Friday, October 18, 2013

10/18/13 Report - Beach Coal, Boilers and Steam Ships, Gold & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Coal Found on Treasure Coast Beach

You might see almost anything on a beach.  Maybe you've seen lumps of coal like the one shown here.  The question always is, where did it come from and what might it tell you.

If it is seen around or below the high tide mark, the first thing it might tell you is something about the types of things that are washing up - or out.

If you think about the source, you won't know for sure, but one possibility is that it came from a shipwreck.

Along the Treasure Coast we tend to think most about treasure ships with sails.  But there are certainly a lot of other kinds of ships that sank along the Treasure Coast.

Some of the spikes that I've seen I would guess are from later wrecks from the 1800s or 1900s.  They could have been ships that were fueled by coal or carried a cargo of coal.

From what I've seen along the Treasure Coast I would say that there are a few steam ship wrecks scattered along different parts of the Treasure Coast, and in some cases, found along some of the same beaches as artifacts from older wrecks.

Old Book: Modern Marine Engineers Manual.

As you probably know, I always encourage reading broadly.  I found this huge old book a few years ago in a thrift store and bought it for a dollar.  It has been been very handy for researching ship parts.  It contains thousands of pages and many illustrations, including hundreds of pages on ship boilers etc.

Below are a couple of illustrations from the book, just to give you the idea.

The book actually has hundreds of pages on boilers.  It also talks about the fire bricks that were used to insulate the fire boxes.

 I've shown pictures of fire bricks that were found on the beach.  And of course, the Spanish galleons used bricks in the galleys.

A boiler for a ship was first patented in the 1600s, but they weren't widely used until much later than that.

Illustration of Boiler From the Above Book.

Steam boats were used a lot along the Indian River.

That is a nice part of our Treasure Coast history.

So when you see a lump of coal on the beach, give some thought about where it might have come from.

I think I said yesterday to let your imagination run, and use the evidence you find to debunk or support your theories.

Here is a web site with a very nice history of steam boats.

Yesterday the price of gold jumped while the dollar dropped.  That means that every dollar you have in your wallet or pocket or in a savings account became worth less.  The country continues to deal with its debt by silently slipping money out of your pocket.

Here is a link to an article about the move in the price of gold yesterday.  It hit $1322 an ounce once yesterday - well off of the year's high.

Have you ever walked by one of those fountains or whatever where you can see all the lucky coins that people threw in for good luck.  Some of those go for charity.  I don't know about the others.

One woman in need was recently arrested for taking $2.87 out of a fountain at a courthouse.  She said the money didn't belong to anyone and argued that it wasn't stealing.

Here is the link to that story.

I always think back to my childhood and one little bridge that crossed a small creek where the children and parents would always stop and look at the minnows as we went to the community swimming pool.

I wonder if it is still there.   If it is, I'd love to go there and detect in the stream under the bridge.

If you have access to any places like that that were a part of your childhood, you might think about going there and doing a little detecting.

The next article has no particular relation to the Treasure Coast but it is powerful story in my opinion.  Thought you might want to read it.

The Wild West has returned to ghost towns created by the recent floods in Colorado.  Small towns that have been isolated by recent floods and largely abandoned.  The only law remaining is the law of the Wild West.

On the Treasure Coast we still have a 2 - 3 foot surf, with high low tides and fairly high high tides.
That is no change.

If you look ahead over a week, the surfing web sites are predicting a 4 - 6 foot surf.  That far ahead, the predictions are not that reliable.  If it does actually happen, it could improve detecting conditions.

Happy hunting,