Saturday, August 27, 2016

8/27/16 Report - Cluster Hunting During Generally Poor Beach Conditions. Three Tropical Disturbances Now.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Three Disturbances.
We now have three disturbances and hurricane Gaston, which is in the mid Atlantic.

It looks like North Carolina might get some good hunting.

Invest 99 L is moving into the Gulf where it is expected to strengthen.

The Treasure Coast will be getting days of south winds and some rain, and about a 2 - 3 foot surf.


I went for a little hunt yesterday morning.  I did manage to find one little cut.  It wasn't any higher than one foot at the peak, but ran for maybe 80 yards.

It was not an entirely new cut though.  There has been a touch of erosion at that same spot on and off for some weeks now.  I knew to look for it because I've seen it a few times over the past weeks.  Once an area has lost some sand, it is more susceptible to additional losses.

Sometimes I do one type of post for a while, and then do another type.  When I began this blog, the purpose was to give a daily beach conditions report relative to finding old shipwreck items.  Since conditions for finding old things has been so consistently poor and there were seldom any significant changes to mention, I quit giving a daily rating, but I will give my beach conditions rating when we get some significant changes.

Sometimes I talk about using a detector, and other times maybe reading a beach, or finds.  Lately I've been posting a lot of finds and haven't talked too much about techniques or strategies.  Today I'll talk a little about cluster hunting.

As you probably know if you've been reading this blog very long, I very often recommend digging everything.  A lot of people don't agree with that, but one reason I do not use discrimination very much is that I spend a lot of my time where there are more good targets and very little trash.  There are times when I will dig in a trashy area, but very seldom when I'm in the wet sand or shallow water. I can't give a lot of detail about all of that again today. That would take a long time, and besides, I've talked about a lot of that in the past.

Anyhow, yesterday I did some "cluster hunting." I dug a pocketful of coins and some jewelry in a small amount of time.  I dug no bottle tops or pull tabs.  They weren't present where I was spending my time even though the particular beach has a lot of pull tabs and other junk.  I could have spent my time on other areas of the beach and found tons of bottle tops and other junk.

Here is an illustration of the area that I focused on today.  The illustration is a little rough, but it will help me to explain.

I was hunting the front slope of the beach at low tide.  In the illustration, that is the area between the top black line and the bottom blue line.

There was a cut (outlined in brown) that was about 80 yards long.  The cut was small, only about a foot tall at the peak and got even smaller to the south and north.

The productive area (coins and things) were between the orange lines.  To the north (right) the cluster started south of the end of the cut.  The productive area did not extend to the wet sand during low tide.

The targets were relatively dense in front of the cut.  The productive area ran almost parallel to the water line as it extended beyond the cut and to the south.  Targets were farther apart as I went beyond the cut to the south.  Some targets to the south were also deeper.

The jewelry was found close together in one area (blue).  It was mostly junk, because the people at that visit this beach wear cheap stuff.  That is just the way it is.  If the beach goers at this beach was a little more glitzy the finds would have been better.  That is something you have to take into account.

The first key to cluster hunting, is to locate the cluster.   It took me a few minutes to find it.  The first area I checked was the wet sand, which produced nothing.  There are times that I would walk directly to the cut, but this beach has a history of a lot of wet sand finds, so I did a quick check of that area.

After digging a few targets that are close together, but apparently not a part of a spill, the next in cluster hunting is to get a rough estimate of the size and location of the boundaries of the cluster, as well as identify the center of the cluster.  The center of the cluster is where dense objects will be located and where the finds will be close together.  I won't get into tons of ifs ands and buts or other details today.

I wasn't much interested in modern stuff today.  The modern stuff at this beach is cheap stuff.  It is rare to find anything good there.  I worked it out simply because it was there, and I was there.

Once you identify a cluster and its boundaries you can pick up a lot of finds quickly.  You won't need discrimination because the area you are working has been sifted and sorted and there won't be much junk in the cluster.  If you start moving outside the cluster, you might start hitting more junk.

Again, this applies to wet areas.  Areas that have been high and dry will not have been sifted and sorted like this.


Happy hunting,