Tuesday, February 28, 2017

2/28/17 Report - Treasure Coast Beach Fluctuations. Shore Stranded Wrecks: A Study.

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

John Brooks Beach February 22
Photo by Bill R.

The above picture shows John Brooks beach as it looked on Feb. 22.  I showed how it looked on Feb. 24 in my blog.  This cut had disappeared by then.  I think I visited the beach last Wednesday but didn't have my camera.  I don't remember for sure if that was the day or not.

It looks like John Brooks beach eroded and then the cuts disappeared again twice in just the last week or two.  The cuts quickly appeared and then disappeared again.

The sand that was removed to form the cut seems to be piling up directly in front of the beach where the beach extends out at least forty yards at low tide.

Thanks for the picture Bill.


I found a really informative dissertation.  The title is The Archaeology of Shore Stranded Shipwrecks of Southern Brazil.  It was written by Rodrigo de Oliveira Torres and dated 2015.

Shipwreck archaeology is usually conducted on shipwrecks in deep water.  A few have been left high and dry, like the one in Namibia that I recently mentioned or some that were otherwise covered by like those in harbors that were filled.  Shore stranded wrecks are in a very high energy zone and are difficult to study.  They are usually broken up and scattered but parts occasionally surface from time to time.  One example in the dissertation shows that not only do some disappear and reappear, but also that they move between appearances.  That happens with large sections of hull as well as smaller pieces and individual artifacts.

Referring to the high energy zone and the lack of meaningful archaeological context in that zone, the dissertation says,  It is assumed in these circumstances that cultural relatedness is too highly variable and does not correlate with spatial proximity, drastically affecting the coherence of the archaeological record.  In other words, things get scattered in ways that make it impossible to study archaeologically. Continuing, they refer to several sources and say, By definition, an archaeological site is a place which contains, in a more or less preserved state, information about past events and activities embedded in artifacts and their spatial relationships.

Here is another relevant quote.  French underwater pioneer Frederic Dumas is generally credited with the first contributions to the differentiation between depositional environments, by drawing a distinction between the differential preservation potential in sandy shores, rocky shores, and shores with cliffs (Dumas, 1962: 4-7): A flat coastline where the sand descends gently to depth is not promising. Scattered remains will be buried after the ship has been broken by storms and swell. Rocky shores are more likely to retain traces of shipwrecks: parts of the ship or its cargo are preserved in declivities. […] in shallow water the sea breaks everything and the dislocation of a wreck decreases its interest. […]

The beach profile illustration that I posted yesterday came from the same dissertation.  Here it is again.

This refers to summer and winter profiles, but what I've been showing lately are not seasonal changes but daily changes that are very similar.  Shorter term changes occur around the net seasonal changes, which in turn occur on top of longer term changes that might be trends lasting decades or centuries.

One thing that you might take away from this dissertation is that most of the principles that I talk about as they refer to the Treasure Coast are applicable to such distant and diverse places as Brasil.  Many of the principles are universal and apply anywhere.

Here is a nice illustration from the Torres dissertation.  If you look at the map, you'll notice that the erosional areas (red dots) are in areas where a south wind would hit most directly.  The stable areas are less directly exposed to wind and waves from the south.

That is the same way it works on the Treasure Coast, except our erosional areas are those most directly esposed to wind and waves from the north.

You'll often find cuts at one area and then around the bend, either smaller cuts or sometimes accretion.  Also one area will build sooner and quicker than another area just around a bend.  It is very much about angles, and a relatively small change in angle can make a big difference.

I found the dissertation on https://oaktrust.library.tamu.edu.  

I'll probably refer to it more in the future - maybe tomorrow.

Happy hunting,

Monday, February 27, 2017

2/27/17 Report - Yesterday's North Wind Caused Erosion To Some Treasure Coast Beaches But Not Others. Examples From a Couple Beaches.

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

Yesterday I mentioned the north wind that blew most of the day and I said I was sure there would be a spot or two with some cuts.  This afternoon I got out to take a look.  Above is what I saw at John Brooks.

I"m sure the cuts were better yesterday.  You can see seaweed in this picture.  I'd say the beach filled in a little, which you would expect because the wind today was now out of the south.  The seaweed is a good indicator of accumulating sand.

Below is another picture of the same beach.

There were a couple detectorists there this afternoon.

Frederick Douglas beach was not as nicely cut, but had evidently filled in some since yesterday too.

This year we've had other brief windows of opportunity when a front came through, but they are only lasting about a day.  We haven't gotten any sustained cutting.

Another thing about the above cuts is that they were in sand that had recently accumulated.

Here is another beach as seen Monday afternoon.  This one had no cuts.  

This beach had at least a foot of new sand built up on the front beach in recent days.  You could see that sand clearly below the seaweed line.

There was probably more than one cut beach yesterday, but I haven't yet heard any reports from other areas.


I found s dissertation on beach-stranded shipwrecks, and the following illustration was in it.

The summer beach profile is shown in yellow.  The winter beach profile is shown as a red dotted line.

In reality a beach wobbles back and forth continually.  One day you'll have erosion and the next accretion.  

There are the larger seasonal trends and then the shorter duration trends.

Yesterday we had erosion, and then when the wind shifted returned to accretion.  This isn't anything really new or anything that I haven't said before.

Another thing that sticks out is the fact that our surf wasn't real big yesterday, yet we got some decent erosion.  One thing I harp on is the direction of the wind and waves, which is also very important.

It was the direction of the wind yesterday that I was going by when I said there would probably be some erosion. 

That is as far as I'm going today.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, February 26, 2017

2/26/17 Report - Coal: One Possible Sign Of a Nearby Wreck. 19th Century Treasure Salvage Company.

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

Found on Treasure Coast Beach
Have you ever noticed a black lump like the one shown above on the beach?  Maybe you didn't pay it any attention.  You don't see it all the time.

This one isn't a burnt piece of wood, or a fossil.  It is a piece of coal.

I've found few pieces of coal on the Treasure Coast.  This one isn't the first.

I know a piece of coal when I see one.  I shoveled truck loads of coal into a basement up north to be used for heating during the winter.  And my wife's father owned a coal company.

But that doesn't tell you what a piece of coal would be doing on a Florida beach.  One possibility, and perhaps one of the most likely, is that it came from a shipwreck.  This one was found where other shipwreck artifacts, including spikes, galley bricks, and pieces of planking have been found.

Coal has been found on shipwrecks dating back to the early 1600s, but is very common on wrecks of the 1800s, when it was often used for power but was also a common cargo.

For example, the S. S. Copenhagen was on route from Philadelphia to Havana transporting 4,940 tons of coal when it sank. It now lies  3/4 of a nautical mile offshore just south of Hillsboro Inlet.  (See https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/flshipwrecks/cop.htm ).

On the Stories From Ispwich web site, two sentences are the following.  When you’re walking on Crane Beach near Steep Hill Coal, you might be surprised to see lumps of coal lying on the sand.  This would be quite a mystery were it not for the tragic history of brigs and schooners transporting coal in the 19th century.  (See https://storiesfromipswich.org/2014/05/11/lucy_m_collins/ for the rest of that article).

But the pieces I've found are from a Treasure Coast beaches.  One beach where I've found the most coal is a beach where I suspect a 19th century wreck nearby.  I've also found a good number of percussion caps on the same beach, along with quite a few miscellaneous items.  The percussion caps, if they are wreck related (a big question mark), would support a 19th century date.

One point I want to make here is that coal can be found on Treasure Coast beaches and it can be a clue suggesting the possibility a nearby shipwreck.  It might not come from a wreck, but on the Treasure Coast, that possibility is about as likely as any other, especially if there is other evidence of a wreck in the area.


On the Treasure Coast we are very aware of modern treasure salvage efforts, but as you all know, shipwreck salvage has been going on for a very long time.

I stumbled onto what I thought was a very interesting ad in the 1874 Saward's Coal Trade Journal that announces the formation of the Galleon Treasure Company, which had the purpose of recovering for the Spanish government, treasure sunk in Vigo harbor.  7500 shares of stock were issued having the paper value of $750,000.

Below is a good part (nearly half) of the announcement.  You might be able to find the rest of the ad by clicking on this link.

I thought it was interesting to see statements made on behalf of a large treasure salvage company formed as far back as 1874.  We all know of the Treasure Coast treasure companies of the 20th century, but treasure companies were formed long before all of that.


We had a good north wind most of the day.  I'm sure there will be a spot or two with some cuts.  I didn't get out to see if anything actually happened yet.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, February 25, 2017

2/25/17 Report - Finding Barber Quarters in Florida. An Extensive Shipwreck Project Report Worth Reading.

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

Six Barber Quarters Found By One Detectorist In Last Seven Months.

How would you coinshooters like to hit a Barber Quarter every month?  It might be more possible than you think.  One fellow sent the above picture with the following email message.

I thought you might want to use this picture to illustrate that there is still a lot out there!  These are my Barber quarter finds from the last seven months from five different sites on mainland Florida.  

I started detecting in 2011.  In my first two years, I found one Barber dime among thirty or so total silver coins.  That was so exciting!  I was not sure if I'd ever find another.  I definitely lamented getting a late start in detecting and felt that most of the good finds had been found.  Now I feel the opposite.  I target old coins.  Many of the oldest coins were out of detecting range or protected in other ways...

The best Barber quarter, the one to the far left in the picture, is an 1898O, a better date.

Like I mentioned, feel free to use the photo and any of the above text, but please keep my name off of it.  Your blog has become very popular!

Thanks much for the photo and email!

Notice the good tip in the message.  He targets old coins, and assumes those will likely be out of range or protected in some way.  

You can't just go around skimming the easy finds if you want to find the older coins.  

By being specific about what you want to find, you can adjust your technique and strategies to meet your goals.  Your research will be more specific too.

According to cointrackers.com an 1898 O Barber quarter in mint state would be worth around $800.  Of course dug quarters are never in mint condition.  In average condition an 1898 O would be worth something more like $17.

The O mint mark indicates it was made in the New Orleans mint, which made just %13 of the Barber quarters ever minted.


Here is an email I received from Peter H.


Here's a great story you may not have seen in so much depth , very interesting and I hope you enjoy !!!!


I always appreciate your research links which I often use and bookmark ,Knowledge is wealth !!! I always learn something from your posts and although I am in Wales I read them every day !! .

Thanks much,

Here is a brief excerpt from that document describing the wreck and its discovery.

On 1 April 2008, open-air mining for diamonds was underway in Mining Area 1 (MA1) in dry marine basin known as “U-60”, which lies approximately twenty kilometers north of Oranjemund, a peaceful mining town about 12 miles north of the Orange River estuary in the extreme southwest corner of Namibia and is part of the Sperrgebiet (“forbidden zone”)3 . On that day, two much damaged bronze tubes were found4 which were later identified as breech-loading cannons. These were followed in short order by other artifacts, including copper ingots in the form of half-spheres, elephant tusks, chunks of timber and gold coins, which suggested they were from an old shipwreck.

I think everyone will find something of interest in this 77 page report.  First off, the coast state and the flag state decided that the wreck was shared heritage and worked cooperatively to "rescue" the wreck.

The report is very complete and addresses construction of the ship, treasure, and archaeological procedures.  You'll find a lot of photos and illustrations.

Thanks Peter!

I'm also glad you find the blog so helpful.  


I've been looking at an archaeological study that surveys a large number of shore-stranded shipwrecks of diverse ages and periods.  Those are shipwrecks that ended up in the dunes or on the beach.  I'll report on that more in the future.

The surf today is to be 3 - 5 feet. The tide will be fairly high too.

Happy hunting,

Friday, February 24, 2017

2/24/17 Report - A Look At a Few Treasure Coast Beaches Today.

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

I went out to see if anything was happening.  I looked at five beaches and saw no erosion anywhere, but my observations were limited to South Hutchinson Island.  

The water had been fairly high on the beach, but all beaches showed newly accumulated sand on the front beach.  There were almost no shells.

I had most of my post done and then lost it, and I don't feel like doing it all again, therefore today's post is going to be short.

Between John Brooks and Frederick Douglas Around Noon Friday.
Notice the little canal where the high tide water ran back into the ocean.  This dip was present probably two weeks ago but was refreshed by last night's high tide.

This is the type of cut I mentioned a few weeks ago.  That one was a couple hundred yards south of this one and just below the previous one I found a coin hole that I talked about.

John Brooks Beach Around Noon Friday.
The beach front was pretty steep here.  Very sandy.

There were a good number of tourists out today everywhere I went.  That should help some if you are interested in hunting modern items.

Another South Hutchinson Island Beach Friday Around Noon.
This beach front was sandy too, but not as steep as the one at John Brooks.  The high tide got nearly to the dunes.

The surf was fairly rough, but where I was, not well formed for surfing.  The high tide got pretty high.  There might be a beach or two in the Vero/Sebastian area that improved, but I just didn't get up there to take a look.

I had some other stuff started and lost it, so that is all I'm going to do today.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, February 23, 2017

2/23/17 Report - Research Tips For Locating Good Old Sites. Stuff Found In Walls. Increasing Surf.

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

I was looking back at some old posts and noticed some that I think should be posted again.  I forgot about them and suspect many other readers did too.  Newer blog readers probably never read them.  I will post some of those that I think are worth rereading even if you might have read them years ago.

James F. consistently submitted pictures of great old finds.  He made fantastic finds while many others were complaining that there were no good places left to hunt.  I asked James if he would give some tips on how to conduct research that leads to the kind of  finds that he was always making.  

One of the things he said is that although the internet helps, the overwhelming majority of historical information, .maps, narratives, and photographs still exist only in hardcopy form.  I suspect that is still true today but perhaps to a lesser extent.

Here is  what James said.

The first thing I did to locate the steamboat artifact was a quick on-line search looking for generalities like major areas of steamboat activity in Florida. On-line sources indicated the St. Johns River (which flows northward, by the way) and the chain of lakes it includes (Lake Jesup, Mullet Lake, Lake Monroe, Lake Poinsett, et al) where almost teeming with steamboat traffic for almost 80 years ago, all the way from Jacksonville to Rockledge (Cocoa Beach) Florida. With this general data, I went to my local library and specifically searched for information about 19th century steamboat activity within my region...Sanford, Geneva, Oveido, Lake Mary etc. I then looked for historic facts specifically targeting those town's level of involvement with steamboat operations; Fruit and vegetable shipments, cargo and passenger operations, Seminole and Civil War materials and troops movements by steamboat, etc. It is all readily publicly available information using a few keywords like steamboat, shipping and check the index in the back of hardcover books. Once I identified the towns involved, I narrowed the focus down even further, by selecting a specific town or area to hunt.

One of my favorite sources of research material in this regard is best obtained from small local museums or historical societies. Many of these little (or not so little) organizations have some very specific resources available to you, you cannot find anywhere else; self-published books on the local area, old maps on display, people who can tell you, through family history, of certain things or places not found in a book. It was from a couple of these organizations I discovered information regarding several close-by areas where steamboat traffic and operations were very prevalent in the mid-19th Century. Using this information...old maps, photographs, drawings and other facts, I managed to piece together a promising site. A quick look on-line of aerial map views through either Google or Bing Bird's Eye (I like Bing best for this sort of search as it has very, very clear aerials that get within 25 feet of the ground) will yield current information about the site before your actual recon of the physical place. This gives you site coordinates that you will use to navigate to the location; nearby roads, landmarks and GPS information, etc.

From there, I find the online website of the local tax assessor and locate the property plat, which also gets me the name and address (sometimes even the phone number) of the owner. Again, all publicly available information. I then make a cursory visit to the site, and if it looks searchable (i.e. not swampy or too snake infested) I'll call or visit the owner and try to get permission. I always offer something in return: a free 2-hour metal detection search anytime in the future if they or someone they know loses a valuable item, or I ask if they would like to accompany me while I hunt and have their pick of the items recovered. It is their land. If you have any people skills at all, you should be able to get on site, and maybe even an invitation to come back by the landowner. That's it in a nutshell...remember to look out for snakes!

There it is. Some great tips that work. Thanks again James!

Let me repeat and summarize a few of the main points.

1. Do a preliminary search to become more familiar with the topic, identify important key words that can lead to other resources, and iteratively refine your search.

2. Check with local museums and historical societies.

3. Talk to people who may have personal knowledge.

4. Use the internet but go beyond that.

Your research will become more productive as you accumulate a depth of knowledge and variety resources on specific locales and topics.


Once you start digging — whether excavating long-populated urban land for a commercial project or tearing down the walls of a house — you never know what you’ll find. It might be a ritual object placed there to ward off evil spirits 300 years ago, or a few decades ago. It might have been put there on purpose or left by accident. Unless it’s a time capsule with a note enclosed, you’ll never know for sure.
Every building carries history within its walls, ceilings, floors and foundations. The very wood, plaster and stone can contain powerful secrets, even talismans, some of which were placed there for future inhabitants to find — a thread linking past and future...
That is the beginning of an interesting article.

Here is the link for the rest of the article.


Thanks to Doug for the link.


Today the surf was something like 2 - 4 feet.  Expect 4 - 6 feet tomorrow.  I'd like to see the beaches get stirred up.  Unfortunately the tides won't be high.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

2/22/17 Report - The Real Facts About Pirates. Big Shark Takes Bite Of Five Foot Shark. New Book On Catholic Roots of La Florida. Increasing Surf.

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

This partially eaten five -foot  shark washed up onto the beach in Volusia County.   They think there must be a great white cruising the coast.

Here is a  link to that story.



I found an interesting Ph. D. dissertation about pirates.  It tells a great deal about pirates.   Below is one table from the dissertation showing the types of goods they got.

As you can see, the greatest amount was classified as personal necessities, including things like clothing, provisions, alcohol and medicine - very useful things.  Only 38% of the take was the kind of treasure that you typically think of, such as gold, silver, coins, and gems.

Notice that the data was derived from resources detailing 88 different piratical seizures.

I thought that was an interesting table.  I think you'll find much more of interest if you read the dissertation.

Here is the link.


Of course, dissertation always provide a bibliography, which can be worth browsing.


Michael Brown has written a new book.  It is Where the Cross Stands.  Here is part of the description.

...a book that swiftly details the surprising and astonishing Marian history of this nation -- of La Florida -- as the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, guided explorers and dozens of priests in the earliest days, brave men who faced hurricanes and Indians, disease and snakes, as they planted Crosses at the very first places they set foot -- most notably, what is now St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S., where the original Cross planted on September 8, 1565 has been replaced by the tallest Cross in the world.

Here is the link to learn more about the book.



Rainy day!  Finally the surf is increasing.  Expect something like 2 - 3 feet today and 4 - 6 feet by Friday.

That might stir things up a little.  It has been a while since we got any bump in the surf.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2/21/17 Report - How You Can Participate With Archaeologists Worldwide In Discovering New Archaeological Sites. GlobalXplorer.org.

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

Monday I was watching TED Talks on TV.  TED Is a nonprofit group that advances what they judge to be powerful ideas in various field.  I like the TED TV show and watched three TED talks yesterday, one of which was by Sarah Parcak, who uses satellite images to identify ancient sites.

In Egypt, Parcak's techniques have helped locate 17 potential pyramids, and more than 3,100 potential forgotten settlements. She's also made discoveries in the Viking world (as seen in the PBS Nova special, Vikings Unearthed and across the Roman Empire (as shown in the BBC documentary, Romes Lost Empire).  Her methods also offer a new way to understand how ancient sites are being affected by looting and urban development. By satellite-mapping Egypt and comparing sites over time, Parcak has noted a 1,000 percent increase in looting since 2009. It’s likely that millions of dollars worth of artifacts are stolen each year. Parcak hopes that, through her work, unknown sites can be protected to preserve our rich, vibrant history.

Through GlobalXplorer she said she is "democratizing discovery."    (I discussed how technology is democratizing knowledge in a very recent post.)

Here is a description of GlobalXplorer from their web site.

GlobalXplorer° is an online platform that uses the power of the crowd to analyze the incredible wealth of satellite images currently available to archaeologists. Launched by 2016 TED Prize winner and National Geographic Fellow, Dr. Sarah Parcak, as her “wish for the world,” GlobalXplorer° aims to bring the wonder of archaeological discovery to all, and to help us better understand our connection to the past. So far, Dr. Parcak’s techniques have helped locate 17 potential pyramids, in addition to 3,100 potential forgotten settlements and 1,000 potential lost tombs in Egypt — and she's also made significant discoveries in the Viking world and Roman Empire. With the help of citizen scientists across the globe, she hopes to uncover much, much more. This is just the beginning. With additional funding, Dr. Parcak aims to revolutionize how modern archaeology is done altogether, by creating a global network of citizen explorers, opening field schools to guide archaeological preservation on the ground, developing an archaeological institute, and even launching a satellite designed with archaeology in mind.

Here is the link to the web site for GlobalXplorer.


Sign up and participate if you wish.  Maybe you'll discover a new important site.
Years ago in this blog I mentioned how archaeology should be making greater use of the multitude of those interested in history and archaeology to identify sites.  The trouble is that much of academic archaeology still does not trust the public and often refers to detectorists and treasure hunters as looters. While Sarah Parcak sees the advantage of using the public to help find sites, those who discover new sites are kept informed about progress at the site that they discovered, but they do not have access to the larger  database.  They are only in the loop for developments pertaining to the site that they discovered.

Florida does not provide open internet access to their master site file.  They do not want to tip "looters" off to the location of archaeological sites.  They fail to recognize that the public is not only capable of discovering sites, but the same public would also protect those sites.  The same sea of eyes that would identify and report discoveries, would also keep a watchful eye for looters.  Being informed and involved, more of the public would feel more responsible for archaeological sites and act accordingly.

I know that not all archaeologists have the same paranoia about the public that the say they serve, but there are still those that do.

Monday, February 20, 2017

2/20/17 Report - Observations From A Little Detecting This Morning. A Good Book On the Wreck of the Rosario.

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

Two Views of Pepper Park This Morning

No surprises this morning.  The beach front was very sandy, as was the shallow water.

Pepper Park is heavily detected and the area in front of the central lifeguard station was very clean.  No nails, bottle caps or anything metallic.  This beach is very heavily detected during the winter months.  I only stopped there on my way to another spot that I wanted to detect.

The beach that I detected is not a wreck beach, and is not detected much at all.  It doesn't have a lot of targets, but when conditions are right, does produce some old things.  That did not happen today.  I hadn't been there in months, and I could see that there had been some good erosion sometime in the past that I missed.  The cliff was eroded back several feet from the last time I detected there, but it had filled in again.  Like I said, I missed it.

Despite all the new piled up sand on the front beach, there was a coin hole in the shallow water.   It only produced modern coins though.  On top of the poor conditions, the noseeums were voracious.  It wasn't the best hunting morning I've ever had.

Earlier in the morning at Pepper Park I used the Garrett Ace a while.  Later I used the ATX some.  One thing I noticed is that it took a little time to get accustomed to the ATX after using the Ace.  The signals I was getting from the ATX made everything sound huge after using the Ace for a while.  I never thought of that before, but it can take a little time (not very long) to get accustomed to sounds of a detector when you switch from one to another.  I'm sure that is more true in some cases, depending upon the particular detectors.


My wife took a little walk the other day and found the following items.

Usable Fishing Equipment Finds.

Small Cork Top Medicine Bottle and Couple Of Pieces of Pottery.
I always enjoy recovering usable objects.


Here is a book you might want to take a look at.  It is  Oceans Odyssey 3. The Deep-Sea Tortugas Shipwreck, Straits of Florida: A Merchant Vessel from Spain's 1622 Tierra Firme Fleet, by Kingsley and Stemm.

Here is a bit of the description.

In 1990 Seahawk Deep Ocean Technology of Tampa, Florida, commenced the world’s first robotic archaeological excavation of a deep-sea shipwreck south of the Tortugas Islands in the Straits of Florida. At a depth of 405 meters, 16,903 artefacts were recovered using a Remotely-Operated Vehicle. The wreck is interpreted as the Buen Jesús y Nuestra Señora del Rosario...

Click here for a free preview of the book.
The book contains 210 page and costs less than $20.  Not bad.


As I've already suggested above, Treasure Coast beach detecting conditions are not good,  I don't expect that to change any time real soon.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2/19/17 Report - Theories About the Cobs of Bonsteel Park Beach. The Democratization of Archaeology and Our Cultural Heritage.

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

I recently mentioned Bonsteel Park.  The beach in that area produces cobs, including a lot of half reales, when the water hits the dunes.   No wreck has been found near that beach to account for the cobs.

There are different ideas about how the cobs ended up there.  Frogfoot Weller, for example, suggested that the old Chuck's Steakhouse was the site of the wreck of Ubilla's frigate.  Yet, I don't know of any ballast pile in that area.

Others believed that  a smaller vessel associated with the early Spanish salvage efforts wrecked there.

And still other's believe that individual's that left the salvage camp on their way to St. Augustine buried treasure there or met some unfortunate event.

One of the most interesting things to me is the predominance of half reales, which is not unlike some other beaches which are adjacent to known wreck sites.  As I've said before, I have some ideas about why more half reales are found on some beaches while more larger denomination cobs are found in the water on the associated wreck sites.  


Where do you look when you want to learn about Florida's history?  If you want to learn more about an artifact, where do you look or who do you ask?

I know that most people these days do a good bit of online research.  That has increased dramatically over the past several years.  When I began this blog there were not nearly as many blogs and web sites about metal detecting, archaeology and local history as there are today.  In making more information more easily available to more people, the internet has been democratizing knowledge.

Wikipedia says, "The democratization of knowledge is the acquisition and spread of knowledge amongst the common people, not just privileged elites such as clergy and academics. Libraries—public libraries in particular—and modern digital technology such as the internet—play a key role in the democratization of knowledge, as they provide open access of information to the masses."

Back in  2013 I conducted a blog poll to find out how people learn more about the Treasures of the Treasure Coast.  117 people responded to the poll.  They were people who visit my blog and therefore can be assumed to be more interested than the general population in metal detecting and treasure hunting.

Only 5% of the respondents said they had ever seen any of the coins in the Florida Collection. I don't know what percent of the population in general have seen the coins in the Florida collection, but I would assume that it would be a much smaller percent of the total population.  Among the people that read this blog are some who have found coins that went into the collection.  Anyone who reads this blog has seen pictures of coins that went into the Florida Collection before those coins became a part of the collection.   Not only did they see pictures but they also read something about the coins, how the coins were found and the people that found them.

One of my points today might be an obvious point, but I think it needs to be stressed.  Technology has provided increased access to more and better information about history, archaeology and our cultural heritage.  Every year more people read and discuss and get information about our cultural heritage over the internet.

If you want to study coins from the 1715 Fleet, for example, or any other shipwreck for that matter, where do you go?  The internet more likely than not.  You will find pictures and information in online auction catalogs, on web sites, blogs, ebooks,  and online documents such as dissertations, academic papers and archaeological reports.  The web provides a lot of information that is free and easily available to the public.

The people who contribute to those online resources include many amateurs as well as professionals.  In a simple blog like this one you often see pictures and information contributed by those who actually salvage the items that make up our museum collections.  You see the contents of famous collections as they change hands in online auctions.  You get information from people who make finds in the field and write books, and post their information on the internet.

There are amateurs outside of the state agencies and universities that contribute very significant discoveries, and there are researchers such as Laura Strolia who have contributed top notch research through blogs like this one.  Salvage companies like the Mel Fisher group and Odyssey Marine, not only find shipwrecks and artifacts, but also operate museums and display collections and publish quality research papers.

Archaeology, like other fields, is without a doubt being democratized, yet those of the elite have much to protect.  They feel their jobs, careers, status and reason for being are threatened by democratization of our cultural heritage.  Instead of keeping up, they drag their feet and in the process widen the gap between themselves and the public that funds them.  Their existence is threatened, but the threat is not what they think it is.  Their biggest threat is their own efforts to protect their domain while progress moves on.


The surf is still small.  We'll have a one or two foot surf Monday, and after that a little increase.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, February 18, 2017

2/18/17 Treasure Salvage Opportunity With Top Treasure Crew.

Treasure Salvage Crew Opportunity Announcement.

I got this message describing a salvage opportunity from Captain Jonah Martinez of the Capitana. As you might know, Jonah's crew hit one of the biggest 1715 Fleet gold coin finds of recent history, including nine escudo royals in 2015.  One of the crew members involved with that find learned of a similar opportunity through this blog a couple of years ago and got to be part of that historic find.

As the captain says, this is not for everybody.  It takes a special person. Passion and commitment counts.  Jonah picks good men.

Below is how Captain Jonah describes it.


Opportunity if you ever wanted to work looking for 1715 Spanish treasure. First off this doesn't happen often but due to a unfortunate turn of events. One of our brothers will not be able to make it out with us this season. So we are looking for a 4th to join our crew and share in the 2017 salvage season. This job is not for everybody but to the right person you know who you are. You need to be in good physical shape,have an open scheduled between May-September, have a place to stay in or near Sebastian Florida, need to have boat experience, also need to be good with a metal detector, most important have to gel with 3 other guys like minded. There is no pay just a percent of the find. Payed in treasure!!!!! This job is definitely not for most. So please think before you respond. There are no guarantees in this game. I can promise a unbelievable summer experience full of surprises and adventure. We work very hard but find a lot of treasure too. Feel free to give me a call. Thanks Capt. Jonah 772-215-4366

Friday, February 17, 2017

2/17/17 Report - History of a Few Changing Treasure Beach Names. More On Identifying Targets From Metal Detector Signals.

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

You've heard all of the names:  Anchor Wreck, Cannon Wreck, Unknown Wreck, Cabin Wreck, etc.  It can be confusing.  It can be just as bad with beaches.

Some beaches have multiple names.  Some names are left over from days gone by.  Some were informally named by locals before they had an official name.

You might have heard of Colored Beach.  That is a name that was used for many different beaches in many different communities in the days of segregation.  There were beaches that were used by Blacks when they were not welcome at the best beaches in the community.  Those beaches were often called "Colored Beach."

There was one such beach near Miami on Virginia Key.  I used to detect it often and found good numbers of silver U. S. coins there.  That part of Virginia Key, which borders Bear Cut, was nearly abandoned at one time, but the entire island got a makeover in more recent years.  Before it got renovated it was the site of a few movies and TV shows that required a tropical setting.

The beach south of Fort Pierce that is named Frederick Douglass Memorial Beach was once a "colored beach." It is named after Frederick Douglass, the famous African American abolitionist.

Maybe you've heard of the Christmas Tree that was north of John Brooks Beach.  It is gone now and has been gone since 2004.  It was nothing more than the remains of an old trunk or stump that stood north of the John Brooks beach access.  People used to decorate it with junk they found on the beach, such as ropes, buoys, or anything that happened to be nearby.  It was a landmark referred to in books and used by detectorists as a landmark.

One treasure beach that has a lot of different names is Bonsteel Beach.  Before it was known as Bonsteel Beach, it was referred to as Chuck's Steakhouse.  Chuck's Steakhouse was torn down, It  was north of the Bonsteel Beach Access. 

The same beach is sometimes called Half Reale Beach.  That is because of the predominance of half reales found there.

The same beach is also called "Money Walk."  You can imagine how it got that name.

Since no shipwreck has been found off shore at that location, there are several theories about how the cobs got there.  I might discuss those some other day, including theories about why so many half reales are found there.

The Brevard County boundary was south of today's Sebastian Inlet until 1959 when the land south of the inlet was given to Indian River County as a result of the bridge being built.


Yesterday at first I had the wrong link posted for the video about how a signal can change if the position of a target is changed.  After someone kindly informed me of the mistake, I corrected the link, so if you looked earlier and got the wrong link, which happened to be in Italian, here is the corrected link.


The primary purpose of the link is to show how the signal will change if a coin or ring shaped object is on edge rather than laying flat.

Concerning that, Bill P. sent me the following email message.

Regarding your post from today (2-16-17), one of the most distinct sounds I hear on my Minelab is when I'm over a gold earring. 2 totally different sounds when the clasp is open and closed (specifically hoop style earrings). When open it can sound just like a bottle cap. I don't pass those up often unless I'm in an area where folks have had a beer bash. Watches also give funky junk sounds sometimes. Years ago I found a nice gold ladies ring next to a chunk of rusty iron. Talk about a funky sound. I'm glad I dug it anyway. Bill P...

Thanks much Bill.

I can always identify long thin targets such as nails from the signal even with detectors such as the ATX.

Bent thin targets such as fish hooks have a very distinctive signal.  A broken finger ring and unclasped hoop ear ring would be similar.

The signal from a broken gold ring will not be as strong as an unbroken ring.

I used a bent brass tag in my video.  Being bent, it will present a variety of surfaces to the detector coil depending on the various angles and the signal will change accordingly.

Those are general observations.  Different detectors and different settings can cause different signals.


The weather is beautiful.  There is a touch of coolness in the morning air.

The surf is still small, but unfortunately we are no longer getting much of a tidal change, and no negative tides.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, February 16, 2017

2/16/17 Report - How The Position of Targets Can Affect Metal Detector Signals. Mexican Tomb Figurines. Golf Eggs. Unwanted Meeting With Solenopsis.

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

Source: Live Science link below.

1,700-year-old untouched tomb bearing the bones of a dozen male adults, as well as pre-Columbian figurines and statues, has been unearthed in Mexico.

Here is the link.


Here are a couple of finds: two golf balls covered with barnacles and shells. People hit golf balls into the water.  

Couple Barnacle and Shell Encrusted Golf Balls

On the lighter side, that reminds me of two TV shows.  Jethro from the Beverly Hillbillies called them golf eggs, and Cramer, on Seinfeld, once hit a golf ball that got stuck in a whales blow hole.


One thing I don't think a lot of people do enough is experiment with their detector on known targets. I once did a quick little video showing how a detector responds to a screw, copper tag, and small gold ring, when the tag and ring were flat on the ground and when they were standing on edge.

Do you know how the signal will change when thin gold ring is on edge?   If not, you might want to take a look at the video.  The same thing can happen when a coin is on edge rather than laying flat.

Here is the link.

[  I had the wrong link here earlier and replaced it.  I hope the one below is the right one. ]


Of course not all detectors will respond exactly the same but most will respond similarly.  You'll get about the same result from an Excalibur if it is in pinpoint mode, for example.

Long thin targets such as nails produce a double beep when you sweep the coil over the target from end to end, but a single beep when you move the coil at a ninety degree angle to that.  You can get the same kind of thing when a coin or ring is standing on edge.  One direction will produce a double beep.

Of course different settings can change how the detector responds.

Coins and rings and similar things usually lay flat, but not always.  If there are rocks, shells, roots, the targets can be on edge.  Also sometimes they'll slide down and rest stuck to the side of a hole.
That, along with the decreased depth, can make the signal disappear.

I always recommend a experimenting a lot with different types of targets in order to really get to know your detector and how it responds to different targets.


I received more emails concerning Dr. Gunnar Thompson and his article about Pre-Columbian maps.  It seems there are people with very strong opinions on both sides.  From the emails I've received, it looks like the controversy has a life of its own and could continue indefinitely.  I personally have not looked into the controversy that deeply, so I'll leave it up to you to decide for yourself.   I very much appreciate the comments but won't be continuing the topic in this blog. There are other forums that do that. Thanks again for all the informative emails and comments.  I learned from them, and they are appreciated.


I first met Solenopsis two or three decades ago in Davie Florida.  It was a hot day and I was metal detecting an old home site near a canal and orange groves.  I was on my hands and knees digging a target and realized I was in an ant hill and being stung by ants.

Solenopsis is a genus of stinging ant.  You might know them as fire ants.  Snow birds might not be familiar with the little devils.  I wasn't when I first got stung.

They hit me again yesterday.  This time I wasn't detecting.  I was cutting some weeds, and as I often am, I was bare foot.  You'd think I'd know better.  Anyhow, I got a lots of bites and a swollen foot, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  Since I don't wear shoes most of the time, I think I've built up some immunity to their poison.  Still, they are a pain, and if you are from up north and don't know about them, be careful.

There are some suggested treatments.  Applying meat tenderizer is one.  That treatment is also recommended for stings from Portuguese Man-O-War.  Life guards at swimming beaches used to use alcohol.  I know first hand about those too.

Other treatments include applying ice to prevent swelling, application of ammonia, Clorox or alcohol.  I don't know how much those work, but I used ice and Clorox and came through pretty well.


Evidently a cool front moved through.  The surf is still small and will remain small for at least a few more days.  The tides are moderating.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2/15/17 Report - History of Anchors. The Florida Shore. Lost Cannon Ball. Fact Checking Pre-Columbian New World Maps Article.

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

Source: See link below.

I received a number of emails the past few days and received some good information.  Brian B. sent me a link to a Master's Thesis on the history and development of the English anchor.  It provides a lot of good information, including some good information on Spanish anchors too.  If you find an anchor and want to identify it, or if you are simply interested in history and nautical things, you'll want to browse this thesis.  The title is The History and Development of English Anchors Circa 1550 to 1850, by Harold Jobling.  Below is a brief excerpt describing the contents.

You'll also find a good section on terminology and of course a good bibliography.

Here is the link.



Brian also sent a link to a useful book, Living With The East Florida Shore, by Pilkey et al.

Here is one brief excerpt from the online preview.

You might want to look at the table of contents and browse through that one too.  

Thanks to Brian B. 


I also received the following email.

My name is Kurt R...   I'm recently new to metal detecting. And am really enjoying your posts.  Lately you have been talking about mistakes and regrets.  About a month ago when we had that last storm that exposed the sandbags at turtle trail I had just got there and was having trouble with a failing coil... I had a large target and i;m pretty sure it was a cannonball in my haste to fix my detector i threw it up on the beach and fiddled with my detector for a bit when i went to grab the object it was gone.. If you could please post and see if anyone reading has it and would like to return it.. Best find i've ever found lost again? I should have taken it right to my truck but i was frustrated..  

Kurt R...


I  posted a link to an article on Pre-Columbian maps of the New World in my 2/8 post.  Dan C. provided some links showing that the author, Dr. Thomspon, is not very credible.  

Here is what Dan wrote about that.

... Unfortunately, in treasure hunting and archaeology (and history), we have to be on the lookout for "fringe" science and lunacy.

As it turns out, this Dr Thompson has no qualifications in the field - his Phd is in some unrelated field, BUT, qualifications aside, even non-Phd folks deserve respect if they make sense.  This guy is a fraud and lunatic through and through:

Here he claims to "authenticate' a so-called ancient Chinese world map that has been clearly dismissed as bad forgery, a hoax:


There have been a lot of people who write books to make a living off of the gullibility of others, and he is one of them.

Keeping an open mind  is healthy. We should not blindly follow assumptions by others who claim to "know".

Thanks much for the research Dan.


I very much appreciate the emails I receive and want to thank everybody.  Your input helps me a lot, as you can tell from today's post.

I hope your wife bought you a new detector for Valentine's Day.

We still have more one and two foot surf days coming this week.

Happy hunting,

Monday, February 13, 2017

2/13/17 Report - Shipwreck Galley Bricks. An Unlikely T. C. Shipwreck Beach Find: One of My Personal Favorites.

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

Someone recently found an old brick along with shipwreck spikes.  They wanted to know if the brick could be from the shipwreck.  As you probably know, bricks were used for the galley ovens.

There are some shipwreck bricks shown in the Mel Fisher database.

I did a post some years ago on a possible galley brick found on a Treasure Coast beach along with some links to references about such bricks.  In that old post you'll also find an illustration of a galley oven.  I won't bother to repeat all of that.

Here is the link.



A few days ago I was talking about finds that present challenges.  I had one that was a real challenge for me.  I didn't appreciate at the time how rare it was.  I didn't even know exactly what it was when I found it.  It would have been better if I found it today rather than years ago.

The find I'm talking about is a wax seal impression.  When I picked it up near the water's edge on a popular shipwreck beach, I could see a little of the design on it, but I wasn't sure what it was made of.  It was hard and had sand stuck on it.  It wasn't heavily encrusted, but was encrusted in spots enough to obscure part of the design.  I showed that seal in my 2/3/16 post, but that is not exactly how it looked when found

Wax Seal Impression Found on Shipwreck Beach Years Ago.
If you look just right of center, you can see a wing.  To the left of that is the birds body and below that the thighs, which look in the picture like two balls.

Below is an example of an eagle in a similar position, although the wax one has the wings closer to the body and the head is turned the other direction.  I can't see what if anything might be below the thighs, which are identifiable.

As I think you can see from the photo, it is still covered by some crust.  especially to the left of the bird and above the body.

Since I didn't know what it was made of when I first found it, I certainly didn't know how to clean and preserve it.  I've done a little research and what I've concluded so far is that it is a difficult problem. One of the best studies, which was conducted by a museum because the seals that they were displaying were crumbling, couldn't find a highly effective method and decided instead to recreate identical ones from ancient sealing wax recipes.  And that was an easier task, considering those wax seals were not on a salt water beach for hundreds of years.  Antique wax seals that had not endured that rough environment and were kept in near ideal conditions still crumbled over time.  I'm really amazed it survived at all.  Even though I didn't appreciate it when I found it, and still did not appreciate for some years after, it has become one of my favorite finds.  It is one example of a find that I found too early.  I would have been better prepared for it if I found it today, but I will probably never find another old wax seal impression on a beach.  That was probably one of those once-in-a-lifetime things.

Below is the link to a study in which wax seals were created from antique sealing wax recipes and various methods of preservation were tested.


Maybe other wax seals have been found on a beach or shipwreck site, but I have not read or heard of any yet.


We'll have more small surf, but there will be some more big tides.

I'm starting to think we might not get any good winter storms this year.  Sometimes we get some rougher seas in March.

I know there will be more beach renourishment.  Some has already started and I've seen equipment being readied for Fort Pierce.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, February 12, 2017

2/12/17 Report - T. C. Beach Detecting Conditions Rating Back To 1. Flying Along the Beach. Small Surf and Negative Tides Continue

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

John Brooks Beach Saturday.

I finally got out a little Saturday around four o'clock.   I was surprised to see that the three foot cut that I found Friday was completely gone.  Compare the photo above with the one I posted Friday (immediately below).

Same View of John Brooks Beach Friday.

That shows how quickly things can change, but it doesn't show how quickly it did change.  I suspect that the cut might have disappeared in an hour or two.

Man Flying Motorized Kite

There were some guys flying around in these motorized kites.

Below is what the device looked like.  It had a chair, a motor and propeller and a kite.

Closeup of Motorized Kite
Very small and compact.  Not much too it.


Never confuse this blog with a professional journal.  I don't think you would.  I am just saying that I do a post nearly everyday and don't sit down and deliberate with experts or editors and struggle over every word or attempt to fact check every reference.  This blog is not my job.  I don't get paid for it.  It is  just something I do because I feel like it.  There are a some issues on which I think my research and conclusions are as good you'll find anywhere, including academic or professional journals, but for the most part I post my casual observations and thoughts.  When I state something as fact, I am careful about what I say, but when I just throw out an idea (as I sometimes do) or post a link for reference, I leave some of the judgment up to you.  Almost every post I disappoint myself when I go back and notice misspellings, grammar mistakes, and writing that is simply not up to what I would like to post. Sometimes I am a little more careful than others, depending upon the amount of time I have and other things, but I don't give this blog the same priority in my life that I would if it were a professional or paid activity, so I hope you'll be forgiving and take it for what it is.


I have some more topics to talk about but will keep them for another day.

I am giving a 1 (poor) rating on my beach detecting conditions rating scale.

The surf will remain small for a few days, but we will still be getting some big and some negative tides.  I noticed yesterday that the water got up pretty high at high tide.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, February 11, 2017

2/11/17 Report - Finds: Pins, Bottle, Gold and Diamonds.

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

I made an unusual find the other day.  I found a small round container.  I didn't have any idea what might be in it.  It was covered with mud and water.  I thought that it might be filled with mud and nothing else.  After getting the top off, I found that it was full of small sewing pins.  That was a first for me.

Closeup of a Bunch of Sewing Pins In a Clump.
Dime added for size comparison.

I put the dime on top of the clump of pins not too far off the center. The pins are stuck together.

I'm glad they weren't spread out on the ground because I would have begun to dig them one at a time.

I've dug thimbles on the beach before but not a clump of pins.


The weather is absolutely beautiful, even if I do prefer wind and rain.  The robins have been at my house for a few days.  They show up around February 9 almost every year.

Last night the full moon was absolutely beautiful too.  We were supposed to be able to see a comet about 3 AM.  I missed it.

Yesterday I found a good number of modern coins below a small six inch cut on one beach.  There were a few other items there too.  The cut there was not big, but in front of the cut it was more sloped and not as sandy as John Brooks Beach, which I showed yesterday.  .

After leaving the wreck beaches I hit a tourist beach on the way home and came away with two pieces of gold: a diamond ring and a pearl ear ring.

I didn't get out Saturday at all and don't know what happened with the wreck beaches over night.


I found an embossed Horlick's Malted Milk bottle on the Treasure Coast the other day.  I didn't clean it yet, but took a quick pic.

It is a small bottle.  I was surprised what I learned from some quick research.  It is still sold, and malted milk isn't what I thought.  I thought malted milk was like a milk shake but apparently not.  And even though the bottle showed up on the Treasure Coast, it seems that Horlick's Malted MIlk  is much more popular today overseas.

Here is what I learned.

In the initial stage of manufacturing, milled malted barley and wheat flour are mashed together in hot water where the starch is converted into sugars.  To this sugar solution dairy powders are added. The water content is then evaporated to form a syrup that is dried in vacuum band driers to form a cake. This cake is milled into the finished powder...

1873: James Horlick, a pharmacist joined his brother, William, in the US and together they founded the company J and W Horlicks in Chicago to manufacture a patented malted milk drink as an artificial infant food...

The bottle I found is not nearly that old.

Here is the link.



I hope to be able to check some beaches again soon.  Haven't heard anything from the Vero/Sebastian area yet.

Happy hunting,