Wednesday, March 30, 2016

3/30/16 Report - Restarting Beach Condition Photos. Assessing Beach Locations

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of

My care-taking duties finally reduced enough for me to get out and take a look at some beaches.  The wind was brisk this morning and the river was alive with white caps, so I visited a few of the South Hutchinson Island beaches.  It has been well over a month since I got to visit these beaches.  It is getting late so I'll just post the photos.


Yesterday I showed a few items that I found without a metal detector.  They weren't valuable or rare, but for someone interested in the past and local history they might be interesting.  More importantly, there is a lot that can be learned from how that quick little hunt unfolded.  Finding treasure isn't all about having the best metal detector.  There are strategies involved.  Knowing how to spot the signs of treasure will help you find older items whether you are using a metal detector or not. And surface hunting will test and improve your skills.  

The first thing I noticed yesterday was that there was some erosion that exposed things along the water line.  I knew that the same area had been producing items on and off for several weeks, so whenever I got a chance I took a look.  I could see at a glance that there was more erosion since the last time I was there, and I could easily see if more things were being exposed or if things had been covered up since the last time I was there.  I could see from a distance that rocks and things now littered some of the more eroded areas.  I didn't bother with areas that were accumulating sand, but made a bee line towards the areas that appeared to be losing sand and exposing more objects.

Here is a simple illustration.

The thick brown line represents a bank or the dunes.  The thin brown line represents the water line. Beaches are seldom straight like this, but I wanted to simplify the illustration.

The water line will change from time to time.  Everybody knows that.  There will be areas where sand erodes and other areas where it accumulates.  In the following illustration, the blue line represents the water line after sand has moved.  The water line is no longer straight.

Here is an important point.  There are longer and shorter term changes.  In this illustration, the blue line represents a relatively large scale and long term change.

Large scale changes might last years.  Short term changes might last a week or day or maybe just a few hours.

Small scale and short term changes can happen more quickly and can change several times while the longer term changes remain more consistent.

Where I found the items I showed yesterday, the general area had been losing sand for probably at least two or three months and maybe longer.  The general productive area was about a hundred yards long. To the north and south of that nothing new had appeared for months. That area had been changing a little in bits and spurts for a few months.  Sometimes there would be short reversals when the sand would accumulate a little and sometimes there would be smaller areas that would open up for a while.

The third illustration (above) shows that the water line had sifted some.  Also some shorter term dips or cuts ( red ) opened up along that same area.  The one towards the bottom of the illustration is cut into an area where the longer term trend was of accumulating sand.  The three cuts closer to the top of the illustration are in an area where the longer term trend was erosion.

So which do you think would be the most promising?  The new dips or cuts in the area where the longer term trend has been erosion would be the best places to find newly exposed older items.  Those would be the top three cuts.  Deeper cuts that are closest to the center of the long term erosion would be the best.  That would be the second one down if it was as deep as the others.

New short term cuts in area where the long term trend has been accumulating sand would not be very promising - certainly much less promising that the new cuts where the long term trend has been erosion.

The main thing to remember is that there are long term and short term changes, and they interact.  Not all cuts are the same.  New cuts in some areas will tend to be productive, while new cuts in areas of long term accumulation will not be as productive.


I want to get this posted, so I'll quit here for today.  I was glad to be able to get the beach conditions photos started again.

Happy hunting,