Friday, September 20, 2013

9/20/13 Report - Nice Shipwreck Spike in Wood, 18th Century Merchant Ship Construction and Current Conditions

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Shipwreck Spike In Wood
Photo submitted by Rob E.

This spike was found on Topsail Island, North Carolina.  It is approximately 5.75 inches long and the head is about 5/8 inch square.

Rob is trying to get any information he can about the spike.  If you have any guesses about its age or other things, let me know.

Thanks for the great pictures Rob!.  Nice artifact!

While looking for information that might help to date shipwreck spikes I came across a Master's Thesis entitled Eighteenth-Century Colonial American Merchant Ship Construction, by Kellie VanHorn, 2004.

It provides a lot of information on ship construction and looks at a variety of different wrecks and hull sections as they were found under water.

It also provides a map and a lot of pictures of ships and artifacts.  I think you'll find it informative and enjoyable.

Here is the link to the pdf file.

I went out to see what the beaches were doing this morning.   I was hoping that I'd see a little more erosion.  It didn't happen.  The water didn't get up as high today as it did yesterday.   The surf was a touch smaller.  And the expected high tide didn't compensate.

The result was that beach conditions were not as good today as yesterday.

Cut This Morning on a Treasure Coast Beach.

This is the same beach and same cut that I showed you yesterday.  The cut was a little less high today.  Not much, but some.  And the sand in front of the cut was more mushy. 

Evidently the last two high tides between when I was there yesterday and today added sand to the beach instead of continuing to remove it.  A tell-tale sign was a new line of sea weed at the base of the cut at some spots.

Too bad!  I was hoping for improved detecting conditions and possibly a beach detecting conditions upgrade.  Now I'm glad that I didn't upgrade it yesterday.  It was getting close, but not close enough.

Another Treasure Coast Beach I Saw This Morning.

As you can see, this second beach had no erosion and had a lot more sea weed.   As I think I said yesterday, even though there were some places where there was erosion, others weren't eroded at all.  That is more often the case than not.

That is also one reason why time in the field is such a good predictor of number of finds.  If you are out there a lot, there is a much better chance that you will find or stumble onto the good spots when they do appear. 

I heard of a couple places that were eroded in the past few days, and they are not eroded now.   That is the way it goes.

There aren't any named storms or hurricanes out there now.  There is one low pressure area east of the Bahamas that has a 20% chance of developing, but that is all.

The high tide is expected to be above average today but the surf will be decreasing daily for a few days.  Don't expect any major changes in beach detecting conditions.

As I've been showing, there have been some cob finds in the past week or so.   There is always a chance.  As I used to explain often, the reason my beach detecting conditions rating scale starts with a 1 instead of a 0 is that there is always some chance.  Things occasionally pop up at unusual times and in unusual places or at one of those unusual spots when everyplace else is looking bad.

I'm going to try to better quantify my rating scale.      

Michael E. told me he got a couple of rings one day recently.   

Happy hunting,