Wednesday, June 27, 2012

6/27/12 Report - Debby Comes Ashore & Another Millions-Year-Old Find

One Treasure Coast Beach Yesterday Afternoon.

Tropical Storm Debby has been hard to predict.  Some models had her going West to Texas, others North, others East and even a few, Southeast.  It was really all over the map.

Some of the mystery is now over.  Debby hit land near Steinhatchee and is headed across Florida above Orlando and then out into the Atlantic.

I would guess that the Outer Banks of North Carolina might get some action.   If you are up there or thinking of going up, get ready.

Speaking of hard to predict -  minor erosion can pop up almost anywhere at anytime.  I'm convinced that even local thunderstorms can create cuts.  That isn't the type of erosion that will create productive cuts though, unless conditions were already decent to begin with.  A few additional inches of erosion on top of beaches that are either borderline or already productive, will help.  In contrast, a few inches of erosion on a very sandy beach, won't help much other than to possibly bring a few modern finds within detector range.

Yesterday I looked at the white caps on the Indian River and wondered if the internet surf predictions were right.  Yes, the wind was coming from the south/southwest and the water was blowing out, as expected, but it looked a little too rough on the lagoon for the ocean to be smooth.  I also heard contradictory predictions.  A TV report said one thing, and an internet site said something else.  

The predictions are sometimes wrong.  And sometimes I wonder where they get them.  I've pointed out what appears to me to be a consistent error in one of the web sites a few months ago.

Anyhow, the curiosity got the best of me so I took a trip to the beach to take a look for myself.  You can see the photo (above) of what I found at one beach.  There was a new cut in front of the old cut.  It was only about a foot tall, and ran for a few hundred yards.  I didn't expect that.  That's why I went out - to see for myself.

Of course not all of the beaches were cut.  The others that I looked at showed only the slightest hint of erosion - not really any cuts at all on most beaches.

Remember, every beach is unique.  You can have deep erosion at one beach while none of the others in the area will be cut at all.  

Right now I would esepcially check beaches that are to the north of rocks or other obstructions to the flow of sand.

When I give a beach conditions rating upgrade, the rating is not determined by a single spot on the beach.  My ratings reflect general conditions of the treasure beaches along the Treasure Coast.  While I haven't seen enough to remove my "poor" rating, I'm keeping a watch on things.  Even though there is a protective sand bar in front of the beach along much of the Treasure Coast, at least some sand is moving now, and who knows, maybe Debby will turn around and come back south.  There is enough weather out there right now that we need to stay alert.

And remember, it is always possible for a treasure cob or two to pop up at almost any time.  As I've said many times in the past, my rating scale starts with a 1 instead of a zero because there is always a chance.  The probability might be very low, but it is never zero.

While we wait for the treasure window to open, there are always things of various kinds to be found.  Recently I told you about a find that was millions of years old.   Here is another.

Can you guess what it is?  I had my suspicions but didn't really know, so I asked Fred D.

Here is what he said.

Treasure Coast Beach Find - Millions of Years Old
It is a tympanic bulla from a rather sizable cetacean. Looks like it has been tossed around in the ocean or an ancient river for some time. Most of the early whale and dolphin material found usually dates back to the Miocene (23 million to 5 1/2 million years ago) ...

A cetacea is a water mammal such as a whale, porpoise or dolphin.  A tympanic bulla is a bone from the inner ear.

Just what you would expect to find?  Not me.  Who would ever guess?

Keep your eyes open while you detect.

Conditions today will be about the same as yesterday.  Still the seas are small.  The south winds continue. And the swells predicted to be small.   The shallow water will probably be choppy though, as small waves break on the bar in front of the beach.

While I'm not upgrading beach conditions yet, as I pointed out in today's post, there is some action and there could be some improvement in conditions in the near future.

Happy hunting,