Sunday, January 6, 2013

1/6/13 Report - A Few Comparisons of Beach and Shallow Water Hunting

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

There is very little shallow water detecting done along the Treasure Coast ocean beaches.  One of the reasons for that is that most of the shallow water on the ocean is protected by salvage or exploration leases.  

Please don't write in and ask me to tell you where you can and where you can not detect in the ocean.  That is not an easy question to answer for a number of reasons, including the number of different leases and how they are defined.  There are sources to be found that will give you that information if you want to look it up, and I have posted some information on that in the past.  Generally speaking, it is a difficult question to answer with precision, it is not the type of question that I am interesting in, I'm not an expert on the legalities, and I don't want to take a chance on getting you into trouble.  My advice on the legal issues is to ask those in charge.  You know what you are interested in doing and can ask the right people the right questions for your situation.

There are other reasons that there is relatively little shallow water detecting along the Treasure Coast.   One is that there are few beaches where a lot of people swim, especially when compared to some of the more densely populated resort areas of Florida.   Another is the surf and bottom conditions  in the shallow water areas along the Treasure Coast.   The surf is normally rougher than many of the good swimming areas and the bottom and sand conditions are generally not as productive for shallow water detecting as they are in some other areas of Florida.

With all of that said, I will make some comments on shallow water hunting as compared to beach hunting today.

1.  All other things being equal (which they never are) you will find several times more gold rings in the shallow water than on the beach.

If, however, you know how to detect a dry beach but do not know how to detect in shallow water, you can do much better on the beach.  You will not be highly productive either on the beach or in the shallow water unless you know what you are doing.

2.  Many of the same things apply to detecting on both the beach and shallow water.   Items are sorted and sifted on both the beach and in the shallow water over time.   The result is hot spots.

3.  The amount of sorting and sifting depends upon the amount of time the items have been lost and the amount of water that have washed the area with force.   Items on the beach move more slowly because they are not exposed to moving water so often.   Of course the front beach is more forcefully affected by flowing water much more frequently than the back beach and therefore items are moved more quickly and hot spots are created more often near the surf and in the shallow water.

4.  One reason the shallow water contains many more gold rings is that the gold rings tend to move lower more quickly and more often than they are washed up.   As I've discussed in the past, I believe this is more due to the shape of the items more than the weight or specific density of the items  although weight and density do obviously affect how items are moved.

5.  One area high on the beach where an item can occasionally be moved quickly is the cliff at the back beach or a good cut.  The water can hit the face of any cliff with force, causing items that were previously buried to fall out and then be moved by the force of water at the base of the cliff.

6.  Many of the best hot spots in the water occur where the bottom is hard, often packed with rock, and where items that are dense and not shaped to be easily moved by the currents will settle and accumulate and where they will be covered and uncovered by sand from time to time.  You can clean areas like that out and wait for the next accumulation.

Well, I've gone on long enough about that today.  I'll stop there.

Whether you hunt on the beach or in the shallow water, experience and skill will pay off. I know that some people just like to go out and wander around with their detector, and that is fine, but if you want to maximize your productivity, there is a lot to learn that can improve your success rate.

I still haven't been able to use the photo upload utility in the blogger editor, so I don't have any photos for you yet.  I don't know how long this problem will exist, but I'm sure I will find a way around it.

The surf and swell is only around two feet along the Treasure Coast.   Pretty smooth.  Not enough to improve conditions for sure.   At times like this you have to scout around for the best opportunities and exploit those.''

It doesn't look like conditions will be improving significantly any time soon.

Experiment a little.  It is a good time to learn some things.

Low tide is around 9 PM.

I got word from a researcher that information on a seldom mentioned and little know Treasure Coast 1715 Fleet wreck will soon be revealed.  It is under wraps for now.  I won't reveal it until it is published in print.

Happy hunting,