Thursday, July 31, 2008

This was my last chance to improve July's numbers..

I decided to hit a different portion of beach today in an effort to improve my July numbers. Stuck it out about an hour and a half without hardly a peep from my detector. Headed south, back to an area the usually shows a bit more erosion. Worked real hard at it but no gold or silver again. The last hole I hit had quite a few targets but it was almost two hours after low tide and I was getting beat up pretty bad. Finally packed it in. Last hunt of July.

At least the last hole gave me a good place to start tomorrow. I want to say that July was poor but it still was better than any of my months totals for last year when I hunted the beach. July was just poor in comparision to April, May and June. And the big reason was Hurricane Bertha and the tropical depression that came up the East Coast. Both of these storms added huge amounts of sand to the beach. I had a nine day stretch without any gold rings. That hurt Julys totals.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The one that got away....

It was indeed a strange day at the Lost Key Motel. My third target of the day sounded deep and on the third scoop the signal disappeared from the hole. As the scoop neared the surface I could see a beautiful very thin gold bracelet in the shells. As the scoop came out of the water the gold bracelet slithered out of one of the holes and dropped into the ocean. Well, it can't go anywhere and even though I can't see it in three foot of water I am confident I will be able to retrieve it. I'm already thinking what a great day this is going to be. I swing the detector near my feet where the bracelet fell. No response. Hmmm. I know, I'll put it in pinpoint. Sure enough I get a signal. I don't dig down too far because I know it is near the surface. The signal is still there. I dig deeper and the signal is still there. Now what?!!! Dadgum, maybe this is another signal. I dig the deep signal and a large oval fishing weight shows up in the scoop. I can't seem to get that bracelet back. I switch back and forth between discrimination and pinpoint and cannot find the bracelet. I spend the next fifteen minutes combing the area. Now, was the gold bracelet the original signal or did the bracelet just get in the way and end up in my scoop? So....I lost the only gold of the day.

Not a real productive day, only 51 targets in three and a half hours. Most of the targets seemed deep; at least two scoopers. $5.15 in change. Now here is another weird point. No jewelry. No junk rings, no ear rings. Nothing. Tomorrow, I will hit someplace else to start with.
Of course you know that the gold bracelet will get bigger with time and soon be a necklace and that the links will grow into platinum tire chain links with enough telling. How does that happen??

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What a Bunch of Mickey Mouse!!

Back to the Lost Key Motel. Conditions seemed exactly like yesterday. Very little sand movement under the waves. Same holes in the same spots. Usually I can sense some differences but not today. No gold rings today. But Mickey Mouse showed up to save the day. 10K probably, no markings. 10.1 grams. One silver ring. I now have a key for every room in the motel.

My sunspot scoop needed some welding and I finally got it over to the welding shop on third avenue. I always have a fear of how much something like this is going to cost. "Twenty dollars," he said. I sighed my relief mentally. Not many people will do anything for twenty dollars it seems.
Change is what people fear most. Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ring Daddy #67 and 68....Hot!!! It is hot out there...

Man, I was sweating even wading around in the water this morning. The beach was loaded with folks a swimming and kids running into me with their body boards. Oh well, quite a few targets this morning. 80 to be exact and $5.85 in change. One mood ring, one silver ring and two gold rings. The one was badly tarnished (10K) but I was pretty sure it was gold. Location: Lost Key Motel.

Here is Ring Daddy 67 before I cleaned it up.

Here is Ring Daddy #67 cleaned up.

Ring Daddy #68

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imaged, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours. Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ring Daddy #66....dodging lightning and butt beach...

If you hunt during a lightning storm you get quite a few more signals. I was out in the water by 7:10 this morning. The dolphins were arcing just past the breakers. I love seeing them. I was satisfied with the number of signals in the water when the sky blackened up and the rain came. And then the thunder reached my ears. This makes me a bit nervous in the water. A few more minutes and the life guards put up the red flags and I go find a lounge chair at the motel. Slowly things started to improve and I decided to do some wet sand hunting. Man is the beach sanded in. I did get a few coins in over an hour. Just after low tide the yellow flags came out. Back out I go. First I got a heavy silver ring and then another and then a tarnished gold looking ring and then a little twist wire ring. I held out little hope that the gold looking ring was real. 63 targets retrieved. $5.54 in change. Wish we had loonies and toonies.

You can tell I was out in front of the "Lost Key Motel". This morning an interesting phenomena took place. Cigarette butts lined up parallel to the low tide line on the mid beach. Hundreds of them...thousands. A delightful sight for all the tourist.

When I got home and started rinsing off my booty (my treasure) I took another look at tarnished goldie. Hmmmm. I took it in the house and hit it with a scruffy pad. Wow!! It is starting to look like something. I spun the scruffy inside the ring and suddenly there it was. 10K. Wonder how long this baby has been out there.

Happiness consist of living each day as if it were the first day of your honeymoon and the last day of your vacation. -Anon.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ring Daddy #65...I now hold the World Record...

for the number of times that a person has had his headphones knocked off in four hours. Also, I now hold the World Record for the number of times my headphones were knocked off with my ears still in them.

It was a swell morning. Swells are the sneakiest of waves. The ocean will look that flat blue gray and suddenly the water will begin to rise and rise and rise to eight to ten feet and then the crest will blot out the sun before summersaulting in a perfect surfers curl with me in it. This usually brings out quite a crowd to watch. But that is where the signals are. I know them only as signals. Targets are things that you retrieve. Signals are just signals. One has to retrieve the signal for it to become a target.

Swells come in sets. Remember in high school math when we learned about sets. I missed that day. The ocean would be a gentle baby for approximately two minutes between sets. Two minutes gives you time to locate a signal in chest deep water and then plant your scoop in the sand. Then by some unknown scientific phenomena the set would arrive. This is where the beatings take place. Usually there would be three huge swells in a set. I named them crash, bash and smash. I would barely get one curse word out of my mouth before crash would hit me. As I came up for air it was bashes turn and then smash would finish me off.

I got stung by jellyfish twice this morning. Once on the wrist and once on the inside of my right knee. I don't recommend skinny dipping at MB. Oooowee would that hurt.

This would discourage some folks from metal detecting the surf. They might not have the vocabulary to be a surf hunter.

Here are the targets I retrieved. Amazing isn't it. How is it possible to retrieve targets with your eyes closed and your teeth clenched?? I don't know. It only took me four hours. Those who surf hunt MB will know where I was hunting by the number of keys. I always get a bunch of keys in front of this place.

Those who surf hunt MB....haha...what a hoot. No one surf hunts MB.

The watch is an Elgin. Not running. I thought Elgin's were supposed to be a pretty good watch.

Somewhere in the beatings I found this nice ring. One of the stones is missing.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Balsa Wood Factory??? mystery solved and 4 rings

A few days ago I saw a number of balsa wood sticks floating in an upright position in the surf. I said to myself, "Where in the world would balsa wood sticks be coming from? Perhaps there is a balsa wood factory nearby and they had some escape or they throw them away in the ocean or maybe a lot of kids are making balsa wood projects on the beach." This morning another red balsa wood stick floated by and I grabbed it. Mystery solved. They are the sticks on the pop bottle rockets. Duh!!! :) The surf hunting has been the pits since Bertha and the Tropical depression came thru last week. This morning was a bit better but still not real good. Targets were scattered but I did end up with 72 target retrieved and $6.97 in change.

I love the morning. I have the beach to myself; not dodging kids with their wave boards. And this morning the ocean looked like Florida, mostly small waves. The wave got larger the later it got but I had a good morning to wade the surf. Four rings and not a speck of gold..grrrrr. Two are silver, one is titanium with a very small diamond and one is crap with rust on it.
People don't talk about it much, but I think anger is a great motivator. Get Mad and accomplish something today. Have a super day!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jesus this time...not Bob Marley...

How many times do you have your headphones knocked off your head before you leave the water? Usually I wait until I've been Dick Butkis headslapped twice before I head for the shore or at least shallower surf. Low tide was at 5:30 and I was on the beach. Soon I had to jump into the surf. In the darkness it looked like some possible holes. Could it be??? What would have the beach hugely sanded in last night and give me holes this morning. The SW wind was only 10 mph. But there they were...holes with rocks and shells and green coins...oh my. Here is the mess for two hours and twenty minutes.

The last time I thought I found Jesus it was pointed out to me that it was Bob Marley.

4.1 grams

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dadgum it is sanded in!!!

Sanded In. These two words strike fear into any beach or surf detectorist. This is when the beach has received huge amounts of new sand naturally. Bertha and the TD both brought new sand onto the beach. I had almost no luck yesterday and decided to try a new stretch of beach this afternoon. I was also going to be there at 3:00 but did not wake up from my nap till 4:00. I obviously needed the sleep. Long story short. The new stretch was even worse than where I had been detecting. I moved back to my old haunts and found an area with some targets...not alot but better than the last couple of days.

So, short of dynamiting some holes I can only hope things will improve on their own. My last gold ring was last Wednesday. I need it. Uh huh, uh huh. I need it. Uh, huh. May the falcon of happiness claw a new hole on the beach.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A fiver floats by....

Bertha and the tropical depression sanded in MB. I hunted 3/4 of a mile before I hit a small hole. Went over it and over it to get what little I did get. A five dollar bill floated up to me while I was looking for another target. I'll take it. Here's the mess. 53 targets in three and a half hours. Also got a silver bracelet.
Diana and I will probably go get a sundae with the five. May your luck be better than my luck.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tropical Depression brings more big waves and few finds..

Dadgum, I can't seem to get a break in the huge waves. Everyday for about the last week I have had huge waves, first from Bertha and now from this TD off the Carolina coast. Squally rain all day. Hit the surf hit me at about 1:00 today. Three hours later I gave up. Very few targets, all the holes seems to have new sand in them. At MB you need holes and you need conditions and I had neither.

This morning I noticed a crack in my scoop. Hope it hangs together until I can get it welded.

Reality is thinking that you are doing OK and then the window on your VW won't go up. I took it to Expensive Harry's and he said with a straight face that it would cost $395 to fix the window regulator. I now have tape over the switches that roll down the windows and it is Summer in MB. Of course my air conditioning does not work. Did I mention the headliner is loose and the lock on the drivers side does not work. I'm afraid to ask how much new locks are going to cost. Have you ever had a car with a headliner that actually stayed up?? I never have. Thumbtacks right.
Tomorrow, tomorrow, there's always tomorrow.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Still Huge waves and more sand on the beach

The low off of Florida is now bringing big waves to the Carolinas. Even if the waves had been small there were not that many targets. Holes that were there two days ago are now filled in. Here is the mess for 3 plus hours.
No matter how hard we detect sometimes the gold eludes us...that's why they call it hunting. May the full moon guide you in your night hunt. Foiled Again Jim

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ring Daddy Maybe....???

Today the waves were a bit smaller and there were some small holes to wade without being smashed to pieces by the waves. Thank goodness. I was weary of the constant beatings. I retrieved 63 targets which included a necklace of unknown metal, a junk ring and a questionable ring for Ring Daddy. $5.41 in change. Here is the take for the day.

Here is the little ring. 18K 2 grams.
Smile...others will pick up on your joy. Foiled Again Jim

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I hate Bertha....what is up with the American Penny?

My hatred for Bertha grows with every wave that attempts to smash me into the bottom of the ocean. I had my headphones knocked off three times today. I was ready to leave the surf after an hour. But as low tide neared the waves only became severe, not catastrophic. The lady on the weather channel said the waves should subside by this weekend. Aaaaaaahhhhhh!!!! I hate you Bertha!!!

Salt water is a part of my diet. I eat saltwater. I drink saltwater. I'm not so sure if the water up the nose or the water in the ears is causing me to have water on the brain.

Here is the mess from today, 3 and a half hours of self inflicted waterboarding. $3.33 in change, one silver ring and one silver bracelet with bells.

I've been tumbling my coins. I am always amazed at the zinc pennies. As an American I look at the zinc penny and see much more than a coin. I see a lack of pride. We must not care what our coinage looks like. Here is a pic of the zinc pennies. Pretty disgusting. I have dug Indian Head pennies out of the ground and never, ever had them look this bad. The zitty zincs.

Have a stupendous day!!! Foiled Again Jim

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ring Daddy 63 and some thoughts on old coins...

Bertha is still the major pain in my arse, bringing large swells from 500 miles away. I stood at the top of the beach and watched. Not too bad, I thought. I fired up the Excaliber and waded in. Before I got my first target I got slammed by a wave hard enough to knock my hat and headphones off. The last two days I saw waves of at least 8' in height smashing the sandbar. Today the largest wave was maybe 6'. So conditions are improving....I went back to the shallow area where I got some targets and there were more today. Here is the total mess. One Rusian coin...I think. $6.25 in coins.

After about an hour and a half this showed up in my scoop. 14K 7.8 grams.

What are your chances of finding a silver coin at MB? Well, I just tumbled a bunch of my quarters, nickels and dimes and took them to the bank. My receipt from the coin machine says I had 308 nickels, 536 dimes and 843 quarters. Out of this many coins, 1687 coins, I found one silver quarter. A well worn 1943.
I hunt the south end of MB most of the time. Phil Alexander tells me there are places to the north that are much better for finding old coins.
Part of the dismal silver results has to do with MB being renourished in 1997.
Have a super day!!! Foiled Again Jim

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Introduction to Hunting the Surf

I'm Jim Brouwer. I just turned 56 a few days ago. I have lived at Myrtle Beach for about a year and a half. I have been metal detecting the beach and surf for approximately eight years.

This past winter, Jan., Feb. and March, I hunted the beach and found zero gold rings. Three months of hard swinging in cold, windy, sometimes miserable conditions.

In April of this year I started hunting the surf. This is not new to me. I have hunted the surf many times in the past but always felt it was a tradeoff. On the beach you can cover a lot more square footage with a metal detector, especially with a 12" Sunray coil, than you can cover in the water. And water detecting is hard work...really, really hard work.

In reviewing last year April was my best month with 12 gold rings. Most of the months last year I averaged about five gold rings.

In April of this year I started to seriously hunt the surf at Myrtle Beach. The water was cold and I used a wet suit for all of April and part of May. I hate my wetsuit. Every year it get smaller.

In April I found 15 gold rings, May I got 17 and in June I found 22 gold rings. It becomes obvious why I have traded in the beach for the surf.

I am posting my finds on Surf and Sand forum.

Below is the 9K gold ring I found this morning.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Another Swell Morning

Hurricane Bertha is making my treasure hunting life miserable. The swells this morning punished me the whole three hours I was in the surf. Every target was a lesson in patience. How much patience do you have?? There were quite a few targets but each one took ages to retrieve. First you had to wait for the incoming wave to go by. It bashes you and then you hurry to put the scoop in position. Then you wait until another wave goes by. It sometimes moves you. You get repositioned. Eventually you have a short lull between wave beatings and you try to push the scoop into the shells. Of course the scoop is centered on top of a large shell and you go nowhere. You try to force it but it won't budge. You reposition the scoop while getting more of a good old fashioned surf beating. Soon you have pushed the scoop deep enough to get the target...but no the target is still in the hole. Another scoop. Still there. I have been blasted by three or four more large waves while this is taking place. My headphones get knocked off or flipped around in front of my face. People on shore pity the idiot in the waves with the metal detector. I begin to sing the "I am an idiot" song. Finally the target is not in the hole. I shake out the scoop while being blasted by small tsunamis. The target is not in the scoop. You hunt it down and try again. Eventually you have the penny in the scoop and you rejoice. There isn't anything I
know that is like surf hunting. Here is the picture of the mess. The truck with the missing back wheels is symbolic of where America is at with its $5 a gallon for diesel fuel. The broken beer bottle that a wave dropped on the shore is also a sign of the people who could care less about our beaches.

Here is the picture of the diamond ring.

Someday soon the swells will die and I will be thankful for a less than swell day. Have a great day!!! Foiled Again Jim