Monday, August 29, 2011

8/29/11 Report - Lessons From Irene

Wabasso Beach Friday.

You can see several things in this photo. Notice the big cut, as well as the smaller. Also notice that these cuts are into new replenishment sand. What you can't see is that most of this erosion occurred before Irene.

As I've mentioned several times before, erosion in beach replenishment sand isn't nearly as significant as erosion in old sand that has not been disturbed for a long time. The best thing is when the real old undisturbed sand from the dunes is eroded down onto the beach. That is one way that shipwreck items get left on the beach. Of course the other method is by washing in.

When you look at a beach analyze what is happening. Look for erosion. Consider how long the eroded sand has been undisturbed. Newly exposed roots are a good sign. If there are newly exposed roots you know that the sand probably hasn't been disturbed since the roots grew there.

It helps if you just go out and check the beaches to see what is happening. That will help you know what the sand has been doing and when different changes occurred.

One advantage hard core hunters have is that they are out there a lot and know what the beaches are doing and have done. They are also there, ready and able to jump on any new opportunities. You can't find any thing on a beach unless you are there.

Patience and perseverance will eventually pay off.

With experience you will be able to identify the different sources of sand. Notice if it is fine or course, white or beige, black sand, etc. Get to know where it has been laying and when and where it got moved. That will tell you a lot.

Notice things like in the Wabasso photo that there is a layer of sand over the board walk down to the beach. That obviously means that that layer of sand was put down after the board walk was constructed or modified. That means recently deposited sand - bad sign.

Another thing to note is the curve down in front of Disney. Things often accumulate near the water at the bends in the beach.

All of these things can lead you to treasure. All of these things are important in learning to read a beach.

Try to identify one thing you learned during the last few days from your experience with Irene, either before, during or after the storm. That one thing you learned might end up being more valuable than any thing you found because it might lead you to numerous finds in the future.

The overall bad news is that there was so much replenishment sand on beaches like this, especially towards the northern end of the Treasure Coast, that conditions didn't get any higher than a 2 on my beach conditions rating scale.

I received some photos of finds that were made by Irene. I received a photo of what appears to be a cob found on St. Augustine beach. I also received photos of a few very interesting finds made on the Treasure Coast during Irene. One could be a silver artifact and some nice pieces of ceramics. Identities of those items are yet to be determined.

Hopefully I'll learn a little more about those items and be able to post them.

I also have some more Irene beach photos but was not able to get them posted yet.

On another topic, archaeologists were doing a survey and happened to find a WWII dog tag.

Here is the link to that story.|topnews|text|Frontpage

It is not uncommon to find WWII dog tags on Treasure Coast beaches, especially between Pepper Park and Walton Rocks. Just south of the Fort Pierce jetty is also a spot where dog tags are commonly found.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions

Well Irene left us alone. She didn't cause very much erosion on the Treasure Coast, but as I expected a few things were found that yet need to be analyzed. I'm sure there will be finds up on the Outer Banks. Maybe you learned something by going through the process that will help you in the future. You can't find something great every time out, but try to learn something every time out.

Right now there is a tropical depression below Bermuda that probably won't develop, and there is another storm coming off of Africa that could come this way. It is more likely to develop than the one that is closer to us.

The wind is now out of the west, as was expected, and the seas are calm again. That does give you a good shot at the low tide zone. The seas will remain calm through much of the week.

In addition to the low tide zones, I would be checking the areas where the seas did get high and where shells were dropped. From the finds that I've seen, that is where a few lighter artifacts such as ceramics will probably be found.

I'm dropping my beach conditions rating for the Treasure Coast back to a 1.

Happy Hunting,