Wednesday, November 30, 2011

12/1/11 Report - Rocks on Rocks & Weekend Seas

Stratigraphic Cross Section of Ballast Pile of 18th Century Wreck.

From the PDF article link below.

I don't know how this is going to work.  Google seems to be trying to funnel everybody into their products (which is nothing new), and now they've come out with new blogger software, and I don't know how to use it.  I hate when they force you to learn all new stuff in their time just because they want to move you to their new products.  That's one problem with these huge Internet companies.  It is like a monopoly even though it isn't really a monopoly.  It's that you have all this time invested in old products which work perfectly well and then they force you to start from near zero on their new products.  

Anyhow, I'll be crawling along for a while as I try to learn this new junk.

I'm going to keep it simple today, I'm already tired of trying to figure out how to do this new stuff.

Here is a great report on a an 18th Century wreck near Louisiana.  There are photos and illustrations and lots of good information.

Here is the link.

I originally discovered this report because I wanted to look at some photos of ballast rock.  You don't see much ballast rock on the beach, although a lot of rocks have been washing up lately.

I was watching one rock as it washed up yesterday.  It was pretty large - about a foot and a half across and probably five or six inches thick.  It would have been real heavy to pick up, yet a few inches of water was moving it right up the slope.  I was amazed how a few inches of water was moving that thing so easily and quickly.

I would have made a video of the rock as it got washed up the beach, but that was the day I had a dead battery and my video cam wouldn't work.

Water exerts more force on objects than you (or should I say I) would think.  The weight is not the main factor.  This rock was heavy but being relatively flat, it also presented a lot of surface area for the water to move against. 

Weight is the main factor when you or I try to pick up a rock.  The surface area doesn't matter much as long as we can get our hands on it.  But the force of the water would be measured in pounds per square inch. 

I really wish I had videoed that rock as it moved.  It almost appeared to float.  Of course, it wasn't floating, but when the water got under it, it almost looked like it.

So why am I talking about rocks?   The answer is because I am always trying to figure out how things are moved on a beach.  I try to figure out how cobs and other things end up where they are. 

I have part of that figured out, but there is still some of it that I don't understand.  Yet, I am learning.

If a cob moved anything like the larger rock, I can understand how they sometimes end up near the sea weed line.   That has puzzled me.  Of course, the rock I was watching was a lot bigger than any  cob, yet I still learned something as I watched that rock.

Next time I see a rock moving like that I'll try to get a video of it so I can explain better.

A lot of ballast rocks are egg shaped river rocks.  You very seldom see those on a beach.   If you watch the in coming tide and how it moves objects, you know why.  For one thing, round, or nearly round objects, roll back down the slope after every wave.   More flat objects are sometimes moved up and then settle in as the returning water washing down over them.

Enough of that until I get some good videos.
Its not enough that google changes everything, but then I run across a mind-scrambling article.

I found an article that says, Among archaeologists who report rampant thefts of antiquities from their dig sites worldwide, U.S. archaeologists are unique in reporting run-ins with methamphetamine addicts bent on looting dig sites.

Here is the link if you want to scramble your brain. Maybe it won't affect you the same way it did me..

Here it is.

After reading that article I felt compelled to respond in about a million different ways, but I'll just leave it alone.

Treaure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

Here is the good news today.  The wind is now from the north and the seas will be building Friday and reach upwards of about seven feet through the weekend.  That could possibly mean improved conditions.  We'll have to see if it actually happens and if the other factors are right.

Happy hunting,

11/30/11 Report - Higher Seas Coming & One Interesting Spot

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Eroded Spot This Morning.

This spot was more eroded yesterday, as I'll explain below. You can see the shells and the new fill at the bottom of the cut in the photo.

What a difference a day makes. I've said that before, and I'll say it again.

Yesterday I found a real wash-out. I saw things uncovered that I hadn't seen for years. I tried to take a photo, but my camera just wouldn't work. When I got home, I found out that one of the batteries was completely dead. Oh well.

Even though most of the beaches are generally not much good now, this morning I revisited a washed out area that I found yesterday. It was probably less than a hundred yards in length, but had been eroding very nicely. A number of layers were visible. Black sand, brown sand, shells, even clay was exposed. You can see some of that in the photo.

Sometimes those kinds of spots appear very suddenly. And then disappear just as quickly.

Anything of almost any age could have popped out of that cut. Unfortunately no shipwreck coins or ingots did. It was fun anyhow.

I always enjoy working coin holes, and there were a lot at this eroded spot yesterday, and some today, although fewer.

And I used discrimination more than I had used it for many many years. Yesterday there were too many targets, and I only had a very limited time to detect, so I did some skimming. After taking out the quick and easy targets, I used pinpoint mode for a short time, and found some coins that I missed before.

As I said, today I went back to the same spot, and it had filled in some. I wish I got a photo yesterday. A few feet of sand was covering some of the things that were completely uncovered yesterday.

Same Spot This Morning.

You can see some of the various layers. The black is clay.

I think the reddish brown sand is an older layer that has not been exposed for a very long time. There was a lot of gray fine sand on top of some of the older layers.

The wind is from the west and the seas are relatively calm. This is a good time to check the low tide zone.

It looks like we're going to get rough seas this weekend. Seven foot seas are predicted for Friday and Saturday. That could be good.

As always, we'll hope the wind comes from the right direction.

Happy hunting,

Monday, November 28, 2011

11/28/11 Report - Wrecks of Assateague & Multi-Million Year Old Find

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

From Shipwreck Off of Assateague Island.

A National Park Service Photo.

The La Galga and Juno shipwrecks were located off of Assateague Island and were awarded by the courts to Spain. Artifacts from those wrecks were "loaned" by Spain to the NPS for display.

Does this seem crazy to anyone else.

Here is a link to the story.

Here is one paragraph from that article.

Under the Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987, the Congress gave the states title to most abandoned shipwrecks embedded in or on state submerged lands. Under this law, the Commonwealth of Virginia claimed the wrecks of La Galga and the Juno but in 1998 the Kingdom of Spain asserted legal ownership over them, arguing that the ships had not been declared abandoned. After a lengthy jurisdictional and ownership dispute, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the Kingdom of Spain’s status as the rightful owner of its sunken sovereign vessels and any artifacts and materials associated with such vessels as well as Spain’s rights to prevent salvage activities conducted without consent on its vessels. Sea Hunt, Inc. was ordered to return to Spain’s possession all artifacts and materials it had removed from the sites. The United States Supreme Court rejected without any comment or dissent appeals by Virginia and Sea Hunt, Inc. and so the precedent-setting decision of the United States Court of Appeals remains intact.

On another but related subject...

I've mentioned before how protected inlets often cause erosion to the south of the inlet because the natural flow of sand from the north is cut off. Here is a good example.

I believe that the reason so many shipwrecks are found south of inlets is because of this. I also believe that there are just as many wrecks to the north of the inlets, but those tend to remain covered by the continual accumulation of sand.

If you look an aerial photo of Jupiter inlet, or many other inlets, you will see that the beach to the south of the inlet is farther west than that to the north, very much like that shown in the photo from the link above.

As usual, the readers of this blog come through. About the fossil tooth that I posted the other day, Fred D. says, YOU ARE CORRECT. IT IS A SLOTH TOOTH. THIS SPECIES IS VERY RARE. IT IS: THINOBADISTES WETZELI (MIOCENE). VERY, VERY NICE FIND. KEEP 'EM COMIN'!

If you like to find old things, you should like this. The Miocene was over 5 million years ago. I said 5 million - not hundreds or thousands, but million.

Here is a link about that.

Picture of Giant Ground Sloth Found in Above Wikipedia Article.

The wind is now from the south and the beaches look like it. It is beginning to look a lot like summer on the beach fronts.

Joan T. said she visited three different beaches and they all looked the same. Not even any shell piles to sift through.

I'd say this wouldn't be a bad time to get out as far as you can in the low tide zone while the seas are relatively calm.

They'll stay calm until around Friday if the predictions are correct.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

11/26/11 Report - 18th Century Caulking Tool, Sloth Tooth, and Lots to Read

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

18th Century Caulking Tool.

I've dug chisels on wreck beaches and seen several that were dug by others. Some were broken. It is not easy to determine the date, origin and use of chisels. They are usually very utilitarian and plain and there is little to provide diagnostic clues.

I noticed this 18th Century caulking tool listed in ebay. A person could easily believe that it was a chisel.

I would guess that caulking tools would routinely be found on old sailing ships.

This one is 3.9 inches long.

You might find the entire description and the additional photos both interesting and helpful. The eBay item number is 370562640752.

Below is a recent Treasure Coast find. It is a fossilized tooth.

My guess is that it is a giant sloth tooth, but I'm not sure yet.

Maybe Fred D. or someone can say.

Giant Sloth Tooth?

Here is a chapter of a book that is being written by a geologist from the University of California, Richard Cowen. The chapter is about New World treasure transported to Spain.

You'll want to read this. Among many other items of interest, it lists the amount of silver and gold transported year by year.

Here is the link to that chapter.

Again, you'll want to read this.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

The wind is now more from the east. Seas are running about five feet, but the high tide will not be as high today, so I suspect that there won't be any more dune erosion.

The seas will slacken off and be low during the middle of the week, but there is hope for next week. The surf predictions are showing increasing seas again next week.

I'd get back to hunting the low tide zone until seas increase again next weekend.

Happy hunting,

Friday, November 25, 2011

11/25/11 Report - Scarce Scattered Cuts and Wash-outs

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Eroded Dune Friday Morning.

Since the wind blew all night, I thought I'd go out this morning to see what was going on. Everybody else was shopping or something. There was almost no one at the beach - no fishermen, no surfers, no beach combers. It was pretty vacant.

Anyhow, I noticed that the water was coming up higher than I expected it to. It was almost reaching the dunes, and was higher than it had been recently. I thought I could probably find a place or two where the dunes were being eroded at least a little, so I went to a place where the dunes were eroding three or so weeks ago.

I often check the places that eroded last when the water gets high again. I was right this time. The spot that eroded about three weeks ago, was eroding again a little. And there were some wash outs.

Above is a photo of where the water was hitting the bottom of the dune and uncovering material that has been covered for quite some time.

I love freshly washed and exposed areas like that. They are good places to eye-ball as well as detect.

The water was hitting the foot of the dunes and exposing two or three old layers when the tide was high and also cutting a few steps in front of the dunes.

Another Eroding Spot on Friday Morning Near High Tide.

I took my time working both of these areas and found a variety of objects. None great, but interesting. Some coins and some iron artifacts. No recent drops here.

My main point today, is that the water was getting high up on the beach this morning and created a little erosion, some of which was into the foot of the dunes. If you look around enough you might find a spot like this to investigate for yourself. They are few and scattered, but they are out there.

The high tides were higher than normal. You could see that the tide charts show that.

Seas are running five to six feet along the Treasure Coast. Unfortunately it looks to me like the wind has shifted and is no longer coming from the north. This is one of those times when you might want to look around to see if you can find one of the spots like I showed you today.

Despite the eroded spot, I'm maintaining a 1 rating for overall Treasure Coast beach conditions.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, November 24, 2011

11/24/11 Report - Happy Thanksgiving & Poll Results

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Paper Thin Remnant of Copper Lincoln Cent.

That is what I think it is. It was found in a shell pile.

I'm disappointed that something happened to the poll. I lost over half of the votes one night. Something happened with google. I don't know what.

I was going to use the results to help validate my rating scale. Well, anyway it seems the percentages stayed pretty much the same but I'm not sure how accurate the poll results are now. I'll still take a look at the results but can't draw conclusions with the same degree of confidence.

I wanted the poll to reflect on the period when there was a three rating, but since we had a 2 rating come up last weekend during the poll, I can't tell how much of the results came from which period.

I'll repeat this type of poll some time in the future when I can attach the results to one well defined period of erosion.

As the results are, there were five respondents who reported that there best find during the previous four weeks was a treasure cob. Undoubtedly the category of most interest to the readers of this blog would be treasure cobs. As I said, the period covered by this poll included one period when I had a three rating issued and another when I had a 2 rating issued.

That finding seems to validate my beach conditions rating scale. There were cobs found during the period of the upgrades but not a lot of them. If I had issued a four or five rating, I would have expected more cob finds.

Anyone who found a cob probably also found other things such as clad coins. This poll, though, only asked about favorite finds. I suspect that very few if any finds would have been regarded more highly than a cob for most respondents - maybe for some, a big diamond ring or something.

Realize that the poll as worded doesn't give much information about either the total number of all kinds of finds or the number of hunts required to make those finds. I am certain that most people, especially those with good finds, were out to the beach a number of times during the period in question (4 weeks).

Not too many people on the Treasure Coast target US relics, but six respondents mentioned that a US relic was their favorite find. We also have a some of out-of-state readers, so I can't draw too many conclusions about that other than the fact that some of the blog's readers do like and hunt for relics.

Nine respondents listed fossils as their favorite find. I didn't know how many people that read this blog are interested in fossils, but this tells me that a number are interested fossils. As I've mentioned in some posts, fossils are found on Treasure Coast beaches as well as on the mainland.

The same number of respondents (18) mentioned clad coins, US silver coins, and shipwreck artifacts as their favorite find during the previous four weeks. Of course that doesn't mean that the same number found silver coins as found clad coins. Undoubtedly a lot more clad coins were found, but they weren't favorites. Actually I'm a little surprised by the number of silver coins found, and part of that might be attributable to out-of-area readers - but maybe not.

I did get reports of a lot of clad being found and shipwreck artifacts being found, including a number of spikes.

As the poll results suggest, most other categories are easier to find than cobs. Beach conditions have to improve for most cob finds to be made. My beach conditions rating scale is constructed to provide a rough probability of finding cobs. Artifacts and other objects can often be found during conditions that I would rate as no higher than a 1 on my rating scale.

The most frequently list favorite find was jewelry (more than one our of four).

I had a number of reports of jewelry finds during the past four weeks. Although heavy gold jewelry will quickly sink to deeper levels, there is a constant resupply of jewelry for our beaches. And the high price of precious metals makes any gold worth recovering these days.

I'll conduct this kind of poll every once in a while. I like to know that my rating scale is accurate, and the poll helps me to know how accurate my conditions ratings are.

Remember, my rating scale is constructed to predict the likelihood of finding cobs only. That will correlate with other items, but not perfectly.

Treasure Coast Beach Conditions.

Conditions are currently poor, but the wind changed and is now coming from the north. That gives a better angle to the waves.

Seas will increase through the day, reaching up around six feet tomorrow. Combined with the wind change, there might be a little (I said little) improvement in beach conditions. Watch for minor cuts on the beach front.

I didn't expect to do a post today, but got the time to go over the poll. Hope you got something out of it.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

11/23/11 Report - Happy Thanksgiving Wishes

Sand and Shells on Front of One Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

It was a beautiful morning for going to the beach, and a lot of people were doing it. I saw a lot of fishermen in the lagoon and a lot of surfers out early today.
The wind was coming from the west and producing some nice waves for surfing. It felt pretty much like summer again. And it looked like summer, with all of the shells and sand piling up on the beach fronts.

The detecting was quite as bad a summer though. There are some targets out there.

I found one area with coins and stuff spread on a firm sloping beach front. The water did get up a little higher than I expected, but didn't hit any dune areas that I saw.

More Sand and Shells on Front Beach.

For beach hunting, I'd focus on the low tide zone for now. And maybe check the areas where the beach goers are congregating.

Conditions for detecting old shipwreck items remains poor. You might be able to find a few things - copper and iron, wood, pot shards, etc. in addition to recent drops.

There was one nice piece of an old shipwreck plank on one beach.

Decent but not great shell hunting, if you know someone that likes that.

A whale graveyard was found on top of a desert hill more than a kilometer (half a mile) from the surf.

Here is the link.

A Mayan kitchen, 40 meters long and 14 meters wide, dating at 750-950 A.D., has been found. Here is the link to that story.

Seas will run three to four feet through tomorrow (Thanksgiving) and then increase up to six feet over the weekend. Six feet is occasionally enough to improve beach detecting conditions if the angles are right.

We'll have to see how that goes.

I had some other things for you today but didn't get to them yet. Need to take some photos and things.

Being thankful is a gift in itself.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

11/22/11 Report - Beach Dangers

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Explosive Device Found on a Treasure Coast Beach.

Daniel B. had an exciting day at the beach. He arrived at the beach near Treasure Shores when they were hauling away the remains of a boat that DEA shot up. Debris from the shattered boat was all over the beach.

Daniel said he found an exploded device encased in plastic with a battery like object marked " danger, explosive, detonateur." DEA took that .

The explosive is shown the in above photo. Always be careful. You never know when you might dig into something like that.

And also be careful that you don't arrive at the beach in the middle of a drug drop or something. It can happen - especially if you arrive very early or late in the day.

I might have to restart the poll. There were about three times the current number of votes. Must have been a problem of some sort with google. Rats!

As you know, Spanish coins were commonly used for transactions in the colonies. Along with copper British coins, archaelogoists found some while looking for a foundation at the site of Dill's Taavern in Pennsylvania.

Here is the link to that story.

Back sometime in the eighties I received a little map from Roy Volker giving directions to five shipwreck treasure sites on the Treeasure Coast. I found it very helpful. There wasn't much to it, but it gave me confidence that when I first traveled to the Treasure Coast, I was in the right areas. That was a tremendous help to me. I've published hundreds of times more information in this blog than was on that map. But at the time it was what I needed, and it helped me a lot. Otherwise everything I learned was on my own. I read and researched and experimented and explored. I liked observing and learning and still do. And there are still a lot of things I'm trying to figure out. That is a lot of the fun of detecting.

Roy's Signature.

Roy passed in 2008.

Treaure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

The wind is from the south today and the seas running three to four feet. Detecting conditions are poor again.

The seas will be even calmer tomorrow, and then pick up again just a little around Thanksgiving.

I'd be checking beach fronts with the calm seas and low tide.

Happy hunting,

Monday, November 21, 2011

11/21/11 Report - Beach Conditions Rating Downgrade

Written by the TreasureGuide exclusively for

One Treasure Coast Beach This Morning

Well, it looks like what little erosion we had last weekend is over. It wasn't too much to begin with.

I didn't really get around too much. I was out of the area for part of the weekend.

I did see that the wind was coming from the southeast later yesterday, and also today. That usually means building seas, and that seems to be the case today.

I didn't see many beaches today, but the few that I did see looked poor, very much like the one shown in the top photo.

I didn't get around too much this weekend and could have easily missed some good spots, but I think I've seen enough to downgrade my beach conditions rating to a 1 again.

Rainbow From Frederick Douglas Park This Morning.

There was a little rain this morning.

I was going to use the blog poll to validate my Beach Conditions Rating Scale. The results of the poll so far seem to show what I would expect from the conditions that we've had.

I expected a few cobs to be found a couple weeks ago when i issued a 3 rating, and that happened. Since it was possible that some were found Sunday or Saturday somewhere, that makes my conclusions a little less certain. For testing my conditions rating scale, I'd would have preferred if we didn't get the high seas Saturday. Of course, I'm glad we did get the high seas, it just came at a time that
made it a little harder to draw firm conclusions from my poll.

At low tide this morning the ocean looked calmer than I expected. The surf web sites are predicting four foot seas through today, then decreasing a few days, and then back up to over five feet again.

I'm not expecting many good finds right now, but I can tell you there are a number of targets on the front beach in the low tide zone. Mostly iron and mixed materials, but something interesting might show up there.

It didn't look to me like the tidy hit any of the back dunes this weekend. Maybe some place, but not much.

Well, that's it for this morning. I have some more, but it'll have to wait.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, November 19, 2011

11/19/11 Report - Treasure Coast Beach Conditions Upgrade

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

One Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

What I want to show with this photo is the two distinct zones. Towards the front of the beach is about twenty yards of recently accumulated sand. It is a lighter color than the sand behind.

There are a lot of shells in this sand, and some aluminum and some heavier metal items.

Behind that sand is a darker sand and a zone that has not been as recently accumulated.

Some of the beach fronts are very junky with a lot of sea weed and trashed piled up.

The beach immediately south of Fort Pierce inlet shows multiple layers and remnants of multiple cuts. About eight different layers or zones are visible. It is really a mess. You can't see the white replenishment sand anymore there.

A Few Small Cuts That Started Friday.

This is the same beach shown above, but from a different angle. You can see the light color sand and the shells back near where the last high tide ended, along with a sea weed line.

The wind blew pretty good most of Friday and the sea was rough. The problem is that the waves here seem to be hitting straight on instead of a good angle.

There are however a few beaches that have continually lost sand, and some that regained that sand and more, only to lose it again.

You might find some mixed finds as some of the layers are thin.

There are things being found, although cobs still seem to be scarce at this point. The finds seem to mirror the current poll results. Clad, jewelry, fossils, etc. Lots of good shell hunting at some locations, if you know anyone who is into that.

As I've mentioned you can often find other things in shell piles.

There are some beaches that are doing better. I'm raising my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Scale Rating to a 2.

If the past few days didn't result in so much beach filling, we would be in much better shape today, but that new sand has to be moved again.

It looks like the seas will remain pretty rough all through the week even though decreasing some. There is another bump predicted for around the end of next week.

There will be enough action to create a few good beaches. You might have to look around to find the good ones though. I'd first check those that were looking good a few days ago.

Take a look at some of the better looking beaches that I've posted recently.

I'm still getting reports a good bit of clad, jewelry and artifacts such as spikes.

Nice Plank With Spikes.

Found by Bill C.

Photo submitted with club update by Bernie C.

Happy hunting,

Friday, November 18, 2011

11/18/11 Report - Medallion, Belaying Pins, and Condition Watch

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Medallion Excavated at Jamestown.

Looks like something you might immediately discard as child's play.

The excavation at Jamestown has yielded over a million artifacts including this medallion, which some think represents the father of Pocahantas.

The article reports that they have discovered the church and the spot where Pocahantas was baptized and where she married John Rolfe. Interesting story. Seems fanciful to me.

Here is the link.

This Saturday, the 19th, is the November St. Lucie metal detecting club hunt at Bonsteel park which will begin at 7:30 am.

Contact Bernie at for information.

You might very well have wondered how the clump shown in my blog photo yesterday was identified as a pair of scissors. Well equipped conservation labs have access to S-ray, MRI and other technologies.

Belaying pins have been used on sailing vessels for hundreds if not thousands of years. I was wondering why I've never heard of any being found on any of the treasure wrecks around the Treasure Coast. A single galleon might have employed over a hundred belaying pins.

Although some ships used brass or bronze belaying pins, some were made of wood. The answer to my question must be that those on the Spanish shipwrecks of the 17th and 18the centuries must have been mostly wood. Otherwise I would think that they would be more often found.

If you don't know what a belaying pin is, they were used to secure lines from the riggings. You might be more familiar with those used by pirates as clubs.

Here are a bunch of pictures of belaying pins.,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=ac2da4d7a20b2719&biw=1027&bih=565

If you can tell me about a belaying pin being found on any of the treasure ships of the Treasure Coast, I'd like to hear about it.

The wind picked up Thursday night and seemed to come from a direction favorable for erosion. It was coming almost directly from the north for a little while, and is predicted to come from the northeast for a while. We'll see.

I checked a few spots this morning. There are a few little scallops and cuts. Small though, and didn't look like they would be productive. Not much has happened yet.

The past couple of days there was a lot of filling on the front beaches and what little erosion that did occur, so far is only eating a little into that recently accumulated sand.

You'll see a lot of recently accumlated sea weed, shells, sand and junk on some of the front beaches at this point.

The swells are coming too much from the east right now.

You might be able to find a few spots where there wasn't too much recent accumulation. That is what I would look for right now.

I can't upgrade my beach conditions rating yet.

There is some aluminum and other junk to be found along with layers of shells on some front beaches.

It shouldn't take long to know if this is going to improve conditions or be a big disappointment. The wind is continuing at 25 or thirty knots.

Tomorrow morning should tell the story.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

11/17/11 Report - Shipwreck Count Estimation

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Encrusted Scissors.

Photo received by email from the Mel Fisher organization.

The trail of the Atocha has been producing a lot of artifacts in recent weeks. A number of encrusted objects, including these scissors, were found recently.

I've shown some found Florida bottles in the past. As you might know, nice old bottles can bring good prices.

One prototype 1915 Coca Cola bottle, of which there are two known to exist, is going up for auction. Pre auction estimates are in the range of $10,000 - $20,000.

If you want to learn more about that bottle, here is the link.

I mentioned people finding shipwreck artifacts a week or two ago on one of the beaches that eroded better than most.

Below is one example - a nice brass or copper nail.

Photo submitted by Jorge Y.

I think I recently mentioned that Odyssey Marine Explorations publishes some very good articles on shipwrecks.

Below are a couple of interesting paragraphs from one of those articles, written by Greg Stemm.

Research indicates that during five years in the mid 19th century, ten thousand sailing ships insured in England alone were lost in various parts of the world, nearly a thousand of them without a trace . While this is certainly not a representative sample that can be extrapolated in order to determine the total number of shipwrecks, it can be used as a rough starting point. In this case, just one country (albeit one with a highly developed maritime industry) lost 2,000 ships per year. If one were to assume that during the last three thousand years, 1,000 shipwrecks per year throughout the entire world have been lost and preserved in a state that would constitute a cultural resource, that would indicate a total resource in excess of 3,000,000 shipwrecks. This estimate is probably conservative, but it is certainly a starting point.

That is certainly an astounding number of shipwrecks. But while any shipwreck might be interesting to someone interested in maritime history, not all shipwrecks hold what the general population thinks of as treasure.

Here is another paragraph from the same article.

Based on extensive research within our own firm, we estimate the total number of previously unsalvaged shipwrecks lost with cargoes of high intrinsic value, with data that gives some indication of their location to be less than 200 worldwide. The number of economically viable projects is probably much less than that, perhaps as few as 20 or 30. Not surprisingly, the press often gives a different picture, suggesting that there are thousands of potentially valuable shipwrecks. In truth the vast majority have no commercial value. Many "treasure hunting" expeditions are actually seeking shipwrecks with little or no commercial value, and rely on hyperbole and misinformation to lure investors to participate in their project.

The firm referred to, of course, is Odyssey Marine.

Many shipwrecks are in deep water where salvage is very difficult and very expensive, putting many of those wrecks out of range of any but the most well equipped and funded companies.

Don't forget to respond to the new blog poll. Your answers will provide good information that we all can use.

The wind is from the west today and the seas are around three or four feet.

A cold front is coming through and tomorrow the prediction is for 7 foot seas. Hopefully the swells will hit the beaches at a good angle.

After Friday the first thing I would do is check out the beaches that cut last week. Additional erosion on those beaches could produce some good finds.

Happy hunting.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

11/16/11 Report - Kang H'si and Predicted Rough Seas

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Piece of Kang H'si porcelain from the 1715 Fleet.

This piece is for sale on eBay. It has been mounted in a gold bezel and makes a nice piece of jewelry.

I showed a piece of Kanh H'si porcelain found on a Treasure Coast shipwreck beach in my 10/6/10 post.

It was brought from China, across Mexico and placed on ships of the 1715 Fleet.

This particular piece was found by a salvor, presumably in the ocean, but other pieces, such as the one I showed back in 2010, have been found on the beach.

Many older pieces of ceramics are blue on white, but much of what you see will not be find porcelain like Kang H'si.

If you look at common old broken plates, the edges will be thicker, made of a coarser material, and often yellowed. Porcelain will be relatively thin not be as porous looking.

Anyhow, Kang H'si is worth looking for.

I told the story about one time quite a few years ago when a detectorists found a stack of plates being uncovered in the side of a cut. The detectorist didn't know anything about Kang H'si and paid no attention to the plates. After learning that they might have been Kang H'si her returned to try to find them again but couldn't.

If the plates were Kang H'si and in good condition they would have been worth a pretty penny.

The eBay seller tells more of the story of the piece shown above and how they reached the Treasure Coast. You might want to look it up.

There are a number of alternate spellings. One other common spelling is Kangxi.

Notice that I posted a new poll asking about recent finds on the front page of this blog. We'll find out what most people have been finding.

A few days ago I posted a photo of a fossil find, and as a result I heard from Fred D. who really knows his fossils. That is something I really like. This blog has readers with a lot of knowledge. I often get answers to my questions. There are a lot of questions that can come up. I think that is one thing that I really like about detecting and beach combing in general - all of the puzzles. Anyhow, I really enjoy learning and often learn something from the many informed readers of this blog.

I often talk about non-metallic items because they can be valuable, and they can provide important information. I think detectorists can improve their detecting by paying attention to the non-metallic items that they might see. That is a very broad topic though, and I don't want to try to get into that any more today.

Oh, in case you were wondering Fred said that the fossil bone was probably either a Dugong rib, or whale or dolphin rib,and going back to Miocene or Pliocene.

Here is the good news for today. the seas will remain around three feet today and tomorrow, but Friday it will increase up to seven feet or more.

As you know, it takes more than high seas. We didn't get much erosion the last time we had high seas, although we did get some at certain beaches.

Looking at the predicted wind direction, my guess is that the best erosion is likely to occur Thursday night.

We're certainly getting some rough seas this year. Hopefully we'll start to see a good cumulative effect if this keeps up.

Happy hunting,

11/15/11 Report - Erosion at One Beach & Odyssey Marine Reports

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Photo of Erosion North of Jupiter Inlet.

This area is one of the better looking areas of the last couple of weeks. A lot of detectorists have been hitting this area, and there is word of a few cobs being found here.

Tom Guidus of Wreckovery Salvage sent this photo and reported a lot of modern trash.

You can see the sea weed which indicates that light materials were probably washing in just before the photo was taken.

See Tom's web site by going to this blog's link list.

Another Photo of Eroded Dunes in Area North of Jupiter Inlet.

You can see how the back dunes are eroded. That is the kind of thing that I like to see.

What you would want to determine is if the dunes there are composed of undisturbed naturally accumulated sand or not.

It is always helpful to know something of the history of any exposed layers of sand. Try to identify any layers, where they came from and when they were deposited. All of the information can be helpful.

Look at the composition of the sand, coarseness, color, and contents. When you find objects associated with a layer, remember what kind of things were found in it.

Some layers will be mixed. That often indicates that the layer has been disturbed. You might find modern plastic mixed in with fossils that are thousands of years old. That can be an indication of a disturbed layer, but sometimes it will be the result of newer top layers falling down the face of an eroded dune and mixing with older layers. Try to figure out just what is going on.

Ballast Rock.

Note the rounded rock in the middle of the photo. That looks like it could be a ballast rock.

You'll occasionally find ballast rocks on a beach. That can be a good indicator.

Thanks for the report and photos Tom.

Odyssey Marine Explorations provides a nice list of research papers on underwater archaeology. Here is a link to those.

You might also enjoy reading their third quarter (2011) report. It talks about a lot of their projects and costs and revenues.

They didn't do as well this year compared to last. That, I guess, is one reason the price of their common stock has been decreasing lately.

Here is the link to that report.

The wind is out of the southeast now. That usually means that the beaches in most locations will be accumulating sand. It usually means also that there is a good chance of shell piles and other light materials being washed up.

Unfortunately southeast winds are usually not good for coin hunting.

I'm sticking with a beach conditions rating of 1 (poor) for now. I don't see any change coming for at least a few days.

Happy hunting,

Monday, November 14, 2011

11/14/11 Report - Nautical Archaeology Theses & Dissertations

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Fossil Bone Found on Treasure Coast Beach.

I don't know what kind of bone this is. It is just over a foot long. Unless one of you knows, I'll have to do some research on it.

If you have some stuff you want to sell, here is what Sedwick has to say.

Now we're preparing for another successful auction with our Treasure and World Coin Auction #11, scheduled for April 3-5, 2012. We have begun taking consignments already; only two months remain before the consignment deadline of January 15, 2012. Now is the time to contact us about your potential consignments and even long-term plans for selling your collection.

Bidders all over the world are anxious to buy now, and we are attracting many new buyers with every auction. For the upcoming auction we seek shipwreck coins, especially gold cobs (which have done very well lately); gold coins (particularly from Latin America); early and dated cobs from Mexico, Lima and Potosi; rare world silver crowns; and high-end shipwreck artifacts in good condition with proper certification. It almost goes without saying that gold and silver ingots are doing very well in the current market of record melt values, and since we have all the top customers for shipwreck bullion, our auction is by far the best place to sell treasure ingots.

As with any of our auctions, consigning early has significant advantages: more time for us to research and promote your pieces, better exposure at coin shows we attend, and preferential positioning in our catalog if we get more than one consignment of the same item and have to defer duplicates to later auctions.

The Sedwick Treasure and World Coin Auction #10 was a big success. The Brazilian gold monetary ingot sold for $218,500 (including buyer’s fee), which is a new world record. That auction brought in nearly $1.5 million total.

Sometimes I forget where I got things. I didn't always label everything well. Some things just didn't seem worth labeling, and I guess sometimes I thought I would remember. As a result I've made some regrettable mistakes and wish I could recall where some items were found. This is just a reminder for you to label items, providing all of the detail that might be relevant. You might end up wondering about an item that you found five, ten or twenty years ago. Time does pass, and so do memories sometimes.

On the other hand there are finds that are remembered for years like it was just yesterday. I found a ring with a really nice big diamond probably over twenty years ago that I remember how it sparkled in the scoop while it was still two feet under the water. I remember exactly where that was found and how it looked at the time.

There are many finds that really stick in memory. But some don't.

Pink Feather Found on Treasure Coast Beach.

I never saw one like this on the beach before. At first I thought it was from a flamingo, but I guess flamingos aren't found here. After a little reading, I think it might be from a Roseate Spoonbill.

Here is a good web site that provides links to the theses and dissertations produced for the Texas A&M nautical archaeology program. Lots of good information can be found here.

One of the Treasure Coast treasure beach maps is now listed on ebay with two days to go. Item number: 110773504603

The wind is from the east and the seas around two or three feet, remaining that height for a few days.

Conditions are now level 1, and I expect that to continue for a few days too.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, November 13, 2011

11/13/11 Report - Conditions Downgrade

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Remote Cut From Friday.

There were still some high tide cuts occurring Friday, but I think that is over now.

I'm downgrading my beach conditions rating to a 1 again. I think the erosion is pretty much over for a few days.

The seas have decreased down to about four feet or less and will remain that way for a few days.

You might consider moving from hunting the high-tide zone to hunting the low-tide zone. With the reduced swells you will be able to get farther out into the low tide zone.

It looks like the seas might increase again around Friday.

There was enough action last week that a lot of modern items were found along with just a few shipwreck artifacts.

Here are some highlights from the most recent Sedwick auction.

Well, like I said, we're back to poor conditions again. Hopefully we'll have a good northeaster before long. We've had some good rough seas. They just didn't hit us from a real good angle.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, November 12, 2011

11/12/11 Report - Treasure Hunt at DuBois Stopped & Sheathing

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Unusual Jade and Gold Ring Find.

I like this one, partly because it seems so unique.

I good bit of lead and copper sheathing has recently been found at different locations on Treasure Coast beaches. I was having a discussion with someone that found some copper sheathing and mentioned that copper sheathing replaced lead sheathing in the mid 1800s. That was not very accurate. Although there were trends at different times, both lead and copper sheathing have been used for a very long time. Its hard to make any generalizations about that without a lot of ifs, ands and buts.

Here is a link to an article that discusses the history of the use of lead and copper hull sheathing.

The treasure hunt at DuBois Park is off. It seemed like some of the officials were actually excited about the possibilities, and then in came those who believe that history should remain buried unless they are the ones to discover and uncover it. And it seems that anything and everything in the ground these days is considered historical or archaeologically significant. If they really wanted to uncover history, I'm sure they could have easily recruited a lot of volunteers and made arrangements to do this hunt properly.

Thanks to Joan T. for providing the link to this story.,0,7136565.story

The wind is now from the northeast but the seas have calmed down to around four or five feet. Yesterday there were still a few spot where the waves were cutting a little out of the back dunes. At other location the water wasn't getting near the dunes. You have to look around.

The surf web sites predict calmer seas through the weekend and much of next week, eventually increasing again around Friday.

Sean is now well away from us and nothing much is showing up in the Atlantic.

Due to the few recently eroded dune areas and the decreasing seas, there will be some good spots to check this weekend. I'm keeping my beach conditions rating at a 2.

You might be able to get into some of the low tide areas that haven't been accessible for a while as the seas decrease.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, November 10, 2011

11/10/11 Report - Nails, Screws & Cut 4 Reale

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Half of 4-Real.

This one appears to have been cut in half. From the 1600s.

Concerning the St. Lucie Metal Detecting club activities, Bernie C. says,

It's that time of the month again, our monthly club meeting will be this Saturday the 12th at 6:00 pm to 8:00pm at Duffy's Sports Grill on US 1 in Jensen Beach. Hope everyone can make it out. If you have any new or interesting finds bring them along. If you will be attending the meeting let me know so I can give Brandon at Duffys a head count.

Hope everyone got to go hunting this week with all the erosion going on. I will be hitting the beaches tomorrow morning, if anyone would like to join in let me know.

November 19th will be our monthly hunt. The location is Bonsteel Park in Sebastian.

For more information contact Bernie at

As I mentioned yesterday, a lot of old nails have been found lately - from the Cocoa/Melborne area down to the south end of the Treasure Coast. While not being valuable, old nails can be interesting and provide valuable information about a site. Along with ceramics they are often one of the first tips that an area might hold more old items.

Of course hand wrought nails have been made and used for thousands of years. Knowing something about how to judge the age of a nail might help you to judge the age of other items found at a detecting site.

Here is one nice web site on the history of nail making.

You might want to look back through my posts for additional items and links about old nails. Use the blog search box.

Did you know that screws and nuts have been used since the fifteenth century?

I used to immediately discard any screw that I dug figuring that it wasn't very old, but mass production of screws began as early as 1770 when English instrument maker, Jesse Ramsden (1735-1800), invented the first practical screw-cutting lathe.

The Phillips head screw wasn't invented until around 1930. That is useful information that might help you date a site.

Below is a photo of a screw that appears to me to be pretty old. It doesn't look machine made to me. At least not how they are made today. The spiraled ridges, whatever they are called, look almost like they are made of applied wire. I don't think you can see how irregular it looks from the photo though.

Older Screw.

I think I mentioned yesterday that a lot of modern coins and jewelry are being found lately. Very few cobs though.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

Tropical storm Sean is now well north of us and the wind has shifted some, now coming in from the north/northwest.

The seas will start to decrease to day and decrease a little daily for a few days. I don't expect much change in beach conditions the next few days and am sticking with a 2 rating.

I suspect the Outer Banks of North Carolina will get some good wave action from Sean.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

11/9/11 Report - North of Jupiter & South of Fort Pierce Inlets

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Beach North of Jupiter Inlet.

I've heard of some good finds from here lately.

Thanks to Bill C. for the photo.

I heard on the radio that they dumped some sand on Bathtub Beach and declared it "stabilized." I thought that was funny. It was only a week or two ago that they finished a huge project and all of that sand disappeared.

The beach just south of Fort Pierce inlet lost a lot of sand the in the past few days. One day I went there and there was still a few yards of that white renourishment sand left. Today all you can see is the brown sand.

Beach By Fort Pierce Inlet This Morning.

You can see a photo of the same spot if you go back a couple of posts.

There was some of the white sand under the brown sand.

Last night the tides reached farther back into the dunes on some beaches. Not much erosion though.

In some places the water washed up and into the parking lots but still didn't cause many cuts.

Most of the beaches did not improve last night. I would be looking for the places where the water hit the back dunes and may have washed some things out.

Crumpled Lead Sheet Dug Monday.

As you probably know lead sheathing was used to protect the hulls on old ships such as the Santa Margarita.

Of course lead was used for many purposes, including the making of musket balls and general patching.

Lead sheathing used as hull sheathing will have a lot of nail holes and an imprint of course cloth on one side.

The piece shown in the following photo has neither of those, so I assume it was used for another purpose. It is unusually thick for hull sheathing anyhow.

Here is a link if you want to learn more about lead hull sheathing on Spanish treasure ships.

A lot of old square and copper nails and iron artifacts are being found but very few cobs. The cobs that I know of were found back a few days ago.

Also a lot of modern coins and jewelry is being found.

Most beaches are mushy and have been over-washed. There are a few spot that display nice cuts.

The wind is from the north now, but the swells seem to still be coming directly at the beaches. That is why there is so little erosion on many beaches.

The seas will be decreasing a little tomorrow and for the next few days.

I'm sticking with my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach "2" rating for now.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

11/8/11 Report - Beach Conditions Not Great But Some Older Miscellaneous Targets Still Being Found

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

1 Real Found By Ian A.

Ian is not sure this is real yet and will be having it checked. I can see ample reason for suspicion but won't pass judgement on the basis of a photo alone.

I've received a number of reports from people around and just outside of the Treasure Coast proper. As you undoubtedly realize, I can't be everywhere or see everything,and I appreciate the reports that I do receive.

From the reports that I've received, it seems that north of the Treasure Coast might be the best bet - people seem to be digging plenty of stuff, much of it old, up in the Cocoa/Melborne area.

I also had one good report about the Jupiter and the Stuart areas. The reports I got on those areas are unverified though, and I don't have the highest confidence in the sources of those reports. Maybe some others wil send in reports from down there.

On the Treasure Coast proper, I've not heard anything real promising for a couple of days, and my personal observations indicated that things deteriorated a bit yesterday and the previous night.

The cobs that were found on the Treasure Coast, including Ian's possible cob, were found back around Friday/Saturday. Despite the big seas Sunday, Sunday didn't seem to do us much good. From what I've seen, Monday wasn't much good for cob finds either.

People have been finding some older stuff on the Treasure Coast, including things like old square and copper nails. I've been seeing a lot of those kind of finds lately.

One beach that heavily eroded is Bathtub beach and Sailfish Point. The recent renourishment project on Bathtub Beach is gone. It lasted little more than a week and the beach is closed again while they dump more sand even during the rough surf!?

Here is a link to an article about that sent in by Joan T.

More tax-payer dollars dumped into the water. That beach is shut off from the normal flow of sand by the rocks and sea wall to the north. It just won't hold the sand.

On some beaches on the Treasure Coast that were previously cut, like Blind Creek, the cuts have disappeared. Some cuts like that were over-washed on Sunday, and now all that is left of those over-washed beaches is mush.

Higher cuts, like those at Seagrape Trail are still in place because they were not washed over, but the eroded renourishment sand there is piled on the beach front.

As I've mentioned before, some beaches, such as Seagrape, have a big sand bar out in front of the beach.

James F., a highly reliable source, reports that there are some good spot where interesting things, possibly old shipwreck items, are being found up in the Cocoa area.

One Pound Coin Found.

This is one find made by Ken A. up to the north of the Treasure Coast.

I've had multiple reports that Bon Steel is poor, and I would say that is true just from the fact that the entire Sebastian inlet area and down to Wabasso looked pretty poor to me the other day, and I have reports of very few finds from Wabasso.

Frederick Douglas is very mushy and looks poor too.

As I said, some older items have been found, and I'll have some more photos of finds in the near future.

I am analyzing a heavy piece of a thick lead sheet or patch. It doesn't seem to be hull sheathing, which usually shows square nail holes or the imprint of coarse cloth on one side.

I'm thinking it is simply patching material or meant to be melted for miscellaneous uses.

From the surf predictions, it looks like we have a couple more days of high seas before the swells start to decrease. Hope remains. If we could just get more of a north/northeast wind, which I'm starting to doubt is going to happen. Nonetheless, conditions remain slightly better than poor. right now I would rate detecting conditions as a minimal 2 on my five point scale.

When the seas decrease, it would be worth checking out the low tide area for items that you couldn't get to during the high seas.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Happy hunting,

Monday, November 7, 2011

11/7/11 Report - Level 2 Conditions. A Few Cobs Found.

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Turtle Trail Sunday Evening.

The high seas didn't create as much erosion as you might expect considering how high they've been. There were a lot of big waves out there. And they were hitting the dunes or very near the dunes on most beaches, but the angles weren't good, and the sand generally wasn't being sliced away.

The above photo was taken just a bit before high tide looking south from Turtle Trail. Notice the sea weed. The cuts here are only a foot or so.

I looked at a number of beaches yesterday afternoon and many were not any good at all despite the high seas. From Bon Steel down to Wabasso, the beaches were generally mushy with very little erosion. I think the area around Sebastian was actually better early in the week.

The best looking beach that I saw yesterday was Seagrape Trail (See photo below.) At the beach access the cut was over six feet high just before high tide.

Seagrape Trail Sunday Evening.

The erosion there, as was the case at Wabasso, was in the beach renourishment sand that was trucked in. The beach renourishment sand, although much of it had washed into the surf, was still protecting the dunes and the older layers of treasure bearing sand at the back of the beach.

You could also see much of the eroded renourishment sand on the front of the beach. That will protect the beach and minimize erosion.

Frederick Douglas Park was not cut at all yesterday morning, even though the water was reaching far back and into the dunes.

In the evening Pepper Park was very poor. It was very mushy and not cut at all.

Overall, I'm dropping my beach conditions rating back to a 2. From the size of the waves, you could easily expect much better beach conditions.

There is still plenty of chance for conditions to improve. Near eight foot seas and possibly higher are predicted for the next few days. If the wind and waves hit at the right angle for any length of time, beach conditions could get much better quickly, however right now I'm not expecting that. It looks like the waves will continue to hit the beaches directly from the east, or nearly so.

I said that cobs would be found, and there have been a few found the past couple of days on the Treasure Coast.

As I said, seas will remain high for a few days, so things could improve any day now. It can happen quickly and disappear just as quickly.

Stay safe.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, November 5, 2011

11/6/11 Report - Big Seas Expected Today and Tomorrow

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Beach By The Fort Pierce Inlet Saturday Morning.

Not much of the renourishment sand that was dumped there just a few months ago is left. It wasn't but a few weeks after the project was finished that a lot of it washed away and a six foot high dangerous cliff greeted anyone wanting to get their feet wet. And any turtle nests that might have been there would definitely be ruined. They might as well just dump gold coins into the ocean. That might actually bring tourism.

I often hear people complain about how many people detect some of the beaches. Some beaches are heavily hunted, but you don't have to follow the crowd.

The fact is that most detectorists visit the same old beaches. And they detect the same spots - over and over - just like everybody else.

Those heavily detected beaches are detected heavily for a reason. There is some convenience involved. And some people tend to follow the crowds instead of doing some research and scouting out their own spots.

I check out some of the popular spots, but a lot of the time I never see another detectorists. In fact, I seldom see another detectorist at some of my favorite detecting spots. I've never seen another detectorist at a few of my favorite spots. And I'm not just talking Treasure Coast. The same applies to crowded heavily detected metropolitan areas like Miami and South Florida.

Most of the heavily detected areas have convenient parking. Most are easy to get to and don't require much walking. And the parking will typically be relatively inexpensive.

So if you want to find a bunch of detectorist, think of the popular well-publicized beaches with lots of convenient parking. If, on the other hand, you want to find your own spot, you won't want to follow the crowds to the most convenient and most publicized beaches.

Even if you are hunting modern jewelry in a metro area, there are hidden beaches in plain sight. What I mean by that is that they seem to be overlooked by everybody for one reason or another, yet they are not really hidden.

A beach might not be used much today, but that doesn't mean it wasn't the hottest spot around at one time.

There are also little tucked-away beaches that most people don't notice. Maybe they are next to a causeway, or mostly hidden by a bridge, or on a lake or river instead of the ocean.

Most detectorists won't walk far to get to a detecting spot. It is a fact that if a beach is more than a hundred yards from parking, it isn't detected as much as those that are a few feet from a parking lot.

And most people tend to turn the same direction on a beach. I know beaches where 90% of the people walk in the same direction when they get on the beach. I guess people tend to follow people and do what other people do. You can often separate yourself from the pack, by simply going the other direction from everybody else.

Crowds might be a good thing, but when the detectorist to beach-goer ratio goes up, finds will generally go down. If you want a better chance of more finds, don't follow the crowd. Do something different.

Anything that makes detecting a little more inconvenient will tend to thin out the crowds. Learn to see the opportunities behind the obstacles.

You should be out prospecting every once in a while. You should scout around for promising areas that aren't detected ten times a day everyday. I know one long stretch of beach on the Treasure Coast where virtually no one detects. I think that is the most promising area for big future finds. That stretch of beach was an area of a lot of activity a couple of centuries ago.

If you've been following everybody else around and becoming frustrated, you need to change your thinking. Instead of going to the first place that comes to mind, or to the most obvious place, or the easiest place, try the opposite.

Think about where there might be some obstacles and how you might take advantage of those obstacles.

Obstacles protect treasure. The easiest treasures usually disappear first.

You'll have to figure out how to overcome those obstacles, but it will be worth it. To maximize your chances, you'll have to do something different from what everyone else is doing. You'll have to go a step further, do more research, use your detector a bit better, have a bit more patience, be willing to dig through more junk, or do something to separate yourself from the crowd.

Here is one little hidden beach in Florida. See if you know where it is at.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions

Here is the big news today.

The wind increased later Saturday and the seas were building.

8 foot seas are predicted for the Fort Pierce area Sunday, and 12 foot seas for the Sebastian area. That should be enough to increase detecting conditions somewhere for sure. Hopefully we'll get some good angles from the wind and waves.

I'm expecting level three conditions by tomorrow evening.

Happy hunting,

Friday, November 4, 2011

11/4/11 Report - Big Seas Coming & And Big DuBois Park Treasure Dig

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Dip on Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

This beach in St. Lucie County looks very similar to the beach I showed a couple of days ago from Seagrape Trail.

There is a sand bar out front. You can probably see it in the photo. The waves are breaking on the bar out in front of the beach. A dip has formed between the beach and sand bar.

Palm Beach County may approve a treasure hunting project in DuBois Park. Interesting!

Here is the link. I'm pretty sure you'll want to read this one.

Thanks to Jorge Y. who sent me the article.

Have you ever dug an item so small that you just can't see it? Time after time it falls through your scoop or you spend an hour fingering the sand hoping to find that elusive target that gives a signal but can't continues to play hide-and-seek.

Some of the hardest targets to see are needle thin pieces of iron or pieces of old fish hooks. But not all see-ums are junk.

I remember the time I found a small gold bead at Corrigans. I had no trouble detecting it, but had a very hard time finding it in the sand. I got it in a handful of sand and threw it on my coil. Still I had a hard time finding it even though I knew it was there and could hear it every time I moved it around with the sand on my coil. Not only was it small, but it seemed to fade right in with the sand.

Throwing the sand holding the item onto the coil is one way to find invisible targets. Another way, and the better way I think, is the following.

This method works best when you are working in wet sand but can be used with dry sand too.

Dig a good full scoop where the target seems to be but instead of sifting the sand take it to where the water is just barely reaching when the waves come in. Dump the sand near the high water mark. Spread it out a little with your foot. Wait for the water to hit the dumped sand. When the water washes down, most of the time you'll be able to see the item. Even very thin wires, fragments of needles, etc. will usually be apparent in the newly washed sand.

It might take some practice to perfect this technique, but when you do, it works as quickly and well as anything.

If the water happens to come up harder than expected and threatens to wash the sand and the item away, quickly put your foot on top of the target, and perhaps just a little to the down slope side. That will normally be enough to hold it in place.

It helps to have some experience with the technique and be quick footed.

I can usually tell from the signal whether I should sift or dump and wash.

I got word that pieces of pennies or other items are being scattered at some locations to discourage detectorists. That's actually funny to me.

Some time ago I got word from one salvor that another salvor threw a bunch of pennies on the beach to discourage detectorists at one location. I guess it might have discouraged somebody, but I was grateful. I used those pennies as an indicator for some time. I could go to the spot, which is one of the better spots on the Treasure Coast, quickly scan the area, and I would quickly tell if things were washing up onto the beach at the time. It also quickly told me if anyone else had recently detected the area or not. I will use most anything on a beach as an indicator.

I've even been known to place various distinctive metal objects on a beach to use indicators. If someone else wants to contribute, I'll just say "Thank you." I can tell how things are moving, and if I should spend much time at a particular spot by the presence or absence of indicators like that.

Almost everything that is found on a beach can tell you something. And almost everything can be turned to good use.

Today I found a very worn wheat penny and a few other coins on the slope just above the dip that I showed in the photo. The penny, of course, is no big deal but it tells me something. It tells me that older items are washing up there. There was no cut of any significance above the dip, and all of the sand above the dip had accumulated relatively recently.

It is worth checking more thoroughly when older items are appearing - even if they aren't real old.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

Most beaches have deteriorated some since the time I issued the 2 rating. Nonetheless, I still think they are too good to rate less than a 2. But the big news for me is the high seas coming Sunday and next week. It now looks like we'll get eight foot and higher seas. Combined with the action we had the past week, that could be very promising. Hopefully it will hit us for a day or two at a good angle.

Happy hunting,