Thursday, March 27, 2014

3/27/14 Report - Lots of Clad, Movement of Ocean Debris, Trained Dolphins, and Treasure Coast Conditions

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A lot of clad was found by Steve of Iowa who hunted the Treasure Coast yesterday at some of the swimming beaches from South Hutchinson Island to Stuart.

Here is what Steve said.

In town for one day, got up early and hit Jensen Beach. Saw a long cut so
I headed right out on the mid- to south end while some guy was at the
north end. Got some clad and then hit the fisherman beach about a mile
south of Jensen. A big cut there where I found more clad. Then I hit
Stuart beach and got the most clad there, spread mostly south. Total take
was almost four dollars. Lots of fun. Met a fellow from Tennessee who is a
coin collector who wants to start detecting so I gave him some ideas on
detectors. He had a pocketful of older coins and gave me a 1916 Mercury

Steve from Iowa

Thanks for your report Steve.  Keep it up.

There are still a lot of people from up North down here.  The day before yesterday I talked to a family from Washington State who were in the area for a couple of weeks. 

There has been a lot of talk about ocean debris lately, especially as they hunt for debris from the Malaysian air liner.

You might remember me talking about how debris from the Japan tsunami circulated.  A model has been developed by the International Pacific Research Center to show how debris from the tsunami is distributed.  At first only currents were taken into account, but later the effect of wind upon lighter materials was also added to the model.

Here is an article about the model.

And here is the model in action.  Watch the date at the top of the animation for the date as the model proceeds.

The animation shows high windage items as bright colors and low windage items as dark color.  So the items that are high windage, those items that are affected most by wind are bright orange, while those affected least by wind are dark purple.

You can see how the lightest items hit the North American continent first.  Some being turned north and some south.

You can also see how the highest windage and lightest materials eventually get separated completely and caught in limbo between currents making a line to the south of the main debris field.

Lately items like heavy logs have been hitting Hawaii.

What does all of this have to due with treasure hunting or metal detecting? 

Imagine a shipwreck, say in 1715, in which a ship gets torn apart.  There are materials that float and those that don't.  And there are materials that don't float by themselves but are in or on other materials that do float, such as on wood sections of the hull, or in boxes, or olive jars, etc.

The debris from the tsunami covered a good portion of the Pacific, some hitting from Alaska to such far away places as Hawaii.  You can see how the current circles around the North Pacific.

The tsunami debris animation might help you think bout how shipwreck debris might separate from and be dispersed before finally landing on a beach or ocean bottom.  We tend to think that everything sinks right to the bottom.    And salvage vessels are usually dealing with some of the heavier items, that without being attached to or riding in or on other things will settle to the bottom relatively quickly, but if you think about what this model is showing, timbers, sealed olive jars, and other things might end up very far from where a shipwreck occurred.  Even heavy items that are embedded in or attached to wood, boxed in crates, or sealed in olive jars or other containers could float off a good distance.

Of course we do have more light debris than would have been the case in previous centuries.  They didn't have Styrofoam or plastics, for example.  Nonetheless, I think this model is helpful when it comes to thinking about debris fields.  There may be things that end up very far from the site of the shipwreck.

The Soviet Union began training dolphins and other marine mammals to locate mines, mark underwater obstacles and detect – and if necessary kill – enemy frogmen in the 1960s. The program is shrouded in myth, but the dolphins are believed to have been trained to kill frogmen with special harpoons or knives fitted to their backs, or drag them to the surface to be captured.
They were also reported to be fitted with packets of explosives and trained to carry out suicide attacks against enemy vessels, using their natural sonar to distinguish Soviet submarines from potential targets.
Here is the link for more of that story.

I always thought it would be handy to have a trained dolphin or otter to do some salvage work.  I'm sure you could train them to bring back interesting looking objects.

On the Treasure Coast, the cuts that I showed yesterday disappeared by this morning.  Those were  cuts in natural rather than replenishment sand. 

The wind is coming out of the East now.  That is what was expected.  I took a look this morning even though I saw exactly what I expected.

You can probably find some more clad and modern stuff, but conditions for finding older things are  no better than a 1 on my rating scale.

These cold fronts have been coming through quickly this year.  We've been getting a little bit of north wind and then it all turns around before much develops.

Happy hunting,