Tuesday, January 31, 2017

1/31/17 Report - Atocha, Margarita and Atlantis! Shipwreck Survivor Camp Sites. Ancient Mayan Highways Found.

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

As you know, shipwreck survivors often create camps on the beach near a shipwreck. Survivor camps can turn into salvage camps.  They might also become battle sites.

One study, The Archaeology of Crisis: Shipwreck Survivor Camps in Australasia by Martin Gibbs, considered several survivor camps.  You won't find much that is very surprising in the paper, but it is worth reading.

On the Treasure Coast at least two survivor camps have been much discussed.  Those include the site by the McLarty Museum and the Winter Beach site.  Douglas Armstrong published a book on the Winter Beach site.

A survivor camp, as well as becoming a salvage camp, could also be a contact site where the survivors interacted with the native peoples.

Here is the link for the study on survivor camps.  You might find a few good clues in it.



I found an interesting article on the Atocha and Margarita by Popular Mechanics.  It is fairly lengthy. The first part of the article describes the authors observations on a dive he made on one of the shipwreck sites, but the second part is more technical and provides illustrations like the one immediately below.
Source: PopularMechanics.com
See link below.

This 3-D render (above) shows the sea floor that became the final resting place of the Atocha. The mountain-like area is the reef, only 14 ft. below the water's surface, that was the likely cause of the hole in the ship's bow (behind the reef, the water drops off into a 100-ft.-deep valley). "The yellow represents where the survey boat actually drove," says Gary Randolph, vice president and director of operations for Mel Fisher's Treasures. "We drive over, back and forth, and move over 30 ft. after each run. It's called `mowing the lawn.'"

Another Illustration of the Atocha Site.
Source: Popular Mechanics web site.  See link below.

Here is the link.


Did you know that the Fisher's have been looking for Atlantis?  That is what the article says.


Here is an article on how LIDAR found ancient Mayan highways in the jungles of Gautemala.



We're going to have a couple days of flat surf.  No big changes expected soon.  One day the surf will be up to about three feet, but that is about it.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, January 29, 2017

1/29/17 Report - El Nuevo Constante Shipwreck. A Few Important Things Detectorists Need To Know About Jewelry.

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

Source: See link below.

There is a very good web site about the El Nuevo Constante, which wrecked in Sept. of 1766.  The web site provides a concise history of the Nuevo, its discovery and salvage.  There are many useful illustrations.

You will find a copy of the ship's manifest, the structure of its hull, and pictures of many recovered items.

The article also tells of the ship's trip to the New World, saying Nine days earlier stevedores had completed loading the main cargo: 1,334 boxes of mercury, each of which weighed 150 pounds. Mercury was vital to Spain because it was critical in the extraction of silver from ores. Other cargo on board was wine, liquor, iron, nails, plow points, vinegar, and a "box of relics from the holy places in Jerusalem," all bound for Mexico.

Besides precious metals many other items were salvaged.  Many were well preserved because of a thick layer of mud.  

Fire bricks, coal, lead patches and many other types of items are illustrated in the article.

I think you'll find it interesting.

Here is the link.


It seems that I talk a lot about identifying old artifacts, especially shipwreck artifacts.  It might not seem like it, but it is just as important to be able to correctly identify modern jewelry.  It is easy to make a BIG mistake.

Years ago when I found a gold ring marked KP, I thought it was gold plated.  I threw it in my goodie bag and didn't think much of it.  But KP does not indicate a plated item.  KP actually stands for karat plumb.

Plumb means “TRUE”.

It comes from the French Word “Plum” or “Plombe“, and can also mean “Completely“, “Weight“, or even “Exact“.

So now the Real Meaning of Plumb becomes clear…

It means that the Gold Stated is Correct. It’s at least the amount Stamped on the Item, or Greater (Never Less).  
 (Source: http://www.jewelry-secrets.com/Blog/whats-karat-plumb/)

So KP isn't a bad thing, as I once thought, but a good thing.


Some jewelry can sell for multiple millions.  You certainly don't want to make a mistake on something like that.  Here is a ring that Sotheby's sold for 32 million dollars.

I also used to think that diamonds were clear, not colored.  Wrong again!  This blue diamond is very valuable.  There are also diamonds of other colors, such as yellow and pink.

Here is link to a slideshow of Sotheby's 20 best selling gems of 2016.  They start at about 3 million and go up to the 32 million dollar ring shown above.


One thing you might notice from looking through the slideshow is that very often fine gems are on a small ring and setting.  You don't want to be missing the smaller rings.  They often have the best gem stones.


The most popular blog post of December was the 12/3/16 post Historic Florida Shipwreck Claimed by France: Your Attention and Action Needed.  Antique Bottle Find.


It rained all last night.  It is cold and a little chilly today.  The surf is going to be smooth for a couple of days.  Might be a good time for wading.  Also we still will get a little negative tide.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, January 28, 2017

1/28/17 Report - Douglas Armstrong Salvage Camp Site. 1565 Fleet. Shoshone Camp Site. Battle of Loxahatchee Reenactment Today.

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

The Battle of Loxahatchee reenactment takes place today in Jupiter.  Here is the program.

And here is the link for more information.


Thanks to Joe D. for alerting me to this.


During the winter of 1970-1971, a group of Central Florida relic hunters discovered an archaeological site on the western or inland shore of the outer barrier island in what is now Canaveral National Seashore. Over the next several months, the group explored the site and the surrounding area, locating two more related sites, all within 1.3 kilometers of each other.

Using metal detectors, the treasure hunters dug up a variety of objects of European origin, including large numbers of iron ship’s spikes, some jewelry, and numerous Spanish and French coins dating to the 16th century...

Here is a great link to read more about that.



In the mid-16th century, France was eager to assert her claim to the New World, both to seize the opportunity for wealth and commerce and to ease religious tensions at home by providing a refuge for Protestant Huguenots. A series of fleets were sent to colonize the wilderness of “La Floride” starting in 1562, alternatively lead by Jean Ribault and René de Laudonnière...
If you want to learn about the lost fleet of 1565, here is a good link.



A wildfire high in the alpine forests of northwestern Wyoming has revealed a vast, centuries-old Shoshone campsite, replete with cooking hearths, ceramics, and stone tools and flakes numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

The site, found along Caldwell Creek in the Absaroka Range, had likely been used intermittently for as much as 2,500 years, archaeologists say.

But most of the artifacts point to a prolonged and impactful presence by the Mountain Shoshone some 300 to 400 years ago...

Here is the link for the rest of that article.



It isn't often that you get such a prolonged period of smooth surf.  And on top of that, there is actually a negative tide.

The smooth surf will be with us for at least a few more days.

Happy hunting,

Friday, January 27, 2017

1/27/17 Report - Finding That Fine Line of Good Judgement To Minimize Metal Detecting Mistakes.

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

Yesterday I mentioned several different kinds of mistakes that I've made.  They included (1) not paying enough attention to a dug item in the field to get the significance of the item,  (2) not keeping an item when it isn't known for sure what it is, (3) not digging carefully enough, (4) not being careful enough when you clean an item, and (5) not storing an item properly, and then I added another, (6) leaving good targets in the ground.

So what is the solution?  How do you keep from making those kinds of mistakes?

There are always trade-offs.  Take the first type of mistake - not paying enough attention to a dug item in the field.  You can carefully inspect every item you dig and try to figure out what it tells you about the site, or you can quickly pocket every dug item so you can spend as much time as possible detecting. Those are the two extremes, and either one could be a big mistake.  The optimal solution is somewhere in between.  You will want to analyze finds but not waste too much time especially on less significant items.

Research and experience will help you more quickly analyze finds and make good decisions.  If you do your research, you'll have some familiarity with the most likely targets, and you'll have a good idea of the significance of those finds and what you should do if you find a particular type of object.

Consider the musket hammer and flint that I mentioned.  If that wasn't my very first hunt in a target rich colonial battleground site, I would have been better prepared to quickly identify the find and its significance.  If I had read more and studied relevant pictures before the hunt, I probably would have correctly identified the musket flint as soon as I saw it.  If I found the same hammer and flint under the same conditions today,  I would have stayed in the same spot for a while and looked for other related items, perhaps more of the same musket.  I would have adjusted my hunt as the result of the find instead passing them over as two isolated insignificant objects.  The fact is that I wasn't well prepared for that hunt and made some mistakes.

On the same hunt I also made the mistake I have listed above as number three.  I was not careful enough about digging an item that was found just a few yards from the musket hammer and flint.  I damaged a very nice find.  The musket and flint, had I realized their significance, should have told me that there could be some very nice old items in the area.

The solution for that kind of mistake also involves trade-offs.  You can dig everything with great care, or you can try to recover every item as quickly as possible.  Again, there is another option.  If you analyze the signal and the situation, you will know when it would be wise to exercise extreme caution. You can't be right every time.  It is a matter of probabilities and using the information you gather to make adjustments.  You will be wrong at times, but you can definitely cut down on the number and seriousness of the mistakes that you make.

If I had correctly identified the hammer and flint, I should have known to be more careful with my digging.  If I was finding nothing but pull tabs and clad coins, and there was little indication of anything very nice being in the area, I could be a little more careless and not be in too much danger of making a really big mistake.   A lot of factors can affect how carefully you dig.  If you have all the time in the world to explore a site, you can dig as if every target is precious.  I prefer to adjust as I go.

I'll jump now to the mistake of leaving exceptionally good targets in the ground.  There is always that possibility if you don't dig everything.  As I explained the other day, the very best finds, such as Rolex watches or gold bars, won't be identified by a metal detector's readout and they are rare enough that you probably won't identify them accurately from the signal.  The very best finds are like that.  They are rare and usually come as big surprises.

This type of mistake is very dangerous.  You will probably never know that you made it.  The treasure remains silent in the ground and you go on your merry way happy that you did not have to dig another piece of junk.

One way to avoid leaving the very best targets in the ground is to really learn how to use your detector and how to interpret the signals.  That will help, but I recommend the utmost caution in passing up targets that you don't recognize.  Analyzing the site and the situation will help.

I encourage people to dig everything, but that is not always possible, and it is not always wise. A lot of the time I just sample a site and make a decision knowing that I might miss something good.  Skill and experience can help you minimize mistakes, but  there is still some amount of luck or chance involved. That is part of the fun and what makes it so interesting.  It is a game that you can never completely perfect.


Darrel S. says he has been having trouble with a SeriousDetecting store.  Here is what he said.

I have been going through a horrible 2 months with this company. I ordered a coil last year. Was defective and they paid for return shipping (sent a label.) Sent back and they rejected the package. They claim never delivered. Local PO said they refused it. It is on the way back and I have to pay return shipping. I will probably contact CORS in Ukraine and go from there.


I don't generally comment on companies much, but will repeat that I was not at all happy with Tesoro, who advertised a lifetime guarantee, but they don't honor it if they decide the detector is obsolete.  That is not what I call a lifetime guarantee.  I have two old Tesoro detectors that they determined were obsolete even though they were purchased with a lifetime guarantee.


One person wrote mentioning that mangroves are protected.  That is true.  Don't cut or damage them.


Nothing new to report about beach conditions.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

1/26/17 Report - Jupiter Inlet Beach and A Recent Hunt. A Few Common Mistakes. What You Don't Dig Can Hurt You.

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

Beach at Jupiter Inlet
Photos by Joe D.

Joe D. sent me the following report and the pictures of Jupiter that are shown above and below.

I hit Jupiter inlet area today just before low tide as front came through! South of inlet much the same as your report today, and a previous report! Cliff was eroded by wind and people only, no water erosion to improve conditions! But for shallow water hunting, There was a nice trough and flat water! 

 Hunted beach area for about an hour and was getting sandblasted from West wind! With little luck due to new sand, opted to try a few other areas nearby that I have been wanting to try out! But without the wind, would be unbearable due to no-seeum's!

 Almost all my finds came from a tidal mangrove area that is very trashy; unlike beach, which is hunted regularly! I had to work for my finds as you can see! (Pic) Interestingly, nearly all the coins i found were from the 70's and looked like they had been there awhile! Also fits with the age progression of the pop tabs I dug! ( as you have said, trash can teach!) One tab was interesting because it had a root growing through it when dug!

 Also threw in a few other pics of the lighthouse, and Dubois house! Anyone looking at historical pics of the Dubois house would notice that the waterway ran nearly up to the house! Which not only sits on a large shell mound, but is also high up a bank near former location of inlet, which is to the south of it's current location! All the land and park in front of it was added when they rerouted the inlet! (Note: No detecting in Dubois Park due to "historical" nature; but not posted!)

Thanks much for the photos and report Joe!

Root Growing Through Pull Tab.
Photo by Joe D.

Finds From Recent Jupiter Hunt.
Photo by Joe D.

Dubois House
Photo by Joe D.

Jupiter Inlet Shipwreck Historic Marker.
Photo by Joe D.
Thanks again Joe!

On January 16 I did a post on memorable mistakes that I've made.  It was a popular post.  The mistakes that I mentioned fall into a few basic categories:  (1) not paying enough attention to a dug item in the field to get the significance of the item,  (2) not keeping an item when you don't know for sure what it is, (3) not digging carefully enough, (4) not being careful enough when you clean an item, and (5) not storing an item properly.

There  is at least one other category that probably should be included:  not digging a good item.  Of course, you don't know it at the time, but when you don't dig items you don't know what you left.  I'll bet a lot of what would have been your very best finds, were left in the ground.

The thing about the very best finds is that they are rare.  You don't expect to dig a Rolex watch or a 40 pound silver bar everyday.  It doesn't happen that often, and when you hear the signal, you probably won't know what it is until you dig it.  No detector that I know of has a reading "Rolex Watch" or "40 Pound Silver Bar."  Many detectorists miss great items like that simply because they do not dig items when they don't know what they are.

An eight reale can sound a bit like a tin can, so if you are accustomed to not digging things that sound too big to be a coin, there is a chance that you left something very good like that in the ground.  Things like that you won't regret not digging because you'll never know for sure what it was.

There might be some class of desirable items that you are not digging.  Early in my detecting, I wasn't getting small gold rings.  I've told this before, but I thought that women didn't lose as many rings as men.  Later I found out the that the reason that I was getting more men's rings than women's rings was because I was using discrimination and missed a lot of the more valuable small and valuable women's rings.  I was glad that it didn't take me too long to learn that.

It also took me a long time to find any shipwreck spikes.  I am certain that I would have found some sooner if I had not been skipping larger iron targets.  In those days I was targeting modern gold jewelry. The fact is that how you hunt will determine to some extent what you find, but it will also determine what you do not find.  Review your finds to see if there might be a reason you are not finding some of the types of thing you would really like to find.


Think about what I posted from Joe D.  Is there a spot near a beach that you regularly hunt that might contain more targets than the beach that you hunt on a regular basis?  That can be worth thinking about. Sometimes there are good areas that nobody hunts that are very close to heavily over-hunted areas.


The next few days we'll have more smooth west winds and smooth surf.  No change in beach conditions.

Happy hunting,

1/25/17 Report - Various Sight Finds. Revolutionary War Buttons. 20 Million in Cash Found.

Photo by Dan B.
Take a look at the above picture.  What do you see?

Dan said, I have walked by this very spot dozens of times. See if you can spot it? Cant wait to hear what else this weather uncovers something. Sure seems like an uncommon wind direction for such strong winds...

You can see the frame of a small wood boat that was recently uncovered.  The mangroves and oysters grew over it.

Very cool!  Thanks Dan.


Revolutionary War Buttons Recently Uncovered.
Source: See link below.

Archaeologists nearing the end of a prolonged Gloucester Point dig were rewarded for their doggedness this past week when they unearthed one of the most noteworthy caches of Revolutionary War artifacts to be found in the region in years.

Slowed at first by stubbornly compacted soil — then by a dense layer of unusually large oyster shells — the team excavating the site of a new Virginia Institute of Marine Science building was probing one of the last targets of their 10-month-long excavation when they began uncovering a trail of French infantry buttons and English and Spanish coins...

Here is the link.



20 million dollars cash was found hidden in a mattress.  Below is the link for that story.



Russ P. wrote.  Here is one thing he said.

Last year was my fourth year detecting and the quality and quantity of my finds increased dramatically for what I seek: old coins.  I don't target anything else.   Experience, observation, innovation, education and research have all played a role, I think.  

I'll post more from Russ in the near future.


I took a little walk the other day and didn't find much, but I did find the bottle shown below.  It has barnacles on it.  Dates to about the mid 60s, I'd say.  The paint is pretty good for a bottle that has been in the water for a while.

New Bottle Find.

Here is a picture that shows how things get trapped and exposed.

Couple Half Buried Bottles.
These kinds of places should be checked even when you don't see anything exposed.


The surf will remain small for several days.  Don't expect any big changes in beach conditions real soon.

I have a bunch of things to post, but that is it for today.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

1/24/17 Report - New Sand On Treasure Coast Beaches. Record Waves In California. Eye-balled Diamond Ring.

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

John Brooks Beach Yesterday Close To Noon.
Above you can see the new sand that recently accumulated on John Brooks Beach.  It was a beautiful day, unless you are like me and like it windy and rainy.

I saw some county officials gathered there.  They took a look at the beach.

I also saw the dredge boats up at the port of Fort Pierce.  Looks like it won't be long before they start dumping sand again.  Most of the sand from the last replenishment effort is now no longer on the beach.  There is about a ten foot cliff right below the inlet.

The west wind was blowing the top off of the waves, as you might be able to see in the picture above. That was a pretty sight.

Turtle Trail South From the Access
Yesterday Near Low Tide.
 New sand also accumulated on the beach at Turtle Trail and Seagrape Trail.  I looked at a couple of other beaches that are not shown in these photos, and they all had new light brown sand with some shells on the front of the beach.

Couple Detectorists Coming Off the Turtle Trail Access Monday.
 Despite the poor beach conditions, I saw a good number of beach detectorists out yesterday.  Here are a couple.

Looking South From The Seagrape Trail
Access Yesterday.
 Everywhere I looked, the front beaches looked about the same.  New sand everywhere.

North From The Seagrape Trail Access Yesterday.
 The west wind was still pretty stiff.  It wouldn't have been a bad time to be in the water.


The National Weather Service (NOAA) buoys recorded waves from 20 to 30-plus feet between Cape San Martin to the south and Point Arena to the north. 
Monterey Bay recorded the largest waves it has seen in 30 years with the swell reaching 34.12 feet at one point. The previous record was 32.8 feet in 2008...
Here is that link.



Dan C. sent this report from Cocoa Beach.

Just a followup from that report.

Yes I did hit the 5 am low tide at the pier the next morning.

Only one find and it was kind of silly : a hippy talisman made from a quartz crystal capped with a gold plated end cap at the base of the crystal which held the chain loop. Of course I had to know why someone valued the thing and per the website that sells such things , it allows a person to "tune in to the Lemurian vibrations" by rubbing the crystal. Ohhhh kay.

I will try again Tuesday am low tide. I am due for a good find.

In the meantime, my co-worker asked me to examine a diamond ring he found in the sand at Sebastian breakwater beach.

A sight find while he was fishing. My diamond tester confirmed it was real, about .25 carat, nice diamond in 18k.

True luck ! The previously mentioned sea beans were all gone, evidence that the sea bean collector crowd had got the word and raided Cocoa Beach.

I will be detecting Clearwater Beach Jan 31 thru Feb 2 in a marathon of detecting, mostly at night at low tide but some in-water work planned. This westerly storm front may do some good things to the beach for me.

Thanks Dan.  

With a lot of practice, a person can actually develop some level of skill at eye-balling.  It is like programming your brain to key into certain small features.  If you do it enough, you'll notice how certain kinds of things, such as the faint glint of gold, will catch your attention and your head will snap to the item before you make a conscious decision.


Low tide will be just before noon.  We'll have a good week of small surf.  It might be a good time to check out some shallow water areas.

Happy hunting,

Monday, January 23, 2017

1/23/17 Report - Dresden's Green Vault. One Idea On Where Can You Find A Lot. Sand Building On T. C. Beaches.

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

Source: CNN.com.  See link below.

The Grünes Gewölbe (English: Green Vault) in Dresden is a unique historic museum that contains the largest collection of treasures in Europe.  Founded by Augustus the Strong in 1723, it features a rich variety of exhibits from the Baroque to Classicism.  It is named after the formerly malachite green painted column bases and capitals of the initial rooms. It has some claim to be the oldest museum in the world; it is older than the British Museum founded in 1759, but the Vatican Museums date their foundation to the public display of the newly excavated Lacoon Group in 1506.

After the devastation of World War II the Grünes Gewölbe has been completely restored. Today, its treasures are shown in two exhibitions: The Historic Green Vault (Historisches Grünes Gewölbe) is famous for its splendors of the historic treasure chamber as it existed in 1733, while the New Green Vault (Neues Grünes Gewölbe) focuses the attention on each individual object in neutral rooms. (From Wikipedia.)

I think you'll want to take a look.  The Green Vault is known as Europe's treasure chest.  Some of the treasures are beyond anything I ever imagined.  You might be especially interested in those from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Here is a link to an article about the Green Vault.

And here is a link for a virtual tour.


Where are you going to find the most stuff?  The answer is obvious: you'll find the most stuff where the most people with stuff lived, worked and played over the years and where stuff was lost and remains.  That doesn't really say much, but it can be worth thinking about.

There are three important parts to that answer.  For one, the number of people is a factor.  Second, the types of activities conducted by those people is a big factor.  You can have lots of people, but if they either don't have much to lose or are very careful not to lose things, it won't help much.  And third, the lost items have to remain in place where they can be found.  If they are removed by either man or nature, that is an important consideration also.

You're probably still not convinced that my answer was very helpful.  Here is another question for you.  Where do you think you could find the biggest treasures?  Where were precious items gathered together in one place?  How about Fort Knox?  You'd have trouble getting in there, so think about it in more general terms.

Do you think there would be more to be found in the city or country?  There would be more peope in the city.  They would be involved in a wide range of types of activities.  And there would be years of accumulation as the city grew, and many of those items would be protected by new layers of pavement, building and development.

I know that many of you metal detect on the beach because it is relatively easy.  You don't have to ask permission and you can easily scoop up and sift through the sand. People metal detect on the beach because it is easy and still somewhat productive (some beaches much more than others).

Shipwreck salvage, for example, is not so easy.  You need a lease, a boat, a small crew, diving equipment, etc.  Most places that hold a lot of treasure are not the easiest to detect and if and when there is a lot of treasure at an easy location, it quickly gets taken.

Urban environments are not so easy to detect, for various reasons, but there is really a lot of accumulated items waiting to be found under cities.  Cities usually have a long history.

What I wanted to do today is point to the urban environment as a very promising treasure hunting environment.  There are definitely obstacles - perhaps too many for most of us.   Much of the land is owned by the government or private corporations or individuals and much of it is paved over or deeply buried.  I always say to look at obstacles as opportunities.  Obstacles protect treasure until someone figures out how to get it.  It is the person that overocomes the obstacles that wins the game.  Just doing the easy thing is fine, but it will seldom get you a big win.

If you want to take your treasure hunting to the next level and you've already mastered some of the basic skills, the next thing you'll have to do is overcome another kind of obstacle.  You'll have to go a step beyond where you are now and where most other people are.  You'll have to do something a little different, and it might not be the easiest thing in the world.

One thing you can do is be the first one to recognize a new opportunity.  Watch for earth being moved, for example.  A lot of the time when a new pipe is laid, or a building is torn down, or there is a new construction project, old items are uncovered in urban environments.  Items are there in great numbers, buried in layers.

You don't have to dig in the middle of a city, a suburb or surrounding area might be nearly as good.  If you read about the history of an area, you might learn that there were once heavily used areas that are now accessible for one reason or another.  Sometimes entire neighborhoods or city bloks are cleared.

I just wanted you to think about metal detecting in urban environments.  There is a lot to be found there.  You can get some ideas by reading about urban archaeology.

Here is a link for a starter.


Of course there are many such web sites, but if you start reading a little about urban archaeology, it might give you some good ideas for some new prospecting sites.

One of the obstacles you will have to learn to deal with is the amount of trash.  I've talked a little about how to work through trash before.  There are also some alternative techniques that you might use in trashy areas.  I'll have more about some of those techniques in the future.  Those are the same techniques you can use in a trashy beach picnic area, if you know how to approach areas like that.


If you want to see some of the most amazing treasures ever, including but not limited to 18th century items that make anything found on the 1715 Fleet look trivial, take a look at Dresden's Green Vault, which is a an unbelievable museum.  Some of the items are similar to some of the items found on the 1715 Fleet.  You might want to take a look.


Yesterday was pretty windy.  In the morning it was coming out of the west but later more from the south.

As you might expect, the south winds pushed sand up onto the Treasure Coast beaches.  I looked at Seagrape Trail, Turtle Trail and John Brooks beaches this morning, and all had a lot of new sand.

We're going to have a spell of small surf.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, January 21, 2017

1/21/17 Report - A Third De Luna Ship Discovered. Florida Beach Digger Beaten With Own Shovel. Miscellaneous Ramblings.

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

The third of six sunken Spanish ships that were lost in a hurricane in 1559 has been discovered off the coast of Pensacola, Florida...

Of the seven ships that were destroyed by the 1559 hurricane, six went down in the bay and one was grounded on shore, Cook said. That means that three more wrecks from the de Luna expedition remain to be found. The artifacts onboard tell archaeologists more about the day-to-day life on these expeditions than leaders like de Luna would ever think to include in their letters, Cook said. For example, on the Emanuel Point II, the team discovered an ivory manicure set deep in a ballast pile, complete with toothpick and ear scoop, he said. The set, which looked a bit like a Swiss army knife, even had a whistle on it that still worked after 450 years, Cook said. It probably belonged to one of the major officers in the fleet, perhaps even to de Luna himself...

Here is that link.


Take a good look at the photo of the shipwreck wood that is shown in the article.

Thanks to Dean R. for sending me that link.

The article referred to the archaeologists "mowing the law," a term used to describe the pattern used when towing a magnetometer over an area to locate a shipwreck site. That is one example of many techniques that archaeologists learned from treasure hunters. I doubt they would ever give credit to those who developed the technique.


When workers began digging out the Roman cities torched by Mount Vesuvius, the exquisite wall paintings, sumptuous villas and golden jewelry they found quickly grabbed the spotlight...

Over the last few years, a team of researchers has taken a systematic look at street trash, buckets and even storage containers from Pompeii and other ruins to understand the relationship between ordinary Romans and their stuff. The extraordinary preservation of objects by volcanic debris allows for extraordinary insights into humdrum possessions, the researchers say...

Here is that link.


A Buddha statue was  revealed when water was lowered at a lake in China.  Always watch for recently moved earth or lowered water.



A Tampa man used a shovel to beat a teenage tourist for digging on a Florida beach.



Yesterday the inauguration was all over the TV.  To me it was fascinating.  It wasn't all about politics for me.  To me it was about the human experience.

Sometimes that which is common is only really appreciated when it is compared to that which is extraordinary, and yesterday there was much that was extraordinary.

Few men ever become President of the United States.  We only see an inauguration once every four years, and I don't believe we've ever seen one in so much detail.

This election seemed extraordinary in many ways.  It seemed like it took years.  It also seemed like the most emotional one ever - for both sides.  I don't know if it was really as extraordinary as it seemed or if there was just some combination of factors that made it seem that way.  The media kept trying to convince us that it was extraordinary, but that is how they get our attention.

In any case, the televised events that I saw yesterday illustrated much about the human experience. One thing that was ery evident was the drive and work that went into the campaigns, for both the winners and the losers and those around them.  The victory or loss, depending upon which side you were on, was a momentary climax of a long series of battles, victories, losses and what must have been humiliating embarrassments.

Both the winner and loser had a level of drive that I never had.  They wanted to do something that I never imagined, let alone wanted to do, yet I could share in the victories, defeats, highs and lows. to some extent.  I can imagine being in someone else's shoes, but only to some limited extent.

Each and every man has a place in life, and each and every man's path, whether it is the result of his choices and actions or the result of forces outside of his control, is unique.  No one has the same starting place as someone else.  That is something you can't choose.  Each man's place and path is unique.  If you start out with a good working mind and body, you are one of the lucky ones.

One thing that really stuck out to me yesterday was when Mike Pence put up his hand to take the oath, his hand looked odd to me.  There were no calluses.  His hand was white and soft.  His hand was very different from the hands that I knew so well.

My father's hands were darkly tanned, thick, scared, usually cut or scraped, and heavily callused. They provided, and took tender care of me.

Each man is dealt a separate hand.  I think what he does with it is the important thing.

They say you can tell a lot about a man from his hands.  I think that is true, but you can't see his heart.

My dad had a rough life, but he was a king.  He had his principles.  He bowed to no one, even when it would have gained him something.  He was honest, perhaps too honest for his own good.  He was proud and independent.

I think much of his life he was embarrassed by his situation, but I think he eventually overcame much of that.  I hope so.  He did well.

What was on display to me yesterday was the human condition.  Rich or poor, famous or not, all men strive and struggle to some extent.  No matter what your station or place in life and how different that might be, we all have our personal hopes, fears, frustrations, victories, losses, questions and doubts. Those things we all share, and no matter how different another man's life might look.  That has been the same for centuries and will continue to be as long as man strives under the sun.


The surf will be in the range of two to three feet for a few days, and then is supposed to decrease even more.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, January 19, 2017

1/20/17 Report - Treasure Coast Beach Closed for Beach Renourishment. Cocoa Beach Report. Small Things Can Be Big Things.

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

As you can see Wabasso Beach is closed unto 1/30/17.    As I've been saying, I expect many of the beaches to be closed for renourishment this year.  What is surprising to me is that they are starting so early.  A  lot of sand can disappear before summer.

The second photo shows how much sand has already been spread.  

The new sand will definitely decrease the number of shipwreck finds made on the beaches.

I don't know where this sand is coming from.  That is always important.  Sometimes good things come with the renourishment sand.

Thanks much to Darrel S. who sent these photos.


Dan C. sent the following January 16 report of Cocoa Beach.

Same sanded in condition as last week but with the addition of tons of seaweed in multiple lines, peppered with thousands of Portugese Man O' War jellyfish, hundreds of "sea beans".
Targets were scarce, even the ubiquitous pennies that usually litter the wet sand areas.
Among the many varieties of sea beans I found a giant bean called a "Sea Heart"


Apparently these drift from the Caribbean, South America, even possibly Africa.
They can be made into jewelry and even little storage containers such as this :

Also spotted was a small sea snake or possibly an eel in the wash area, appeared to be hunting something , perhaps sand fleas. At first I thought it was a needlefish but it definitely was an eel or snake. I wanted to grab it but am wary in case it was a sea snake. No ID on it yet. Beige with one dark brown band about a third of the way back, and very black snout area. Wikipedia says there are no atlantic sea snakes, so I am at a loss, regret not getting a photo.

I will probably try again tomorrow near the pier at low tide. No actual gold finds since November, but a few stainless jewelry items. I even got "blessed" for giving a lady a dime that I told her I was digging up. Never seen anyone so thrilled to see a dime. 

Treasures today: Sea Heart- 1, good looking "dime lady" - 1, Unidentified sea critter - 1, Gold - zero.

Thanks for the report Dan!   There is a lot of treasure on a beach besides silver and gold.


My first flight turned me green.  It wasn't a bad flight; it wasn't rough or anything.  It just made me feel terrible, and I turned green.

I don't know how that happened.  It was just a bad case of motion sickness.

I made a lot of flights and didn't take them well at first.  I took Dramamine before my flights and thought it helped.

One day however, I didn't have Dramamine and picked up some other medication in the airport.  I didn't react well to that other medication.  In fact the reaction was so bad that I took no motion sickness medication the next time, and low and behold, no more motion sickness.  I had taken probably a hundred or maybe hundreds of flights after that, and it seemed I was over the motion sickness.

But occasionally I flew out of a DC airport and looked down at the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, etc.  That is what started me on this topic today after seeing it on TV.  Looking down at Washington DC moved me in a way nothing else ever did..  I can't explain it, but somehow it was awe inspiring.  It put things in perspective somehow.  It was about something bigger.

Individuals come and go.  Time fades.  But some things endure.

Any individual's role in the scheme of things is small, but not unimportant.  Small things can be very big to somebody.  Do small things well.


Happy hunting,

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

1/18/17 Report - A Few Tips For Finding Modern Jewelry On Dry Sand Beaches.

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

Somebody mentioned that I hadn't talked about finding modern jewelry much lately.  That is true.  I've been talking more about shipwreck treasures and old things, so I decided to do something different today and talk about a subject that I haven't addressed for quite a while.

You can find a lot of jewelry on a beach, but more of it in the water.  Hunting in the water and in the wet sand requires a little more technique to do it well than working on the dry beach.  Yet there are some things that can help you find more jewelry even in the dry sand.

It goes without saying that most jewelry will be lost where more people frolic.  Both the quantity of people and their activities are important factors. And of course there is a vast difference in the quality of jewelry at different beaches. It is also obvious that you can't find much expensive stuff on a beach visited only by people of modest means. 

I mentioned volleyball courts the other day.  They are good places to find jewelry.  

Most of the people that I've seen detecting volleyball courts, detect the middle of the playing area.  I wouldn't skip that area, but you will find a lot to the back and well outside of the court itself.  Think about it.  Where do people dive after balls?  A lot of that happens outside of the boundaries.  And that is a place where things are often lost.  

Another place to check on a volleyball court is the area right around the base of the posts that hold the nets.  That is where people tend to lay things.  Then sand gets kicked over the items.  A lot of detetorists don't check that area, especially if the polls are metal.  You can make adjustments to detect where others won't or can't.

A third tip I have for volleyball courts is to look in the morning right after rain or watering.  Fine chains and other things are sometimes exposed.

You might choose to grid the busier areas.  Nothing wrong with that, but don't neglect the areas that a lot of other detectorists might neglect.  Beach chairs are often made of metal or have metal parts that make detecting difficult.  Many detectorists will not detect close  or under beach chairs because they don't know how.  You can learn to do it.  I also would always check where beach chairs have been moved.  Look at the tracks in the sand if they are still there.  Often a high tide or something will cause chairs that are normally in one location to be moved.

I've found a lot of pairs of ear rings around beach chairs.  That is the main place where there is a good chance of finding a matching pair.  It seems people take them off and lay them down or else drop them there.  They are often very good earrings.  Other places you'll usually just find a single earring.

When hunting dry sand, DON'T discriminate out watches!  There are Rolex watches and other valuable watches in the dry sand.  They won't likely be found real often, but there are more of them out there than you might think.  I don't know how they get buried, but they do.

Another tip that I've found productive is to detect very trashy areas that a lot of people will avoid.  

Get to know the life guards and beach concession workers.  They might tell you about items being lost and where.  I always remember the time when a fellow that rented jet skis and other water toys lost the keys before he opened for the day and said he'd give me fifty dollars if I found them for him.  I think this was back in the eighties.  I found them in just a few minutes and he gladly paid me.

Some of the old timers that I knew would sit where they could see what people were doing and where and then detect at the beach at the end of the day.  You'd be surprised how often you'll see people obviously looking for something they lost.  And often they'll ask you  if you can find it for them.

There are a few tips for finding jewelry in the dry sand.  All of those things hve been productive for me.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

1/17/17 Report - Florida More Than 50% Chance of Hurricane in 2017. How Metal Detecting Is Something Like Battleship Game.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.
Predictions for 2017.
Source: See link below.

According to predictions, the state of Florida has a 51% chance of a hurricane hitting in 2017, and a 21% chance of a major hurricane.

Here is the link.



Some people say there is no way to tell where things are going to be found when salvaging shipwreck treasure.  They talk as if the shipwreck remains are distributed randomly.  That isn't the case.  You might where you will find any each and every item, but it is not random either.  And you might not know how things ended up being where they were found, but there is a reason they ended up where they did.

The people who salvage shipwrecks as a business try to understand things like how a ship came apart, where it hit the reef and which direction the wind was blowing when it wrecked.  They study charts like the one shown below to see where holes have been blown and what was found at each location. They wouldn't study such things if they didn't think it would help.

It reminds me of the game Battleship.  That is a game where one player places his ships on a grid, and the other player selects grid locations attempting to hit the other player's ships.

When you try to hit the other fellow's ships, you might start out with a random selection, but when you finally make a hit, you have some information and your next selection won't be random - at least not if you make use of the information you gained.

In the game, when you get a hit at one location, you know that the rest of the same ship must be at an adjacent grid location. That is because the hit gives you information that tells you that the adjacent locations have a higher probability of being where you will find more of the same ship.

It isn't exactly the same with treasure salvage.  There isn't always an adjacent location that will also contain an item,  You still have a better chance of finding something good when you excavate near a good find than if you picked a random location anywhere in the sea.  It is about probabilities.

There is almost always some type of clustering when it comes to metal detecting.  While an individual item might show up anywhere and have no particular known relation to any other object, generally speaking there will be clustering.

If you look at the chart above showing holes and coded to show what type of object was in each hole, you'll notice that both holes and colors are sometimes clustered.  People use that kind of information to figure out where to dig next.

You don't find ballast rocks randomly distributed over miles of ocean, for example.  There will more than likely be a pile somewhere.  And other heavy items will likely be with the pile, such as cannons or heavy silver bars.  That might be partly because they were stored in the same part of the ship.

There are principles that determine where things will end up.  There are a variety of factors.  That is what makes it complicated.

There is also clustering of items in wet sand areas, whether they are ancient or more modern.  The water will shift and sort things over time.

The longer an item is in a high energy environment, the more it will be sorted.  As a result the pattern will become more defined.  That is how coin lines and coin holes are formed.

There is also clustering of new drops in the dry sand.  Those items have not been affected by Mother Nature, but they are clustered by human nature.   People congregate together and lose items where they congregate.  People participate in different types of activities - volleyball, for example.  More items are lost on volleyball courts than in wide stretches of sand where nothing much takes place.  Furthermore, more items can be found at certain areas on and around volleyball courts.

Since things are not generally randomly distributed, your search should not be random.  The more you understand about how items were lost and the forces that might have acted on them after they were lost, the more you will find, as long as you spend the time.


The surf is now down to 2 - 3 feet and will continue to decrease for a few days.

Happy hunting,

Monday, January 16, 2017

1/16/17 Report - A Recent Relic Hunt. Memorable Mistakes.

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

Finds and photo by Dan B.
When the salvage season is over and Dan B. isn't working on the Capitana bringing up gold coins from the 1715 Fleet, he does some relic hunting. Here is a group of finds he made very recently at a railroad site.

There are some neat things in there. Notice, for example, the eagle button and the strap buckles.

I visited an old RR spot today. Since I have already picked the area clean of easy hits, I spent some time hunting the most difficult and messy areas.  Nails and iron are usually enough to deter people including myself from detecting thoroughly. These are usually old structures and hold some goodies if you can differentiate the quality hits. Well worth the time today, but rarely so lucky. 

A lot of people would be scared off by a bunch of nails, but they can protect good finds for the more patient and persistent hunter.


People often think that you have to be at a site the day it cuts or it is too late.  That is the case sometimes, but not always.  Some really great finds have been made days after people think it is over.

When Turtle Trail recently cut and produced some nice finds last week, most was found in the first couple of days, but not everything.  In fact an eight reale was found Friday - days after the very best hunting.

A lot of things can be found when a site hits its peak, but time after time  great things are still found when most people have given up and think it is over.


I did a post one day on some of my memorable finds.  They were finds that I always remember for some reason - often because they were firsts of some kind.

Some of my memorable finds were memorable because I made a mistake that I continue to regret. Those are the kinds of things that make you wish you had known better at the time.

One that always sticks out in my mind was a musket hammer.  I don't know what I was thinking, but I didn't pay much attention to the hammer when I found it.  I wasn't sure what it was.  Then I found the flint nearby.  The rusted hammer was my first musket hammer, and I wasn't sure what it was right away, but as I always say, keep anything if you aren't sure you know what it is.  Well, back then I made the mistake and didn't keep the hammer and not even the flint.

I found the musket flint after digging the hammer.  That confirmed to me that it was a musket hammer, but why I didn't keep the hammer or the flint, I don't know, and I still regret it.  I was hot on a trail of some good buttons and things at the time and that might have something to do with the fact that I didn't pay them much attention.

Another regret is an 18th century medallion that was so encrusted when it was dug that I didn't know what it was.  It looked like it could be a coin.  It went into the tumbler with a bunch of coins, and when I took it out, I saw what it really was.  Fortunately it wasn't badly damaged, but it should have been treated better.  It lost some gilt and a little detail in the tumbling  process.  What an idiot!  Hopefully, I wouldn't make that type of mistake today.

As I think about some of the regrets, they were often also firsts.  That is part of the reason the mistake was made.  I didn't recognize or appreciate the item, and as a result didn't save it or properly treat it.

Other regrets came from not properly cleaning and storing items. I can think of couple of very nice items that were not stored carefully enough and broke while in storage.  Store your nice items carefully. Don't have one type of metal touching another.  That can result in discoloratation.  It can happen to reales, for example.  Don't keep a reale touching another type of metal.

Store nice items separately and so they won't be under too much weight.  Coin holders help.  It is also a good idea to keep artifacts in separate plastic boxes or bottles.  You can't be too careful if you don't want any accidental damage.

Another type of regret to avoid, is damaging items during recovery.  Some very nice items can be damaged or destroyed by careless digging.  You might not know what it is until you dig it up, so be careful.  Remember, it might be something precious.  Even metal items can be fragile.  I've made that mistake too.


The surf will be decreasing for a few days.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, January 15, 2017

1/15/17 Report - Plenty of Copper and Iron Found Along Shell Line. St. Augustine Discovery. Surf Decreasing.

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

John Brooks Beach Yesterday Afternoon.

John Brooks Beach Yesterday Afternoon.
The ideal for me is to be out on a windy rainy ripping beach all by myself.  I don't like being out on a beautiful day.  I don't like being on a beach with a bunch of sun bathers or other beach goers, even though that won't stop me if I really want to be there.  Sometimes you just have to do it.

Yesterday I was out with a bunch of other people.  I was the only one detecting though.

The first beach I visited was one of the popular 1715 Fleet beaches, John Brooks, but after looking at it, I decided to move on to another beach.  The second one wasn't eroded either.  It didn't look much good, but it was different than the first beach in one notable way: there was a shell line running for a long distance along the beach.  It was one of the longest and best shell lines I've seen in months, if I correctly recall.  Yet it wasn't the best shell line in the world.  The shells were on the small side and scattered relatively thinly.

The shell line was thin, but when I dug a hole in the shell line, I found that under a thin layer of sand the shells were another foot or two feet deep.  It resulted in a hump at the bottom of the beach.  (Unfortunately I forgot to take  photo of it.  I got busy detecting and digging.)

As I detected along the shell line, and even along the front of the beach where the shells were not on the surface, there were a lot of signals. A line of targets ran for at least a hundred yards.  Among the targets in that line were a lot of larger and deep targets.  A good number were too deep to easily recover, being one of two feet deep and below the water table.  I ended up leaving a good number of the deeper targets.

Recovered targets included a number of pieces of copper sheathing and about an equal number of rusty encrusted objects.  That is what almost all of the targets that I dug were.  I think some of those that I did not dig most likely included at a least a few spikes, and who knows what else.  If I wanted to get them I would have been better off taking a shovel.

Below is a small piece of dug copper (about one inch by one inch) that shows parallel lines near the edge.  I didn't notice that until I took a closer look this morning.  It is always a good idea to carefully check finds for marks.  In this case, it doesn't mean much.

Small Piece of Dug Copper Found in Shell Line.

Some times you need to switch detectors or digging equipment.  Yesterday I would have been better off with a shovel than the scoop I had.


Ancient human remains possibly dating back to the 16th century were discovered in St. Augustine during work on a water line.

Here is the link.


The surf will decrease a little today and more gradually for the next few days.  We still have some nice tidal variation and negative tides.

Unfortunately they have already started to dump sand up by Sebastian.  I'm expecting almost all of our beaches to get tons of replenishment sand by the end of summer.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, January 14, 2017

1/14/17 Report - Good Rough Surf Today. Recent Treasure Coast Finds and Condition Report.

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

Awesome Treasure Coast Finds by Mark M.
Photo by Mark M.
I was hoping to get some reports from the Vero/Sebastian area since I didn't get a chance to get up there.  I just got this report from Mark. 

Sunday I went out, I drove south from Cocoa Beach south to look at the beaches. It was not too impressive. North of the Museum the sand replenish has started, lots of equipment on the beach and dump trucks moving sand (Monday).So I went to Wabasso to Turtle Trail. I could just start to see the blue bags so I went North up the beach. Just north of the yellow condos I found that small piece of jewelry (I think it is jewelry). I am sending you a photo. The next day I went back to Turtle trail, man there were a lot of detectorist on the beach when I got there. The bags where showing some completely showing. I was told by a friend there that a detectorist that an eight-real sliver around the bags. I followed the tracks of the others and found one old green nickel and one penny. I walk south of the second flag pole a short distance and found some lead sheeting, which I did not know what it was and tossed in the trash. In the same area I found the copper hinge about fourteen inches down. I can not say it is of the fleet, but it was deep. 

See Mark's finds in the photo above.

I love the hinge.  It has a nice design on it.

Sorry I didn't get up there sooner so I could have reported on this myself.  I missed this one. Had other things I had to do then and it seems that it was only this area that was producing.  Sometimes you can miss it by a matter of hours or even minutes.   

I did get up there Friday. (See photos below.)
South From Turtle Trail Friday.

Bags and Two-Foot Cut Between the Two Flag Poles Friday.
On the basis of Mark's report and what I saw yesterday, the Turtle Trail area had filled back in some by Friday.  On Friday there were very few signals.

It seems that area has been opening up when the fronts first come through.

Thanks much for the report Mark!

Sorry to hear about the replenishment projects starting again already.  I suppose they'll be doing every beach north of Vero by summer.


The surf today is supposed to be 5 - 8 feet.  That is pretty good.  Too bad the wind direction isn't more from the north.  I'm not increasing my beach conditions rating.  Might be wrong though.  It is close enough that a spot could open up at any time for a short while.

Happy hunting,