Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sunrise Pics and Man vs The Sea

Yesterday morning I hurried to the beach in hopes of some good sunrise pictures and never snapped a shot. It was heavily clouded and the sun rose somewhere out there beyond the veil of gray. The MB maintenance folks showed up with a huge dozer and began digging a channel from Withers Swash out to the ocean. They wanted to divert it from taking the sand out from in front of the motels. I watched for half an hour while the dozer tried to reroute the stream.

This morning I jumped on the bicycle to capture the elusive sunrise. I was not disappointed.

This morning I was surprised. Two low tides and the channel that the city of Myrtle Beach had dug was gone. Yep, filled in. Did we just pay to have someone dig this channel yesterday? We sure did! Is all the work gone? Well, if you look at the next pic you can barely see where the channel was.

You can see that the water totally ignored the wishes of Myrtle Beach. Amazing how we think we can rule the sand and the sea. Here is the water back in the original trough as it esses out to the sea.

Now, if only we would get a real storm, a noreaster. So far we have not had any wind this winter. None. All it has done is sand in the beach and the surf area.

At least it has given me some time to write on my surf book.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A lover of the morning........

I am a lover of the morning and the sea
When all else is awry
This is where I want to be

The day unfolds

And turns to gold

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ice Skating at MB....

It was 18 degrees this morning in Myrtle Beach. I think last year we had one morning of 19. I spent most of the day trying to make words appear on my screen as I worked on my surf book. This afternoon I took my bicycle and rode down to check for mail at the Post Office. As I came back into the campground I noticed a skater on the waterway.

The heron was stepping gently, he seemed uneasy on the ice. Long ago in a land far, far away when I was very young we would ice skate on Lollypop Pond in Denver, Colorado. Often you could see through the new ice, a window into the waters below, and see fish. The heron looked as though he too could see the fish but was puzzled by not being able to get at them.

So what does this have to do with hunting the surf? Everything. The heron is the hunter and today the dynamics of his world changed. Where everyday he snatched small fish from the waters he will have to hunt elsewhere or wait until the ice melts.

The heron and I, we are hunters.

Myrtle Beach has changed dramatically in the past year. The renourishment has put six feet of new sand on the beach and mother nature has added some more lately. The beach is beyond sanded in. I too am faced with questions much like the heron. Where can I hunt to find the gold? Myrtle Beach is dead as far as detecting goes.

Why do I linger here. I should move...move to where the beaches are white and the breezes are warm. And I may.

Today the heron seems to be enjoying the different world and in a day or two the ice will be gone, the waterway will be a place for him to hunt.

We are hunters.

Monday, January 12, 2009

What is a billion?......

My friend, Phil Alexander, sent me an email about what is a billion.

A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

I was not impressed. Here is my list.

There are billions of misquitos in Florida.
I have dug a billion holes in the sand of Myrtle Beach.
I have swung my coil back and forth many billions of times.
I have dug up a billion pulltabs.
I have dug up a billion eaten up zinc pennies. Some from the Jurassic period.
I have answered the question, "What's the best thing you've ever found?" a billion times.
I have been stung by jelly fish many times...maybe not a billion.
I've peed in my wetsuit a billion times.
I've had kids pester the hell out of me a billion times.
I've said WTF a billion times
I've gone to the beach with high hopes of finding a gold ring a billion times.
I've come back from the beach without finding a gold ring a billion times.
The humdity in the summer is a billion percent.
The wind chill factor on the beach in the winter brings the temperature to minus one billion.
The chances of me making any money are one in a billion.
My wetsuit has been put on the Superfund list.
There are a billion crotch rockets in MB during Black Bike Week.
MB paid 40 million dollars to renourish the beach. This put billions of cubic feet of sand over everything I want to find.
There are a billion Bounty Hunter metal detectors sold in MB during the summer.
The chances of me having a car that has a headliner that hasn't fallen down is one in a billion.
What are the chances of having air conditioning that works in my car? You tell me.

Nope, a billion doesn't impress me. Foiled Again Jim

Friday, January 9, 2009


My last gold ring was found the day after Christmas, two full weeks ago. That seems like years ago. I have hunted the beach and surf almost everyday since then.
The beach is quiet, it is the seagulls and I. These are wintering seagulls. They gather here and there in large flocks. Sometimes as I approach they will grudgingly take flight and then circle and land behind my path. I look back and see the shovel or scoop line in the sand wandering aimlessly, checking out anything that might have even a remote possibility of harboring a coin. There are no dug holes behind me. It has been this way for the past two weeks.
I wish I would see the seagulls with the fancy hairdos, all slicked back, the 50's look. I have not seen them all winter. Where are "The Fonz" seagulls?
The beach is flat, a desert of sand. It was this way last winter for three months. I don't know if I can stand three months of swinging the detector without a gold ring. Sometimes I cuss. I start to dig iffy signals, the burps, which I know are bottlecaps. I think about getting out my PI detector and digging bottlecaps, hairpins and paperclips...and then I know it will stay in the closet.
Florida comes to my mind. But I hate to travel to hunt. It is the expense and knowing that I am burning fossil fuel to get there and back. Damn the oil, the dirty oil. Someday we will learn to do the right thing. I have hope.
I read about windfarms on the internet and I wonder if I will ever see it. I have seen the wind turbines in Colorado, blades spinning out across the prairie and I have hope.
Standing on the end of the pier will make you dream of wind farms. Endless wind. I have hope.
Lately I have dreamed of wind, hoped for wind; lots of wind to change the beach.
And the wind came two days ago, out of the south. A muscular wind, thirty miles per hour, perhaps more. All day it blew and into yesterday.
There is a wooden box nailed to one of the pilings on the pier. I use it to gauge how much sand is on the beach. There were six more inches of box showing yesterday.
I think the box is part of a project to monitor the amount of oxygen in the water. I talked with a guy a couple of years ago that was working on this. He was very concerned. The oxygen levels are not good.
I saw a couple of holes in the surf yesterday. The waves were far too big to work them.
But today the wind is soft out of the NW. I should be able to explore the holes with my detector. I have hope.
Someday I will look far out to sea and catch glints of sun bouncing off windmills and I will get in my electric car and feel good about driving someplace. Someday I will get a check in the mail from the electric company because I invested in a windy dream.
Today my goal is much smaller, much more achievable. I will enjoy the beach, the sun and if I am lucky....I guess I am already lucky.
A thought was emailed to me yesterday.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...
It's about learning to dance in the rain.

Where are "The Fonz" seagulls?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Gold...but not for me...

Happy New Years!!! I know, I am a day late. Yesterday Jason from Tenn. and David from MB and I plundered the beach. Well, not exactly plundered. The beach is far too sanded in for any real plundering.
Jason had a new monster coil, 15" x 18" I believe, on an E track. I was impressed on how light it was.

David had his Garrett Mark II.

And I was armed with my Excaliber and wetsuit. I had seen a couple of potential holes in the surf on the last day of the year and cussed because I was not in my wetsuit.

I jumped in the first hole and got one can. Ran into Rick and we discussed how badly the beach was sanded in.

So there were four of us, a small army, plundering, swinging on a cool sunny day, the first day of the year.

I picked up a couple of pennies and some pulltabs on the beach before I got to the next hole. That hole was not deep enough and I ended up with a can bottom and one pulltab from the surf.

When I got out of the water David was showing a nice little gold chain. He put it on the sand and neither Jason or I could get a beep. Jason made some adjustments and got the smallest of signals. David let me use his Garratt and I could get a signal at 2 or 3" above the chain.

So the Minelabs lose to the Garrett. Hmmm.

Halfway back to the car I had a thought. I yelled over at David, "When I used my PI I would have to dig bottlecaps at 20". Do you have to dig bottlecaps with that thing?"

David smiled, "Yep."
So, I lost to David's PI. And I also lost to Jason and his monster coil. I don't know how Rick ended up doing.
The next time you think your detector is better than someone else's and have that smug superior feeling, get ready to get beat. Congratulations David on a fine find!!! I know I would have never found it.
David is putting together the 2009 Treasure Expo here in MB. Check it out at