Monday, April 15, 2013

4/15/13 Report - Small Cut and Small Finds

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Small Cut Found on Treasure Coast Beach Saturday Afternoon.
I went out for a little while Saturday afternoon around low tide.  The tide was fairly low and I wanted to check out the swash cluster where I found the copper spike a few days before.   I was interested to see if the cluster was still open or buried or what. 

Before I got to that beach, I stopped at another beach and saw the cut that you see at the right.

It isn't as big as it looks in the photo.  You can see that immediately below this one foot or less cut, there is a fairly heavy shell line.

Targets were very scarce here.

I have seen smaller cuts that produced cobs on this beach, but the overall beach conditions were better then.

During conditions like we've had lately on the Treasure Coast, small cuts will pop up from time to time as the wind and waves change.  It is surprising how little it take to make a cut sometimes -  just some gusts and the right angle.  Of course those small cuts during overall sandy conditions won't normally be productive.

I then moved on to the beach where I found the swash cluster.  Things had changed a bit since the last time I was there.  The sand had moved some.  And there were no surface coins this time.

When you find a coin line or hole or a cluster like the one I've been talking about lately, make note of any landmarks, including rocks, shells, and various types of targets, and where they were found.  Make a good mental map.  You'll want to be able to recognized how the area has changed and if the hole has moved since the last time you were there.  You'll learn to be able to track the hole as it appears to move around or fades in and out.  That will help you find the best spot and save a lot of time detecting in less productive areas.

When you are working the swash, you won't have much time to detect before the tide changes and it becomes too difficult to recover targets.

You can expect the beach to continually change, especially in the swash area, which is affected continually by the movement of water even when there is very little surf.  Nonetheless, some holes are remarkably persistent.  They can remain productive for long periods of time, then disappear, then appear in about the same location again and again weeks, months or years apart.  I have seen some that are pretty much annual.

One of the best cob sites for me on the Treasure Coast was pretty consistent for quite a few years, but seems to have been much less productive, almost shutting down, the past two years.

Couple of Very Small Targets Recovered From Swash Cluster
Besides the surface features that you can easily see, if you sample an area with your metal detector, you can tell something about what if anything has changed below the surface.  You will find out what types of targets are in the area and be able to observe what is under the surface when you dig any holes.

To the right are a couple of things that I dug in the swash cluster.  They are on my finger tip.

The bigger one on the right, is a corroded percussion cap.  The one on the left appears to be a small eyelet or something. 

When I first began detecting years ago, I would not have detected these small targets.  I was missing small targets back then, including smaller gold rings and other objects.  Often you'll find more small targets after the bigger ones have been removed and the area is pretty clean.  I've talked about my theories on that before.

Large objects were also recovered from the area of the swash cluster this weekend, including some iron rods over a foot long.  I had a photo of one of those, but was having so much trouble getting it uploaded that I gave up on that.

I do like finding very small objects, because it tells me that I'm not missing much.  If you are finding the smalls, you'll also be getting the larger targets with no problem.

A lot of people will not have any interest in items like this and would be just as happy to miss them.  For me, I like the information they provide.   They tell me that my detector settings and techniques are not bad.  They also tell me that there are some older objects in the cluster or hole, and it is worth spending some time to see what else might be in the immediate area.

I generally prefer to spend my time in more productive areas where things (especially old or valuable) might have accumulated rather than spending my time looking for a random drop in the middle of no where.

On the Treasure Coast Monday, the wind will be out of the South, and the surf will still be around 2 feet.

That won't change much until Thursday, when, if the predictions are accurate, there will be a short time when the surf increases up to around six feet near noon.   That is the only thing in the predictions right now worth looking for, but it is a quick event that is being predicted a few days in advance, so it might not happen.

Low tide Monday will be a little after 6 PM.

Happy hunting,