Tuesday, April 30, 2013

4/30/13 Report - 4000 Year-Old Gold Beads, Coins In Pond, & British Surveyor's Camps On Treasure Coast


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.



Coins At Bottom of Pond When Water Was Lowered.
I was on a little trip yesterday and ran across a pond where the water had been lowered.  The spot shown in the photo was by a bridge where people evidently threw in or dropped coins.  With the water lowered you could see these coins on the surface. 

The coins were spread over a larger area, but this is the best concentration that I saw at first glance.

I'm always interested in ponds, rivers, streams or almost any body of water.  When the water is lowered either naturally or by man, it could present a rich opportunity.

I especially like areas by old bridges.  Hunt hard bottoms or deeper areas as opposed to places that sand or mud accumulates.  

At times it could be worth moving recent accumulations of sand or mud to get to the buried deeper targets.  The shallow areas will also often be filled with aluminum and other junk.

You might recall that I talked about a British salvage camp on the Treasure Coast not too long ago.  One author of a history book contacted me and said that the salvage camp might have actually been a surveyor's camp.  While researching in the National Archives he found that "the English had surveyed the Florida coast in the late 1700s."  The "coastal survey party included armed soldiers to protect the surveyors."  You might recall that I said that 60th British Foot military buttons from the late 1700s were found at the camp site. 

The British camp site that I talked about was found in the same area as one of the Spanish salvage camps but may have been misinterpreted, according to my source.  He also said, "... the English moved their camp up and down the coast in areas requiring to be mapped and there are more of them out their somewhere."

Now that is good information that you're not likely to just run across anywhere.  I want to shout out a note of thanks from me and this blog's readers to my source.
 


A robot was used to discover a chamber in an old temple in Mexico.

Here is the link to read more about that.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/28/robot-teotihuacan-temple-archaeology_n_3155757.html




In another story, the four thousand year old skeletal remains of a woman wearing these gold beads has been found.



Four Thousand Year Old Gold Beads
Photo from following link.

Here is the link to that story.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/27/queen-skeleton-gold-bones-london-regal-status_n_3164865.html?utm_hp_ref=science&icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl16%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D305096



The surf on the Treasure Coast is still a little rougher than it has been, about 4 - 6 feet.  I haven't been out to check the beaches for a day or so, so won't comment much more on beach detecting conditions until I get a chance to take a look.

The wind is from the southeast, which is not encouraging.  And the high tides are fairly high, but the low tides not very low.  That is also not encouraging right now, but might turn out to be helpful in a few days.

That is all for now.

Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@comcast.net


Monday, April 29, 2013

4/29/13 Report - Small Gold Find, Battle of Okeechobee & Vero Fossils



Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.


Small 14K Charm Find From
a Treasure Coast Beach.
There were a lot of beach goers this weekend.  It looked like everybody was either on the beach or in a boat.

Even though conditions for finding old shipwreck items haven't been good, you can still pick up some other things.  

Here is one small gold find.  It is on the tip of my little finger.


I haven't talked much about fossils from the Treasure Coast lately, mostly because I haven't been seeing many of them.  You probably know that Vero is where one very famous fossil was found.  Vero has some good fossil sites.

Here is an older paper on Vero fossils.  It presents a lot of good information even though it is not recent.

http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00000476/00001/65j


Just a little west of the Treasure Coast is the field where the Battle of Okeechobee took place in 1837. 

The troops of Zachary Taylor took a beating there as the Seminoles out-witted Taylor and the Missouri Volunteers.

The battlefield is threatened by development and a State Park has been created to preserve the area.

Here is a link to learn more about the battle of Okeechobee.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lake_Okeechobee


I got out to take a quick look at the beach yesterday afternoon just before low tide.  The surf didn't look as rough as was expected, but it was supposed to be smaller in the middle of the day, so I probably didn't see the big surf.   It was supposed to get bigger later in the day when the tide got higher too.

I didn't see too much that was very encouraging.  There was only a hint of a cut at one location.  The slope down to the beach was generally mushy where I was. 

Below is a quick video showing one spot that I saw yesterday.

I did see a few areas where the beach gradually curve to the west.  That seemed to me like it was caused by a recent movement of sand and if I had more time, I would have checked a couple of those places with my detector.

If the surf turned out to be fairly high when the tide got high, there might have been some places that improved a little yesterday, but nothing dramatic.  I haven't been out to take a look since yesterday afternoon.

I'd mostly be checking out those places on the beach where the beach moved a little west yesterday.

And if you want, you can check out some of the beaches that were busy Sunday for recent drops.


video



Little gold items like the one shown above, can easily slide off of a chain and bury in the sand just enough to be hard to find.

For small gold items like that, good technique can be a big help.  If you are getting the smalls, you are doing something right. 

Sand is being pumped onto the beach just south of the Fort Pierce inlet again.

And the cost of the project over by the Fort Pierce Marina cost us 18.8 million dollars.  Aren't you glad you pay taxes.  They'll spend it as fast as you send it in - actually faster.


Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@comcast.net


Saturday, April 27, 2013

4/27/13 Report - Infantry Button Find, More on Beach Holes, Gold Rush & More


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.


I've been hearing from people that have been taking some of my advice lately.  It seems like some are taking the opportunity of the poor beach conditions to expand their horizons and try some new things and some new areas. 

That can really pay off.

This infantry button is a nice find by William M., who commented that research and a lot of walking pays off.

From top to bottom: Front of the newly found button, back of the newly found button, and example to show what it would look like in better condition.

He made this find yesterday.


Not only is the button a nice find, but it also tells him that his research was good, the site is a good place to detect, and there is probably more where that came from.  

Part of the value of a find is what it tells you about the site.

Nice find William!

When you get in a rut and when the beach conditions are poor, it is always good to think outside the box, find a place where a good promising area where everybody else isn't detecting everyday, and you might find a nice new site for yourself.




You probably know the story of the California Gold Rush and the 49ers.   Well, they are now going back to the area of Sutter's Mill hoping to mine that area again, but this time with new technology.

Here is a link to that story.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/25/mining-firm-bets-there-still-gold-in-hills-that-sparked-184-rush/


You might recall my discussion of the ordinances proposed by Cocoa Beach regarding digging holes at the beach.  I few days ago I posted a link to a News 13 article on the subject and a link to the relevant 2012 Cocoa Beach municipal ordinances.

The Cocoa Beach City Commission had a reading of the proposed modified ordinances for the public a week or so ago and expect to have a second reading on May 2 at City Hall. The meeting will start at 7 PM.

Here is a link to a more thorough News 13 article than the one I previously posted on the subject.

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/...ch-regulations

And here is a link to the current municipal ordinances.

http://library.municode.com/HTML/13994/level1/PTIICOOR.html

From what I gather, and don't rely solely on me to get this all straight, it appears that the new ordinance will be that holes will not be allowed over 18 inches - or deeper than the knees of the shortest person in the group.  Any holes are also to be completely filled before leaving the beach. 

The way to make sure you get all the details and have a chance to provide input is through the City Commission, so you should be sure to have good representation at the reading.


Here is another article on the origins of the Maya civilizations.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2013/04/25/maya-olmec-cbal/2110781/

I'm still looking for a good name for the fellow in yesterday's petroglyph.


On the Treasure Coast today, the surf is about 3 - 4 feet.

The low tide should be good and low.  That will be this afternoon.

According to the surfing web sites, it still looks like we could have up to a 7 foot surf on Sunday.  They have the big surf predicted for early in the morning, slacking off mid-day, and then big in the evening.

There is still hope that might help improve beach conditions.


Happyhunting,
TreasureGuide@comcast.net

Friday, April 26, 2013

4/26/13 Report - Petrotoons, Small Gold Find, & One Item That Will Help You Date a Detecting Site.


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.


Long before The Simpsons were on TV
there was...

Photo from the ArtDaily article
 linked at the left.
I hope you'll forgive my attempt at humor today.  Here is a five hundred year old Homer Simpson.

Seriously though, is there reason to believe they didn't do cartoons?  Surely they had a sense of humor too.  I would bet on it. 

When I looked at this petroglyph, that's the first thing I thought of.   Could it be a cartoon?  Forget the jet pack on his back.  And the artifact in his hand.  Maybe he was the first archie.

See if you can win the Name the Petroglyph contest.  Send me your names for this fellow.

If you want to read the article about this recently discovered 500 year-old petroglyph from Veracruz, here is the link.  Warning: It won't be as much fun as this post.

http://www.artdaily.com/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=62110#.UXq0aSDD_IV


When did the Phillip's head screw come into common useage?   I'll answer that below.

You might be wondering why you should care.  Here is my answer to that.  It is good to be able to get an estimate of the time period of your finds when you are in the field.  That can give you some idea about what other items might be found in the same area.  Of course, some times there will be items from widely varying dates in the same area.  Nonetheless, older items are a good sign.  I'd gnerally rather dig an old coin than a new one.  It means there is a good chance that you are getting into older layers of sand and older materials, and you might be getting to an area where things have been accumulating for some time.

The bolt I posted yesterday is what is called a carriage bolt.  John L and Eric L. both wrote to provide that information.  It helped me more than you might expect because I had the right word to use for internet searches.  In the process I learned a lot about screws.

Even though screws go back to the 1500s and beyond, Phillips Head screws were first commonly used in the 1930s. 

Fasteners, including nails, spikes, etc. are some of the most common items you will find, especially at sites associated with shipwrecks or old buildings.  They will therefore be one of the things that you can help you associate a site with a time period.

They will be especially plentiful in areas where there were camp fires created from beach debris, such as shipwreck wood.

There was a time when I thought screws were always very modern and paid no attention to them.

Here is a good article on the manufacture of wood screws, mostly from the 1800s.  It includes a lot of exceptionally good pictures and tells you how to recognize old screws. 

www.cool.conservation-us.org/coolaic/sg/wag/Am_Wood_Screws.pdf

And here is another.

http://www.worthpoint.com/blog-entry/screws-identify-age-furniture

About 1848 screws took on a form that makes them look very much like they do today.

Here are some things to look for to identify old screws. 

Older screws often shows evidence of filing on the head.  The slot is often off-center.  The screw does not end in a point.  The threads are more irregular.   You will find a few other things to look for if you read both of the above articles.

By the way, iron objects that were burned seem to survive salt corrosion better than those that were not burned.  Those imbedded in the wood are also more protected and tend to be better preserved.

If you do find some old iron or wood on the beach, the first thing is to soak it to get the salts out.  Some people say to use rain water or purified water for soaking the item.  Tap water can contain chemicals.   So the first thing to do with items like that is to put them in a pure water bath and keep them there, occasionally changing the water.  Again, the Texas A&M conservation lab provides great information on the internet about the treatment of all kinds of objects.


Small Gold Ring Beach Find.
To the right is a small gold ring.  About a size 3.  Evidently a child's ring. 

Even though it is small, it is quality.  Nice stone and 18k gold.

Smaller gold like this can easily be missed if you aren't careful either with your detector settings or if your sweep is too fast or too high.


Another beautiful day on the Treasure Coast.  The surf is around 2 - 4 feet.  The wind will be shifting later today.

The surfing web site is predicting 4 - 7 foot seas for Sunday.  I have been watching that closely.  I'm a bit surprised that the upper limit of 7 feet has stood up.  And glad that it did.

Tues is supposed to be just a little less.

Unfortunately, the wind on Sunday is expected to be mostly east.  To bad it isn't from the north or northeast.  We'll see how that works out.

Today low tide on the Treasure Coast will be around 3 PM.

Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@comcast.net



Thursday, April 25, 2013

4/25/13 Report - Gold and Bolt Finds & Links to Lots of Good Research Material


Written by the Treasure Guide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

 


Couple Recent Treasure Coast
Beach Finds.
Different areas provide different detecting opportunities.  The Treasure Coast provides a chance to find something from a Spanish galleon or later shipwreck as well as a few more modern coins and jewelry items.  While other areas provide more bling, the Treasure Coast has enough variety to be a lot of fun even though the beach detecting conditions are often poor.

Beside the gold lion ring in the photo is a bronze bolt that is sort of interesting.  It has a rounded head and bottom and four corners just below the head (which you can't see in the photo because of the encrustation. 

I'm thinking the bolt isn't either real old or real modern - maybe mid 1800s, but that isn't any more than a wild guess.  If someone can provide some info or even a thought on that, I'd like to hear from you.


The current Sedwick Treasure, World, and US Coin Auction will go live on May 1.  That means there is there is little time remaining to register.  Bidding has already begun and auction lots can be viewed online.


If you've been reading this blog very long, you know that my daily posts can vary quite a lot.  Sometimes I show finds, sometimes talk mostly about beach conditions, sometimes talk about search strategies, etc.   Today's post presents a lot of research links for those of you who like history and do a  lot of research.

You might be surprised how much it can help to know what happened where in the past.  You pick up a clue and file it away, and then pick up some more clues, put it all together, and then you know where to look.


When the Spanish arrived in Florida, the Timucan tribe or nation was dominant in North Florida.  It is thought that the first settlement by the Spanish in 1565 might have occupied a Timucan settlement. 

That first Spanish settlement is thought ot have lasted about a year before they were chased out by the Timucans. 

You can use this link to learn more about the dig going on at that settlement.  If you are at ST. Augustine, you might be able to stop by and take a look.

Here is a link about that dig.  Included is a video clip showing a few of the artifacts.

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/rss/article/310303/3/Archaeological-team-digs-at-the-Fountain-of-Youth

And to learn more about the Timucuans, here is another link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timucua#History



Here is Eugene Lyon's doctoral dissertation.  If you are interested in the early years of the Spanish in Florida (1565 - 1568), you will find this academic study interesting.

http://www.archive.org/stream/adelantamientoof00lyonrich/adelantamientoof00lyonrich_djvu.txt



You might also enjoy this paper by Marion Link on the 1715 Plate Fleet salvage camp that was published in a 1966 issue of Tequesta.

digitalcollections.fiu.edu/tequesta/files/1966/66_1_02.pdf



And here is a good list of Florida historical archaeology sites.

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/histarch/sitesInfo_fl.htm



Archaeologists are now discussing establishing protected archaeological sites in outer space.  I've talked about far out topics like this before, including the possible future salvage of old space vehicles floating around in outer space.  Well, they are already discussing creating protected archaeological sites on the moon and planets, and are considering preserving the Apollo landing sites on the moon as national historic landmarks, for example.

Also the more general topic of space archaeology is being discussed as it relates to international law. 

I wonder who wins when international law conflicts with inter-planetary law?  Ignorance of the law is no excuse.   :) 

Here is a link if you are interested in the developing field of space archaeology.

http://www.space.com/20743-space-archaeology-artifacts-preservation.html

In this blog I've mentioned many times the pieces of titanium from space shots that are found on Treasure Coast beaches along with other space debris.  Of course Florida has a special interest in the space programs.


On the Treasure Coast today the surf is around 3 - 4 feet.  The interesting thing though, is that the surfing web sites are now predicting a 5 - 7 foot surf for Sunday again.  I hope that happens.  We can use it.  It might actually improved detecting conditions if the other factors are right.

Due in part to the full moon, the low tide will be good and low today.  The low tide on the Treasure Coast will be around 2 PM.


If you want to improve your chances, especially for finding older things, do your research.

Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@comcast.net

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

4/24/13 Report - British Salvage Camp on Treasure Coast & More on Beach Holes


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.


60th Regiment of Foot Button.
Photo from the Worthpoint link below.
You probably know something about the Spanish salvage camps that worked the 1715 Fleet wrecks immediately after the disaster, but did you know that there was also a British salvage camp on the Treasure Coast?

There is a lot of evidence to that fact.  And I am not talking about William Jennings and his gang.

Several British 60th Regiment of Foot buttons were found back in the eighties on the dunes very close to where one of the Spanish salvage camps was located.  In fact right beside an old Spanish salvage camp.

The button shown here is not one of the buttons from the salvage camp, but I am showing it as an example.

It appears that the British salvage or "treasure hunting" camp is from the late 1700s, possibly around 1780.  Besides the buttons many other artifacts, including musket balls, flints etc. were found and indicate the presence of the camp.

Several fellows dug that area back in the eighties, including some that are recognized as amateur or non-vocational archaeologists.

Now the area is covered by a private residence and is off limits.

Back in the late 1700s there were undoubtedly still some remaining signs of the wreckage and the Spanish salvage camps along the beach and also popular knowledge of the earlier events.

Here is a link that will provide a picture of what the British treasure hunters probably looked like and a little history of the 60th Regiment of Foot.   It does not mention what brought them to Florida, although it is known that they served in the Caribbean.

http://www.militaryheritage.com/60thregt.htm

And here is the source of the button photo.

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/60th-regiment-of-foot-button


As you might know, two days ago I received a report indicating that Brevard County was going to make it illegal to dig holes on the beach.  That story developed quickly.  The next day I learned through a News 13 article that Cocoa Beach was indeed considering the issue, but that there was already an ordinance that made it illegal to dig holes on Cocoa Beach.  The city was considering "fine-tuning" the ordinances. 

After receiving a link to a current City of Cocoa Beach ordinance from Mitch K., I saw that the current ordinance stated that it was illegal to dig holes on the beach that would endanger people.  That is certainly reasonable enough. 

I suspect that any revision to the ordinance will also be reasonable, but it is good to be informed and involved so that you know what is going on and are able to provide input from the perspective of the metal detecting community.

Although the story developed very quickly as I received various reports and I wanted to get whatever I received out as soon as possible, I wish I would have done a better job.  It kind of reminded me of the way the press dealt with the quickly developing Boston Marathon story and got some things wrong early on.  Of course that is at a totally different level.  Nonetheless, I am sure that most of you are more informed about it now than two days ago and in a better position to act and provide input. 

Below is a link to the existing ordinance that Mitch K. sent me, which Mitch says became effective early in 2012.  Read it for yourself.

http://www.cityofcocoabeach.com/Cityhall/Ordinances_Index/Ordinances/2011-2015/2012/1545.pdf

If you have a very detailed eye, you might have noticed that the original report that I received referred to Brevard County and the News 13 article and the above link is from the City of Cocoa.  I'm not prepared to elaborate on that now.

My least favorite topic for this blog, even though I get a lot of question about it, is the rules, regulations and laws affecting metal detecting. There are layers on layers and I do not want to be in a position of interpreting, explaining or summarizing what seems to me to be a confusing mess.  Thank goodness most of our officials are very reasonable people. 

I usually advise people with questions about the laws that apply to a specific park or area to ask somebody - sometimes a life guard will be on duty and will be able to tell you, or make a call to a government office.  That is simple enough and usually does the job.

You probably remember back a year or so ago when we had to act to stop legislation proposed for the State of Florida that would have seriously affected the treasure hunting community.  Vigilance and involvement is continually required.

There was one time when I was told by a life guard that detecting was not permitted at a park after I had just walked onto the beach with my metal detector.  I said OK and put my detector away and moved on.  No problem.  When I got home I called the county office and talked to an official to further inquire, and he told me that although detecting was not allowed there, it was about to change and gave me a date for the change.  As a result, I was one of the first to know about the coming change and was one of the first to detect the park after the ban was lifted.  My point is that it paid to ask.

When talking to public officials, make your point as clearly and respectfully as possible.  Present a good image for the hobby. 

Sorry for any confusion, but I thought it was important to put the information I received out there as quickly as possible since I didn't know how quickly things might be done.


It is a beautiful morning on the Treasure Coast.  The waves seem to be coming directly from the east.  The surf is about  3 - 4 feet today and will be about the same for a couple of days, while the wind is predicted to take a more northeasterly direction.

I'm disappointed that the prediction on the surfing web site for Sunday has been changed a little.  It looks like there still might be a brief period of 5 foot and higher surf, but for most of the day Sunday, they are now showing less.

Low tide today is about 1:40 PM, and it looks like the low tide will be a bit lower than it has been lately. 


Anybody have any reports or stories from the Treasure Hunters Cookout?  I know everybody had a good time.


Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@comcast.net

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

4/23/13 Report - Gairsoppa Silver Exhibit, Bigger Surf Coming & News On Digging Holes


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.


According to a Globe Newswire story (Tampa, Fla., April 17,2013), as a part of a multi-media traveling exhibit, Odyssey Marine Exploration will present to the public for the first time, silver recovered from the SS Gairsoppa along with hundreds of authentic artifacts and historical treasures recovered from deep-ocean projects from around the world.  The exhibit will be at Discovery Times Square in New York City on May 24, 2013.   In addition to the Gairsoppa silver, Odyssey is expanding the SHIPWRECK! Treasure Room to include a large selection of never-before-displayed coins from both the SS Republic and the "Tortugas" shipwrecks.


I started to add a poll to the blog last night, but blogger didn't seem to want to cooperate. Hopefully that will start working soon.


On the Treasure Coast, the wind is now from the northeast.  It was a little gusty last night.  I haven't been out to see what if anything happened.  The surfing web site says that the surf is 3 - 5 feet today, but the more interesting thing to me is that they are still predicting a 5 - 7 foot surf for Sunday.  That could be enough to improve beach detecting conditions.  Before that, the surf will decrease a touch.

Also today, the tides are a little bigger than they have been lately.  That could be a help too. 

Low tide today will be around 12:30.


Yesterday I mentioned that I heard that Brevard County was considering making it illegal to dig holes on the beach.  News travels fast these days.  It didn't take long for a statement to come out in the news.

Here is a News 13 article that addresses the subject.

http://www.cfnews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2013/4/22/cocoa_beach_commissi.html

That helps to clarify the situation. 


I don't think everybody read the article at the above link, and I wanted to clear up some confusion, therefore I added this section (in purple) at approximately 4 PM 4/23. 

Notice that the first two lines of the news article, says...


It may soon be legal to dig holes in the sand at one Brevard County beach. 

Cocoa Beach’s city commission is planning to fine tune some of its ordinances, including digging on the beach.


Notice that the article says "may soon be legal."   That seems to me to say that it is not legal now (which is the case, and has been, as Mitch K points out, since early 2012).  It also means that it MIGHT change, but that it is not a settled issue yet.  That means it is a perfect time to provide input.

Sorry if I wasn't clear before and I hope this adds clarity rather than more confusion.


But Bill F. said, The beach is owned by the state..their jurisdiction stops at the high
tide line.  How can the county make laws about someone elses' property?


Hmmmm.   Good question, it seems to me.  I don't know the answer.  But just going on what the article says, it looks like they are concerned with holes 18 inches or deeper and intend to "fine-tune" their ordinances. 

The news article also addressed the subject of kids digging holes, which I thought was funny since I mentioned that just yesterday.

The public has a lot of misconceptions about detectors and detectorists.  They seem to think that detectorists love to go around digging big holes.  That is a big misconception. 

Who wants to spend their day digging big holes?   No detectorist that I know!  That wouldn't be any fun.  And it wouldn't be profitable.

If you think digging holes is fun in any way, why does every construction project that I see on the Treasure Coast use heavy equipment and three supervisors to dig anything near the size of an 18 inch hole.

Getting back to detecting, while some sand scoops may look big, they are actually as much for sifting as digging. 

What people don't understand is that the vast majority of coins on the beach are found within a couple inches of the surface and can be kicked out of the dry sand without any digging at all. 

There is a definite need for some public education.  Take the officials out to the beach, give them a  metal detector and see how it goes.  They'd quickly see that detectorists rarely dig deep holes and don't want to spend their day digging deep holes even if they could detect a coin at great depth. 

Also, detectorists, unlike kids, fill their holes.

By the way, the article did not mention anything about detectorists, but the relevance is clear.

I know that sometimes there will be a bad apple that doesn't fill a hole, but even in that unfortunate circumstance, if it is in the wet sand, the water will fill it before long, or if it is high on the beach in dry sand, nature will take care of it before long.  A hole just doesn't last very long in dry sand.

If they are only concerned with 18-inch or deeper holes, that really doesn't have much to do with metal detecting.  That doesn't mean it wouldn't be a problem.  An over zealous old lady or young life guard might think that a eight inch hole looks like an 18 inch hole.  And there is always the slippery slope phenomena.

What would you say is the average depth of a coin found in dry sand?  I'd say it has to be about two inches or less.  I'm talking average here.  And I think the vast majority of coin finds in dry sand are recent drops.

If you've been reading this blog for a few years. you know that what I teach is finding the places where coins are found on or very near the surface.   That will generally be where you find the hot spots.

On my last few outings, I think the average coin was found at less than two inches even though the coins had obviously been out there quite a while and had a heavy green patina.   They had recently washed up onto the the front of the beach where a couple were eye-balled and the rest were under a very thin layer of sand.

It sounds like they are really trying to come up with some good reasonable rules.  They'll need to know how it could possibly affect you.  It would be a good idea to let them know what you think.

I wanted to get this in, and I lost some of my work somehow and had to do it again.  Hopefully I'll get it posted now.

Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@comcast.net


Monday, April 22, 2013

4/22/13 Report - Shipwreck Planks and Wood Preservation, Plans to Make Digging on the Beach Illegal & More


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.


Shipwreck Plank With Square Bronze Spikes.
Photo submitted by Jason T.

Jason found this piece of shipwreck plank complete with spikes while scuba diving.   It was wedged up under a reef.  It has two complete bronze spikes still intact with a nice green patina as well as some broken spikes.

Conserving wood artifacts is more complicated than you might think.  It is further complicated when the wood has items of other materials, such as the metal spikes in this case.

Here is one of the better general descriptions of how to treat salt-water wood shipwreck artifacts.
 

For greater detail on artifacts of wood, including those with spike or other materials, here is a more academic set of articles from the Texas A and M conservation lab.
http://nautarch.tamu.edu/aprl/reports.shtml


You can see in the photo how these spikes bent.  They often broke.  Lot of force involved as a shipwreck comes apart.

You can also see some of the shells from Toredo worms.



I'm told that Brevard County is considering making it illegal to dig holes in the beach.  You know what that means.   A lot of kids will be fined.  No digging in the sand, kids!  That will kill the children's plastic shovel and bucket toy sales.

I wonder if that would include scooping up sand fleas? 

You need to learn what they plan to do, and let them know what you think.   If one county does it, don't expect it to stop there.

It takes constant vigilance to maintain freedom.

I guess it could also mean if you lost your engagement ring, you better leave it lost rather than dig it up.

I'll have more on this subject tomorrow.  It seems there is indeed breaking news on this.  [Added Mon. evening].


It looks like the equipment is in place to start dumping tons of new sand on the beach at the Fort Pierce Inlet again.  Reminds me of a heroine addiction the way they keep pumping sand on our beaches.  There is money in it. 

Don't make any holes, but rung heavy equipment and dump untold amounts of sand and junk on the beach.  Huh?


I spelled "cuprous" incorrectly the other day.  I know I leave a lot of mistakes of various sorts in my posts - more of language than fact.  I  just don't take the time to proof them as much as I should.  Anyhow thanks for tolerating it.  I guess you can generally figure out what I mean to say.


The following quick video clip shows what the beach looked like around low tide at noon today on the Treasure Coast.


video


Beach detecting conditions looked poor.

The surf on the Treasure Coast today is supposed to be around 3 - 4 feet.  That will be the case through the week.  An increase in the surf is predicted for next Sunday, up to 5 - 7 feet.  We haven't seen a surf that high for quite a while.  Of course that is still five or six days out so the prediction might change.  Hopefully it will get higher instead of lower.  We'll see.

The wind is mostly out of the east/southeast until then.

Low tide is around 12 today.


Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@comcast.net

Sunday, April 21, 2013

4/21/13 Report - Pirate Henry Jennings & Coprous Shipwreck Beach Finds


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.


A Sample of Treasure Coast Cuprous
Shipwreck Beach Finds.
People who hunt the Treasure Coast most often think of Spanish galleons.  That's mostly what the Treasure Coast is known for, especially the 1715 Fleet.  But sometimes old shipwreck items are found on Treasure Coast beaches that do not seem to be Spanish, and that sometimes makes people wonder where they came from.

There are a number of  reasons you will find old items from other countries along the Treasure Coast.  Two very obvious reasons include the fact that Florida was not always a Spanish possession  (everybody knows that), and ships of other nations traveled the Florida Coast even while Florida was a Spanish possession (everybody knows that as well).  There are other reasons that I will mention in a little more detail today and in the near future.


The one that I'll address most directly today is piracy.  Of course piracy is not the greatest source of Treasure Coast finds that are not Spanish, but it is one source, and a very interesting one at that.

A couple of days ago I posted a link to a TV program about Ben Franklin's privateers.  There was a very famous privateer that worked some on the Treasure Coast.
 
First I should explain that there is a difference between a privateer and a pirate (sometimes).  Basically, privateers act as an agent of a nation, while pirates act under no national authority. 

The distinction can get blurred.  Privateers can easily become pirates when they see the opportunity or when their privateering work is done, and pirates might claim to be good friends of one specific nation or might claim patriotic motives for their actions.

Henry Jennings was an 18th century British privateer, who later did a little work as a pirate, including some work right here on our Treasure Coast. 

Jennings was a privateer during the Spanish War of Succession, but his first act of piracy is said to be a raid on a 1715 Fleet salvage camp that occurred in 1716.  The Spanish salvage effort of the 1715 Fleet was mostly complete by early 1716, but Jennings made several attacks on the Spanish salvage camps, including the main camp located near the McClarty museum and stole something like 350,000 pesos, eventually retiring as a wealthy plantation owner in Bermuda.

Jennings teamed up with Black Sam Bellamy for a while, but that relationship ended poorly, like many relationships between pirates.

If you want to read more about Jennings, here is a place to start.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Jennings

The battles between Jennings and the Spanish salvagers undoubtedly resulted in some items of British and other origins being lost on the Treasure Coast, as did the actions of other pirates (some of whom I've mentioned before in this blog).  I'm sure there are musket balls and other items that were lost.

It was not uncommon for well-traveled opportunist of other nationalities to fish the Spanish wrecks along the Treasure Coast over the years. 

We also need to remember that the Spanish galleons were built and supplied with many products made in other countries.  Cannons used by the Spanish were sometimes made in other countries, as one of many examples.  Many items were imported, even back in those days.

The intermingling of goods from various sources had to become even greater the longer a vessel was in service.  So don't be surprised if you dig a British, French or Dutch item on a beach associated with a Spanish shipwreck.  It is always possible that such an item came from a Spanish shipwreck, so don't be too quick to think that an item is not from a Spanish galleon just because you think it doesn't look Spanish.

Also remember that there are colonial period wrecks from other nations intermingled with the Spanish shipwrecks along the Treasure Coast.


The photo above shows some miscellaneous cuprous shipwreck beach finds.  By cuprous, I mean to include copper, bronze and brass.  It can be hard to tell the difference. 

Among the more common shipwreck finds are connectors, such as spikes, nails, tacks and pins. Many connectors are made of iron, which often corrode worse than copper items, and might be more difficult to clean and preserve.

There are two copper pieces at the bottom left in the photo that are obviously not connectors.


With thousands of law enforcement personnel surrounding the area, it looked like the 19 year old terrorist slipped them all until a citizen reported his location.  There is no substitute for making use of the eyes of the population no matter if you are talking law enforcement of archaeology.   Too bad there isn't greater cooperation between archaeology and the population.  We'd see a boom-age revival of archaeology instead hard times.


I'll be posting a new poll in this blog soon.


After today the surf will increase a little on the Treasure Coast.  Today we are expecting around a 2 foot surf.  For the next few days it will be more like a 2 - 4 foot surf.  That isn't much increase, but it is enough to possibly freshen up some spots on the front of the beach.

The wind will be mostly from the east and east/northeast.

Low tide this morning is going to be after between 11 and 11:30.


Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@comcast.net


Saturday, April 20, 2013

4/20/13 Report - Don't Forget the Treasure Hunters Cookout at Noon Today.


 
I might add more to this post later today if I get time, but I wanted to make sure to remind you of the cookout at noon today.
 
Have fun.

Friday, April 19, 2013

4/19/13 Report - Ben Franklin's Privateers, Old Salvage Camps & Passing It On


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.


Bob K. Passing It On.
Submitted by Bob K.
I talk about layers a lot.  As you watch a beach come and go, it will lay down and then take away layers of sand time after time.

You can easily see the various layers sometimes when you look at the face of the dunes or at the face of a cut on the beach. 

You'll see layers composed of different colors and types of sand on top of each other.  And when you dig a hole, you'll often see that below the top layer of sand is a layer of shells or another kind of sand.

Different layers will very often be associated with different objects and ages of objects.

On the front of the beach, the layers change very often.  On the back beach behind the dunes, the layers seldom change.

Over time the beach tends to extend to the West.  The wind blows the sand back into the dunes where it settles behind weeds or other things.

As you know, there were salvage camps set up on the beach right after the disaster of the 1715 Fleet.  Some of those areas have partly washed away over time,

If you look at the face of the dunes where there is a cliff, you can sometimes see the layer where many of the objects were left in an area that was once a salvage camp.

Sometimes the face of the dunes slides down to the flat beach.  A lot of good finds will be made when the face of the dunes erodes and the layers containing coins and artifacts end up on the beach.

Back in the 1980s several fellows were digging back in the dunes and finding things from the old salvage camp.  Now those areas are private property and off limits.

The layer of sand that was deposited during the 1715 storm is still in place at some locations.  That layer has been covered by at least a couple newer layers, plus the natural accretion of sand.  At one location it is under nearly 40 inches of sand at the front of the dunes and a little over a foot near the west side of the camp.

The layer that was occupied immediately after 1715 is fairly distinct.  They burned the vegetation to make the camps.  If you learn which layer it is and what it looks like, watch to see where it goes the next time high water washes more of the dunes away.



I posted a picture of Bob K. dredging for gold a couple of days ago.   Above is another photo submitted by Bob.  I'll call that photo Concentrating

Bob sent me an email telling why he likes treasure hunting and how he got started.  I decided to post that email because it says something important about treasure hunting that treasure hunters will understand and outsiders don't realize.

Here it is what Bob had to say.

My love for treasure hunting has evolved over many years of my life. When it started, I didn't even know it. I was a commercial lobsterman off the coast of Maine. I would set my traps and being a beginner, just hope I caught some. It was one of the only things I have ever done in life that  I couldn't get up early enough just to go see what I caught. I did that for about 4 years before moving on to catching giant Blue fin tuna for a living. Even though that paid much better, I was missing something. I missed the feeling I got every time I pulled up a trap to see what I got!

As time went on, I missed that feeling more and more. I saw a tv show on metal detecting one day on the tube and wondered if I could get that special feeling by "finding something" that someone else had lost by using a metal detector. Well, I did! Every time my detector beeped, I felt the rush and couldn't wait to get it out of the ground.

I began prospecting for gold a few years later and guess what? Every time  I panned out my concentrates, I couldn't wait to see those little pieces of gold peaking up at me through the black sand.  It was absolutely the SAME feeling I had come to love.
I moved to FL. for the warm weather but I chose the Treasure Coast to settle in, Guess Why??
Just looking for that feeling! Every time I dig a hole, it's there in my soul.

I know most all of your readers get the very same special feeling when they dig a target as well.
If they do, I hope they find it in their hearts to pass it on to a younger generation, the kids will thank them for it.

Here is one last thing that sums up what gives me that SPECIAL feeling:

"It's not about HAVING the treasure that gives me the feeling, it's all about FINDING the treasure that makes my heart smile.


Thanks for sharing Bob!

Bob said he'd like to hear the stories of other readers.  If you send them in, I'll see what I can do about that.  Less than 400 pages please. :)

I've commented on how much a person can learn from treasure hunting before, and how you can use it to interest young people interested in  different subject areas such as history, geology, geography, archaeology, numismatics, electronics, etc. etc.  

Get those kids out of the house and off those video games where they can do something with real life.

Did you notice the last few days when they replayed those video clips of the suspected bombers in Boston, how many people were walking the street looking at their cell phone.   They didn't see the bombers or much of anything else until they were shocked out of the virtual world by that blast of reality. 

I'm very aware of how much my depth and perspective my photos and video clips lose when compared to actually being there.

One of the things I like about metal detecting is feeling the wind on my face, and the sand and water on my feet.  I like to feel nature and the world directly on my senses.  When in the field, I don't like too much gear or too much technology to distract me.  I like keeping it as simple as I can. 


Here is a good 45 minute video by National Geographic on Ben Franklin's privateers and the search of an underwater shipwreck site near Holybrook Wales.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shw1hrG4szI

Christopher P. sent this link.  Thanks Christopher!


On the Treasure Coast this afternoon, the wind is still from the southeast.  The wind increased early this afternoon.  I'm thinking the waves must have increased a little.  The surf was predicted to be two feet this morning, and it was at least that.  And the low tide wasn't very low.

The surf will be a touch rougher for a couple of days, while the wind is expected to remain mostly from the southeast. 


Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@comcast.net

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 treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.


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.



video


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,
TreasureGuide@comcast.net








Wednesday, April 17, 2013

4/17/13 Report - Armour Pierceing Cannon Ball from the Mary Rose, 1914 D Penny to Look For, & Tracking Treasure



Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.


Photo From the Current Issue of The Telegraph.
See link below.
The 150-foot Mary Rose sank in 1545 during a battle with the French, killing 500 sailors on board.

Layers of silt preserved the ship until it was salvaged in 1982.

A museum for the ship will open later this year presenting thousands of artifacts that were salvaged.

A lead cannonball from the Mary Rose was found to contain an iron core.  That was discovered when the lead cannonballs began to rust.  Imaging technology revealed the iron cores.

It is not yet known if the iron was used because it was cheaper or more convenient or if it was used to created an armour-piercing round.

Here is the link to learn more about the Mary Rose and the mystery cannon balls.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/archaeology/9991936/Mary-Rose-reveals-armour-piercing-cannonball-secret.html



Not long ago I mentioned the Winter Beach salvage camp.  It was first used by Spanish salvagers immediately after the 1715 Fleet disaster, then by pirates or marauders, and eventually was then hunted for a few decades by treasure hunters and archaeologists before being built over for a private dwelling.

During the legendary Thanksgiving storm four feet or more eroded from the front of the dunes at Winter Beach and artifacts spilled onto the beach.  Some of the items that came out of the dunes, I am sure, ended up back in the ocean.

When you are hunting, it is always helpful if you can tell where items are coming from and where they are going to.  If you can figure that out, you'll know where to spend more time detecting.

Occasionally you'll find concentrations of burnt old nails.  When you find a good concentration of burnt nails, there is a chance that they came from the dunes where shipwreck wood was used for campfires.  You might be able to tell that they were burnt.  As the face of the dunes erodes, they will then sometimes end up on the beach. 

I just gave you one more reason why I dig junk.  Even nails can tell you something important and can help you "track" treasure.

If you dig enough old stuff, even if you don't appreciate touching history, and I think most of us do, eventually you'll hit something especially interesting. 



There is at least one penny worth $250 in circulation.   It is a 1914 D that it seems one fellow spent by mistake. 

If you find the penny and take it to the Georgia Numismatic Coin Show, which will be held April 19 - 21, you will receive $250 when the penny is authenticated.

If you find any other genuine 1914 D penny, they'll help you find a buyer for it.

http://daltondailycitizen.com/local/x437162639/Theres-a-penny-worth-250-out-there

Sometimes you wonder how rare or old coins get in circulation.  I guess that sometimes they are just mistakenly spent. 


Yesterday I showed a photo of Robert K. using a gold dredge.  Three thousand owners of dredge permits in California can't use their gold dredges until the state decides what the new regulations should be.

http://www.newser.com/story/166230/miners-fight-for-right-to-vacuum-up-gold-in-rivers.html


Today the surf on the Treasure Coast is running around 2 - 3 feet.  Mostly the wind is from the East.

The surf will decrease just a little the next few days.

Low tide this evening will be around 8 PM.

Even though beach detecting conditions remain poor, there are still some places where you can find some old iron and other common artifacts.

Happy hunting,
Treasureguide@comcast.net


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

4/16/13 Report - Treasure of the San Miguel, Mystery Item, and Gold Dust & Nuggets


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.


Robert K. Gold Dredging.
Photo submitted and rights owned by Robert K.
I've said before that the readers of this blog have a lot of experience. 
Here is one, Robert K. doing some gold dredging.
 
Nice photo Robert.  That looks like a lot of fun.
 
I always recommend participating in as many different types of treasure hunting as you can.  You'll learn something from one type that can be applied to another.
 
There is a lot that you can learn from creeks and rivers that applies to the beach.  Moving water is moving water.
As you might know, gold dust has been found in the water at the Rio Mar wreck site.  That goes back a lot of years.
 
Some attempts were made to dredge the gold dust there, but it never worked out too well.
 
Gold nuggets have also been found on some Treasure Coast beaches.  Gold nuggets were found at the Winter Beach salvage camp and also down by the House of refuge, to name two. 
 

It seems the Treasure Coast might be bigger than we thought.  One of the ships of the 1715 Fleet might have been found way north of the Treasure Coast.  Way north of Cape Canaveral too.
 
 There are some who think that the wreck site of the San Miguel is in Nassau Sound, not far from Amelia Island.

Items such as a jewelers furnace found up there back in 1993 might be connected to the San Miguel.

The San Miguel is thought to have contained a treasure worth up to $2 billion, making it one of the most valuable shipwrecks that has not yet been salvaged.

The Polly-L, which has spent a lot of time working our local Treasure Coast waters in the past, will soon be out looking for the San Miguel in Nassau Sound.

Here is the link for the rest of that story. 

 
 
Ray M. sent me that link.  Thanks Ray!
 
 
Unidentified Gold and Copper Object Dug at Two Feet
Photo submitted by Doug Y.
 
 
Above is a photo of an object that was dug at a depth of about two feet.  Could it be a gorget?
 
You might remember the Toledo Scale Co. mystery objects that I posted a while back.  This object along with a variety of other artifacts was found in the same general area by Doug Y. and his hunting buddy.
 
 
The price of gold dropped nine percent Monday, the biggest one-day drop for gold in 30 years.  The high was $1888, back in 2011.
 
Silver prices dropped 12 percent Monday.
 
 
One person wrote in saying how bad the beach looked where all that sand had been pumped down around Jensen Beach.
 
 
As you probably know, beach detecting conditions have not been good on the Treasure Coast lately.  Still, it is possible to find iron and other small shipwreck artifacts at a few sites.  Shipwreck cobs are very scarce, but spikes and things like that are still being found in small numbers at a few places like the ones I've been describing.
 
On the Treasure Coast the surf will be around 2 - 3 feet on Tuesday, remaining around two feet for much of the week.
 
The wind will generally be from the East.
 
Low tide Tuesday will be close to 6:30 AM.
 
Hope you all got your taxes done.
 
 
Happy hunting,
 
 


Monday, April 15, 2013

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


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.



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,
TreasureGuide@comcast.net