Hi guys, Well....Mrs JW went up north for a few days to catch up with friends & family leaving me home alone for the weekend. We all know what that means......Johnny click beetle can go detecting for the whole weekend & stay out up there in the hills sleeping rough. So early Saturday morning with batteries all charged up, tucker bag, thermos, cooking primus & all other required paraphernalia, I was off. 2.5 hours drive later & I was rigged up & in to it. The conditions were absolutely perfect for detecting. About 4 degrees Celsius, that's 4 degrees above freezing point. So cool but not cold. Well not to me anyway. Not a breath of wind & going to be a lovely sunny winters day. The ground was nice & moist but not saturated & I was amazed at how deep the moisture had actually penetrated into the ground. Found this out after digging a few crap signals. Usually the ground is bone dry when you have dug down 4-6 inches. I was excited by the depth of the moisture in the ground as I know this enhances depth & sensitivity beyond what is "normal". It did make for a bit more liveliness from the ground but nothing I was uncomfortable with. I stayed in High Yield/Normal & even cranked the sensitivity up to 10 from my usual more conservative settings of around 4-6.
I had decided to hit some well flogged areas, three in fact, where I had done very well on & had found some nice patches. Two of the areas were pretty close to each other all had each given up to me well over an ounce from each patch. They were all discovered back in my GP 3000 days & with the 24 x 12 inch coiltek UFO coil. Giving up numerous multi gram pieces & the usual small gold that I normally get. I had been over them a couple of times all ready with the Zed. Getting some small but deeper gold from two of the spots but nothing off the other. Due to the conditions I had a very confident feeling as I know that no one gets all the gold & despite me having been over these areas so many times over the years with all coils on my PI detectors I knew there still had to gold there. The day had a good feeling about it. The grass was very short, not only due to the winter conditions, but the sheep had been in these areas in the last couple of weeks & chewed it right down. They had even chewed the tussock grasses right down to the little nub or crown that sticks up 2-3 inches above the ground level. In the past I had to just detect around these tussocky grasses as I could not wave my coils over them. Today was different. Although with the Zed I had to be very careful in lifting the coil up & over these crowns as the Zed doesn't like to have its coil raised & lowered from the ground so I had to do it very slowly. In fact I detected very slowly over the entire areas skidding the coil over the ground listening intently for any faint whisper or interruption in the threshold.
So....first spot & after an hour I got a faint but nice sounding signal. I had been getting quite a few of those little double hit signals that usually end up being a very shallow shot gun pellet. I usually dig every thing but as I had been over these areas not long ago with the Zed I took these to be new shot gun pellet type signals to be from recent rabbit shooting. So if they moved after a couple of scrapes I just moved on. I was waiting for the signal to live on down a bit before I would carry on to retrieve the target. So this signal was living on down beyond the usual shot gun pellet signal.
If you click on a pic once it goes through to flicker. If you click again on the pic it will go full screen if you want a closer up or to see more detail.
Bingo....a sassy bit of gold.
Then just heaps more shot gun pellet signals So I stopped for a coffee break before getting back into it.
Half an hour into it I got a signal that lived on down a bit. The dig was into a top soil & not looking promising. So I went & got the GM 1000. It told me it was non ferrous so I carried on with the dig. I was just getting into crunchy schist gravels when the signal was out. So I placed a few handfuls of dirt over the Zed's coil until it nutted off. Whittled the target down to a light in weight item in my hand. Hmmmm I thought.....not gold but not iron either. I rubbed it in my hands to get some of the dirt off it. I then ended up with two bits in my hand. A piece had broken off. I passed the smaller bit over the Zed's coil & nothing. So I dropped it in the dig out dirt pile & waved the bigger bit over the coil & it nutted off. Couldn't see any gold in it & was thinking that maybe it was a piece of aluminum. Which seemed odd for this area. I didnt want to stick it in my mouth so I went back to my wagon, which wasn't far away, & got my bottle of water & gave it a wash.
It was a gold quartz specimen piece. Choice but bugger. As I had dropped the smaller bit that broke off in the dig out dirt. As the Zed didn't register on it I got the Gold Monster on to it in the dig out pile. It sniffed it out & I gave it a wash up & it showed colours of gold. Ye Ha.
Scanned the hole again with the Zed & the Monster & nothing. Scanned the dig out pile again with them both. Nothing with the Zed but got a hit with the Monster. Another small specimen bit. So two for the Monster & one for the Zed.
The Zed getting the signal in the first place & the Monster cleaning up two more. Loving it.
A couple of hours later & nothing more so that called for another time out & a coffee break.
Another few hours & no more gold. It was just getting on to dark when I got a signal that again lived on down a bit.
Into that lovely crunchy schist gravel & then the signal was out. Another little bit of gold.
That was it for Saturday. So made myself comfortable in an old timers rock hut shelter. Cooked up a feed, had a coffee & hit the sack.
Woke up to rain. Bugger. So was in no hurry to get up. Made a coffee at about 9.30am & cooked up some sausages, baked beans & toast. Another coffee, made up the thermos & then the rain stopped. I headed off to spot number 2. Rigged up & got into it with the Zed. Not even 5 minutes & a sweet sounding signal that lived on down. Just to the right of the bottom of the coil you will see a little grassy clumpy nub/crown from a tussock type grass that the sheep have chewed down. More on that in a minute.
I was down onto schist bedrock & the signal was out.
Backed up on the dig out dirt & bingo.....
Sweet. No more signals. Back filled & carried on. One very slow sweep over that little clumpy nub of grass. Oh...what was that?? Oh...nothing. Changed direction & tried again. Oh...that was something...I am sure....Mmmmm....maybe not. bugger it. Tried again. Still not convinced. Got the pick & knocked that nub of grass off to ground level. Scanned again. Oh hell yeah...that is something. but Oh so faint. Scrapped away quite a bit more & yes...that is something & still in the ground. Again I got down to that schist bed rock & it was still in there. The signal was booming. Where the scoop is was where the first bit of gold came out of & back filled.
Down 500 mm, 20 or so inches, & the signal was out. I was just about to get the Gold monster to pin point it & to see if it was ferrous or non ferrous. No need now & I could feel the weight in my hand.
You bloody beauty.
My biggest bit since last year. 3.62 grams. A beaut round ball chunky bit. YE HA....
Then it started to rain again but I battled on. A few hours later & nothing more. The rain got heavier so I went to my wagon & had a coffee. Thinking of heading off. I moved to the third spot which wasnt far away. The rain stopped so I thought I would give this area a go. It was the area where I had got nothing with the Zed on two previous occasions.
About an hour into it I got a very faint whisper on another of those grass nubs. Knocked it off to ground level & it brightened up.
Down on to the crunchy schist gravels & it was still in there.
Suddenly it was out. Backed up on the dirt pile. Got the signal in my hand. Ended up with a dirty looking stone in my hand nutting off. Had a little bit of weight to it. Gave it a rub & saw the glimmer of gold through the dirt.
Bit of spit & polish And....
Another whopper. Well whopper for me aye. 4.39 grams to be exact. YE bloody HA.
Bit of quartz still attached to it.
I wasn't far from my wagon. Hows that ground for detecting? Bits of quartz scattered about. Very low grass. just perfect.
The rain came back in & I decided to head off. Had to pick Mrs JW up from the airport back in Queenstown & a 2.5 hour drive to get back.
So...my best weekend for a longgggg time. 8 bits for 12.20 grams all up.
Best of luck out there
Hi guys, I have had some old timer sluiced gully workings up in the high country on my mind ever since getting the Zed. I was spoiled for choices of other places over our summer to go back over with the Zed & due to the hell walk into this high country area I gave it a miss. Then with winter upon us & snow down into this gully area it was a no go. But over the last week we have had a spell of warmer weather with rain & not snow. Rivers are up due to snow melt & gazing up to this high country area could see the snow line was crawling out of it. As we are in mid winter this warm spell I am sure is only going to be short lived. I was going to tackle it on saturday but it had rained hard that night & was looking very threatening during the morning. So I waited to see what sunday would dawn like.
Sunday was much better so I made the call to go. I loaded my back pack up with my detecting gear. Pick, pick belt, Pro swing harness, B&Z booster & speakers, WM12, Scoop, 10x6 GM 1000 coil, Thermos of coffee, Smoko bag of tucker, Headlamp just in case I got caught out in the dark coming home. Had all batteries charged up. I decided to take the GM 1000. How could I not as there was some exposed bedrock where I had done quite well on with my 4500 & the little 8x6 Nuggetfinder sadie coil & knew there had to be some smaller gold that the GM 1000 45khz would sniff out. I half pie dismantled the GM 1000. That consisted of sliding the control box just down past the top of the second rod assembly & unscrewing the top end section with the arm cuff on it & sticking that in the back pack. I then strapped the Monster to the side of my pack & lugging the Zed over my shoulder for the two hour slog up up & up. Wasn't looking forward to that part.
(If you click on a pic once it goes thru to flicker & if you click on it again it goes full screen, well it does for me. Just gives you more detail on some of the scenic shots. Enjoy)
Oh well...pack on back....& off we go.
This isn't even half way. The old original pack track behind me disappearing around that bluff & up thru the gorge.
Back in the day It wasn't easy work to do. Though people laugh when I say that now. But it is easy for them to travel the track that has been cut in the mountains brow. And cut in the mountains brow it has been.
Looking ahead.You wouldn't have wanted your pack horse or yourself falling off there.
And looking back
We are about half way at this point.
Looking down into the creek a few patches of snow in the shadows
I came across the exposed bedrock patch & I decided to hit it with the monster on the way up. I usually left it for the way back but like I have done in the past I had left it too late & was running out of day light & had to give it a miss. So I dropped pack & rigged up the little monster & got into it.
First signal in less than a minute & dig in the schist gave me two small bits of gold. That schist just being the perfect gold trap.
The first bit
As usual running in manual 10 sensitivity & deep all metal mode. Volume thru internal speaker set one notch down from max.
Yes, a little touch sensitive but I knew the gold was going to be tiny & didn't want to miss any signals. So just kept that careful coil sweep & control to avoid hitting the surface too much.
Some cracks & crevices gave me two pieces & one gave me four.
It was almost as if the old timers had used this run of bedrock as their tailings race as it was in this run of bedrock that the gold was caught up in.
Four pieces came out from this dig
After cleaning out what I could I had to move on to hopefully bigger & better gold further up.
I was happy with the little play with the monster in this bedrock & was rewarded with 18 pieces. Total weight .67 of a gram Fun though & no catch & release.
Got up a lot further & stopped for a well earned & deserved coffee break.
Looking down one of the main gully workings. You will see the turned over nature of the gully floor & the piles & humps. Sluiced areas up on the left & right slopes & the odd patch of snow.
Looking up further & where I was headed for.
After a wee break it was off again & up up up.
Got to where I wanted to be & rigged up the mighty Zed. Come on baby. I haven't come this far for nothing....or had I??
10 minutes I had a faint little signal. Down into & beautiful rich top soil. Looked so good I could have eaten it. Na...not really. But then the signal was out. Oh no...just going to be rubbish.
NOT....Ye Ha Not big though. Story of my life....
Then another very very faint signal...or was it. Scrape away at the grass & not 1 inch down on to bedrock schist. Signal strong now & raked out the schist. Signal out & on the coil.
How small is that for the Zed & that 14" coil.
Just in case you cant see it.
Have I ever mentioned how the Zed & this 14" coil blows me away with the small gold it pings??
There must be a bigger bit with my name on it. COME ON.
Another sweet little signal. Scrape scrape.
Oh man...at least it is gold.
I then noticed BLACK as clouds building up in the distant mountains & heading my way. Oh no...the distant mountains disappearing within & looking like snow. BUGGER. I need to get out of here. I was heading down a old wash/tailings race gutter that showed patches of bedrock. I got an ugly loud sharp signal that had shallow trash written all over it. I stepped down slope of it & turned around & approached it from down hill. Yep ugly signal, but then thought l got another more mellow signal just below it by about 4 inches. MMMmnnn hard to say. Different signal or edge of the first sharp signal. I scrapped away at the lower end of the sharp signal & the mellow signal came through a bit clearer & had me convinced it was a separate target. I was now peeling out schist rock by the slab. Signal mellow but getting better all the time. Mor dig, more schist out. This was proving a difficult little sucker. I was now convinced it was going to be gold.
A very flat thin piece. Wasn't even half a gram. Man I thought it was more than that when I first saw it...until I had it in my hand. But I will take it. It was now starting to sleet on me so I was out of there quick smart. Day cut much shorter than I wanted for the effort of getting into here. Them the breaks.
So all up ...not even 2 grams. Looks more than that hey. 18 for the Monster & 6 for the Zed. BIG effort put in to get those.
Until next time. Cheers
And Good luck out there