Sunday, November 10, 2013

11/10/13 Report - Beginner Questions, Conditions Rating and Cob Find

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Eroded Treaure Coast Beach Yesterday Near Low Tide.
What is it that they say about mutual funds?  Past performance does not guarantee future results, or something like that?  Well it can be true about beaches too, especially when you are looking for old things that have been out there for a long time and have escaped capture for years and years.

A beach that produces one day, does not necessarily produce the next.   Beaches change constantly.  It can be a matter of days, hours, or even minutes.   Show up too early or too late, and it is too bad.  Timing is a BIG factor.

No matter how much you have learned and how skillful you are, there is still an element of luck.  You have to be there at the right time and at the right place - just an inch or two can make a difference.   And on a beach, there is way too much to cover every grain of sand.  Knowledge and skill definitely helps (a lot) but as my dad used to say when I did something that turned out well, "I'd rather be lucky than good."

Those WW II fathers were an encouraging lot, unlike so many fathers and mothers today who pump their kids up with praise for getting a pimple.  Think Frank Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond.  It did tend to toughen you up.  And compared to what they went through as young men in Europe of the Pacific theatre, I can understand it.

Anyhow, back to what I was saying, beaches do change.  Early this week one beach produced good finds in one spot for consecutive days and then as suddenly as it seemed to open up, closed again.

I think it was a spot were some cobs were washed up when the beach built up, and then got washed out when the same spot eroded.   You could see the various layers of sand, but I don't have any idea which layer they came from.  My guess is one of the lower layers, maybe three of four feet down.

One thin shell layer was exposed by the cut shown in the photo above.  Note also the sea weed, indicating sand coming in again.  I'd say a foot or maybe just a few inches of sand was added to this beach since Wednesday, not a huge amount.

Surf At Same Location and Time as Above Photo
Although the surf was still pretty big, the surf yesterday was not banging the sand bar like it did earlier in the week when the beach started to produce.

I'd sure like to figure it all out better.   I know a lot about what conditions go with finds, but there are still pieces of the puzzle that are missing for me.

I saw a lot of snow birds and beginners out this week.  It was a good week to be here.

One beginner (Les) asked some questions via email that I'll try to answer briefly for Les and other beginners.  You can find detailed answers to each of these questions by going back through the old posts of this blog.  Use the search box to find specific topics.

Here are the questions Les asked and a very brief answer for each.
Is it really only worth detecting at low tide?

No, you can find things at times other than at low tide, however at low tide you obviously have easier access to more of the beach front.

How slow/fast do you walk?

Walk faster when just scanning or scouting an area.  Walk very slow if you have reason to believe it might be good spot.

What is most productive for cobs, etc.............wet sand near the water?  up on the dry sand at all?

As I've said in old posts, cobs have been found on virtually all parts of the beach.  It depends upon where they are coming from, how long they have been exposed and how far from the recent source they have moved.  There are too many factors to describe here. 

Learn to read the beach so you can identify the most likely spots.  Generally avoid newly accumulated mushy wet sand.  The dry sand area does occasionally produce cobs, especially the area at the top of a cut or near the foot of the back dunes.  Sometimes they appear in surprising places that can leave you scratching your head.

Do you use a pattern?

I use various patterns.  For quick scanning sometimes a zig zag pattern.  When a good spot is identified, a very tight grid.  Sometimes I just wander from one good looking spot to another to check them out.

You can read more about various scanning patterns in old posts.

Half Reale Found a Few Days Ago

Here is the other side of the half reale shown yesterday.

It is way under weight, is from Mexico, and has no date or assayer mark.

You can see the Florenza cross, indicating the Mexico mint.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, the surf will be decreasing down to about three feet.  Watch out for Thursday though.  Five to eight feet is predicted again.

I'm going to give a 2 rating on my TC beach detecting conditions scale.  I expect fewer finds than earlier this week although there is still some good hunting to be done.

I have no additional news or photo yet on the rumored eight-escudo find.

Happy hunting,