Thursday, April 18, 2013

4/18/13 Report. Quick Little Trip to the Beach This Morning & Working Swash Clusters

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Silver Ring Dug in Swash Cluster Today
I went out to the beach this morning to see what if anything was going on.  The first beach I looked at looked very poor.  I didn't bother to detect at all there and moved on to the beach where I've been working the swash cluster where I found the copper (probably actually bronze) shipwreck spike a while ago.

That beach was building.  Too bad.

There was at least a half foot of new sand on most of that beach.  One of my markers had disappeared altogether - completely buried by new sand.

I made my way down to the spot where the cluster was.  I first found a clad that was completely green (See photo below.), and I could tell that it had been there a while, so I thought I would check some more, and then another dark green clad coin popped up.

You can see those coisn with a few others from the same cluster below.  Notice two things.  First, the heavy patina.  Second, the wear of the patina on the edges.

The patina told me the coin had been there a while, and that it had been in salt water.  Second, the wear to the edges showed that the coin had been tumbled.  That is the kind of thing that you'll often find at a swash cluster.  And that is why you should inspect finds to see what they might tell you.

A coin that has been out there for a while is a better sign than a shiny new coin that has been dropped very recently.  Any time you find coins that have been on the beach or in the water a while, look for possible accumulations in the form of coin holes, lines or swash clusters.

Track treasure like you track deer.  Look for the signs, and see what they tell you.  Then follow them.

The first few coins and things showed me that the cluster was still somewhat productive, and I should check the area well. 

I was sort of hoping to find more copper spikes or something of that era, but I didn't find any old shipwreck items today. 

The water was a little rougher than I expected and I had to leave deeper targets for some other time.

Under the first few inches of sand were shells and rocks.  It isn't easy to dig targets in rushing white water, especially when there are packed shells and rocks under the sand. 

There is a knack to digging targets in white water and also getting your scoop to penetrate packed shells and rocks.  I've talked about digging targets in white water at least once in the past.

The first thing is to get a good pinpoint and estimation of depth.  Then get a good fix on the spot.  Always turn your back to the water so your scoop is facing up the slope and against the water as the water rushes back down the slope.

I usually mark the spot with one foot and take a quick scoop out.  Try to tell where the target is in relationship to the hole if you didn't get it on the first scoop. 

As you dig deeper and hit shells and rocks, push the scoop slowly in and work the scoop around side to side and up and down trying to catch any larger shells or rocks with the tip of the scoop and pry them loose as you dig.   Working the scoop around, work it slowly down into the layer of shells and rocks.  Pushing harder won't do any good if your trying to dig into a rock or something.  Work the scoop around feeling where big shells or rocks might be.  Then work the front of the scoop under those bigger objects that need to be pried loose.

Coins Found at Swash Closter
When you get the object in the scoop, keep the scoop facing up the slope and as you lift it, let the water rush back through the scoop.  The rush of water will wash out much of the sand and small debris. Don't let the scoop get pushed sideways because the object can get washed out of the front of the scoop and can quickly disappear back into the water.

It takes some practice and can be very frustrating when tyring to get a target that is a little deeper when you are working in white water and packed shells and sand.  You can almost get there and then the water will come and completely fill the hole again.  

I did try to dig a few deeper targets today that I couldn't get to.  Some, that I could tell from the signal were deeper than I could dig so I just left without digging and will try to find them again some other time if they are still there.

The sand was a little deeper on this cluster today, yet there were some targets right on the surface.  I dug the shallower targets that I could get to. 

Above is a picture of a silver ring that I dug in the cluster today.  It had been lost a while too. 

It is modern era, for sure.  And fairly heavy, with some nice colored stones on the other side.

Notice the sand and shells in the back indentations.  

Also notice the edge wear, like that seen on the coins.  That is a sign the ring had been tumbled a while.

Well, like I said, I didn't get the older shipwreck stuff that I was looking for, but I did get a few other things.

Above is a quick video clip showing the surf near the cluster where the ring was found.  You probably can't see the little edge on the front of the beach and the course materials next to the edge.  The sand got deeper over the shells and rocks as you move away from the water.

I should have been closer to the edge of the beach when I made the video.

The water was a bit rougher than it looks in the video.

If you don't remember the illustration and description of swash clusters that I've shown in past posts, you might want to go back and look at that.

Like I said yesterday, even though beach detecting conditions remain poor, there are still ways to find some things.

On the Treasure Coast today the surf is running around 2 - 3 feet.  That won't change much during the next few days, although tomorrow looks like it might be just a touch calmer during part of the day.

There are no cuts that I've seen lately.

Low tide this evening will be close to 9 PM.

Happy hunting,