sand area.

The high water actually hurt conditions there. It shows how big waves aren't the most important thing in producing a productive beach. And big waves don't necessarily mean a lot of erosion. It has a lot to do with how the waves hit the beach.

I did a survey of most of the primary treasure beaches this morning. It really wasn't very encouraging.

Here is a look at one of the better looking beaches that I saw this morning, and it wasn't great.

Beach Looking North from Seagrape Trail.

You can see that they had some erosion along there. Trouble is, the erosion was of replenishment sand. That was much of the problem with the north end of the Treasure Coast. Just too much replenishment sand all along there. Where there was erosion, it was mostly just replenishment sand.

A lot of sand was gone from Wabasso, but still didn't look productive to me at first glance. If I had more time, it would have been worth sampling.

A lot of beach bums were hanging out there watching the surfers this morning. Only a few detectorists there.

The stretch from Sebastian Inlet to Amber Sands didn't look very good to me.

Most places where I stopped, there were a good number of detectorists, in fact more than I've seen out on a given day for a long time.

I didn't see many of the hard core guys though. Many of he detectorists were couples, some young and some old. It seemed like many of the more casual detectorists (and gals) were out.

There aren't many wives that are going out to the beach with a hard core detectorist. There are a variety of good reasons for that.

To summarize for today, conditions are slightly better than pre Irene, but not dramatically so. If I was the go back and spend some time, I'd probably choose the Wabasso area down to Seagrape.

Turtle Trail and Rio Mar didn't look very good either.

If I were going to spend the time, I would check out some of the beaches that aren't too heavily hunted. You just might find a nicely eroded spot off the beaten track

My Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Rating remains a two. That is a five point scale, with one being poor, and five excellent.

Good night Irene.

Happy hunting,