Thursday, May 10, 2012

5/10/12 Report - AUVs, ROVs and Cache Find

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Cache Find by Bernie C.   (Photo by Bernie)
I mentioned cache hunting a few days ago.  Well, Bernie C. found his first.   I like to celebrate "first" finds by posting them when I can.  (I can't post them all.)  So here it is.  Congratulations Bernie!

A couple of days ago I received an email from Mitch of the club up at Sebastian who received a request from a lady in the Stuart area to help find a lost item.  I passed the request along to Bernie since he is closer to Stuart, and Bernie went out to help the lady.  When hunting for her item, he found the cache shown here.

Helping people find lost items has many benefits.  One is simply helping people.  We need to do that, and detectorists do help people more often than the public realizes.  I've told a few of those stories about how items were found and returned..

Another benefit is that you get the opportunity to explore new areas.  Sometimes those new areas are on private property and sometimes you wouldn't otherwise have access to them.  Very often those new areas are places that you have never hunted and very often they are different from the kind of places that you normally hunt.  That means it can be a learning experience. 

Contents of Cache.  (Photo by Bernie)
Very often people lose things in urban environments or other very trashy areas.  That, of course, requires slightly different skills than the type of beach hunting that we mostly have here on the Treasure Coast.

And sometimes you find surprises, like Bernie did.  You can say it was simply good karma, and his good deed was repaid in many ways.

You might know what an ROV is, but do you know what an AUV is?

Here is a definition from the web site linked immediately below.
AUV stands for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. The term UUV or Untethered Underwater Vehicle is also used. AUVs are unmanned or robotic vehicles that are using state-of-the-art technology to bring new capabilities to work in the subsea environment. In the past 3 decades, nearly 200 AUVs have been built. Most of these systems have been experimental. However, they have achieved impressive results and this record of success is creating a demand for their use in operational settings.

The Mel Fisher organization has announced that it is employing a new HAUV.  The "H" stands for hybrid.  It can function as either an AU or ROV, depending upon the application.  They named it Dolores.

Here is what they say in an email that I received.

Starting this season, Mel Fisher's Expeditions will be using Dolores to survey the Lost Merchant, Atocha and Margarita wreck sites. This will be the first submersible of its kind used in our industry. We will have the ability to program a search grid into the AUV, drop it into the water, have it do a complete survey of that grid and then return to the boat on its own using a state-of-the-art inertial navigation system. Once back on the vessel, the survey data can be downloaded to our topside computers through a high speed Wi-Fi network connection while the batteries recharge. Afterwards, she can be launched to continue with another 12-16 hours of survey.

That is using high tech.  I personally like to stay as low tech as possible.  I don't like the expense and complications of high tech.  

If you ever watch  Odyssey Marine on the Discovery Channel, it seems their ROV is down half the time.  That would drive me crazy, even though when it is working it most be a ton of fun to operate.

I like the imagination of simple solutions, and remember Art McKee putting a glass bottom in a bucket to get a good look at the sea bottom.   Those are the kinds of solutions I admire and prefer.  But technology does do things you couldn't otherwise do.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

Detecting conditions remain poor on the Treasure Coast.   Still a lot of sand.  Nothing has changed much.

The wind is from the west and the seas running two to four feet.  Low tide is around 6:30. 

On the beach, I'd still be hunting the low tide zone and shallow water dips.

Watch for afternoon thunderstorms.

No change expected for the next couple of days.

Happy hunting,