Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.On 12/22 I started a post having the title Treasure Hunting on the Treasure Coast Over the Decades: What Has Changed. I intended to finish that post the day after it was started but got off the topic for a little while. I'll pick up with that post today.
A lot of people think that finds have decreased dramatically because so much of a finite amount of treasure has already been found. That is a certainly a reasonable idea, but in 2015 we saw some huge finds. In fact the 2015 finds were the largest in the previous thirty years. That shows there was still a lot out there, and some of the people who should really know, believe that there is a lot more out there to be found.
While a lot has been found, is it really enough that future finds will be much less frequent and less significant? And if finds have decreased over the decades, is it just because there is less out there to be found or might there be other reasons?
I mentioned how in the back in the mid 20th century there were large and apparently frequent "sight finds" and how cobs were skipped back into the ocean by unwitting beach goers. I mentioned those impressive finds made "by a flip or a fin." At the same time we know today how hard it is to make beach finds. Many of those that write to me have made several trips to the Treasure Coast and although they have good modern metal detectors, have searched hard but found not a single reale. We have to put that into perspective though. The storeis we have from the early decades of modern treasure hunting on the Treasure Coast accumulated over decades. In retrospect the time frame collapses. The reader might feel like people were picking up cobs all the time. Our perspective of distant decades could be distorted somewhat.
I started detecting in South Florida and didn't move to the Treasure Coast until sometime late in the 90s, although I made trips to the Treasure Coast to detect in the eighties, my first escudo find was actually made in Dade County before I ever hunted on the Treasure Coast.
My own personal observations are limited. In one way it seems that it was easier to find cobs on the Treasure Coast beaches in the eighties, but I'm not sure how accurate that is. I made several trips before I found my first reale, so it wasn't like they were everywhere all the time, but after the first, I did find them on a relatively frequent basis and in good numbers on some occasions, and that wasn't after any major storms or hurricanes (as I recall). I wish I had taken photos and could compare the beachs then with the beaches today. My impression is that beach conditions were generally better - a significant part of that being because of all the beach renourishment project in recent years. It certainly seems that they are piling sand on the beaches all of the time anymore.
Big sight finds have been made in the 21st century. After Francis and Jeanne removed sand down to the mud and clay, people filled their pockets with sight finds once again. Folks ran around and picked up what they could see. It was a matter of beach conditions.
To summarize, my main question was if finds have been decreasing since the mid 20th century. My answer to that is I think so. The second question is, if that is so why. I do not believe that the targets have been reduced as much as some people think. There is still a lot out there to be found, as the 2015 salvage season shows. The main reason I believe that beach finds have not been as plentiful in the past few years is the amount of renourishment sand, which can affect beach conditions for miles south of where the sand was dumped.
I think we would have had more good hunting on some beaches such as Corrigans this year if it wasn't for all of the renourishment sand. One of the more northern beaches on the Treasure Coast did produce a good number of reales this year. For beach hunting, it is still largely a matter of sand and beach conditions.
Overall, my conclusion, and mine alone, is that there is still a lot left to be found, but that man, and possibly nature, has worked to make it more difficult. Nature does on occasion open up a window of opportunity for beach hunters, but with all of the sand dumped on the beaches, it takes more to open that window and it occurs less frequently.
A large proportion of the overall finds in the 21st Century are made during extreme circumstances such as when Hurricane Jeanne opened up a huge window of opportunity. In between events like that, the hunting is much more difficult and finds are reduced to some extent.
On the other hand, there are people who will adapt and change. There are people who will do what it takes to overcome the obstacles.
It might take a lot of patience and skill, but there will always be some that overcome the obstacles, whatever they are. And I can guarantee that more exciting big finds will be made, along with many smaller and less publicized finds made by anonymous men and women who are not easily discouraged or deterred.
Yesterday for me was Christmas and football, thus no post.
I awoke on Christmas well before the sun began to appear over the horizon just like a child wanting to see what Santa left. The sky was turning black to grey. The world was still quiet.
I like silence. I like joyful activities too. What is one without the other?
If you really looked at the sky on Christmas Eve you would have seen how well decorated it was. Orion stood clearly high in the east. Uncounted constellations of lights told their ancient story. Stars of various brightness flickered like candles. And one very bright Christmas star stood out in the west - either Venus or Jupiter, I assume.
Memories are something like the stars. Some stand out. Others are there but are not as bright. You don't really notice them unless you focus on them. But they are there all the same.
It looks like we'll have a three to four foot surf for a couple of days then a foot or so less for a few more days. The tides are unremarkable now.
Hope you had a Merry Christmas,