Sunday dawned a beautiful stunning cloudless sky day. Mrs JW said, "What do you want to do for fathers day?" I'm easy I said. What would you like to do. I wouldn't mind getting out of here & up into the hills some where. Is there somewhere you haven't tried the Zed that isn't too much of a walk? She replied. Oh....yer.... You sure you dont mind me detecting. I said. No, I will just enjoy the sun, scenery & read a magazine. She said. Oh...ok....I will make up a thermos & a bit of a picnic lunch. I know just the spot. I said.
It was where I went with the Zed on my very first time out with it. I had got a few bits of gold & I was keen to try these hot settings there. So all packed up we headed off. Two hours drive later we parked up. I shouldered the pack & carried the Zed & GM 1000. We had about a half hour walk but first we had to cross a creek. Mrs JW didn't bring her gumboots so I crossed first & dropped my gear & went back to piggy back her across the creek. With the snow melt the creek was running rather briskly but we got across with no mishaps. 20 minutes later we were at these old workings.
Mrs JW said, "I am having a cup of tea, would you liike a coffee? Ok I said. So she got that happening while I rigged up.
Coffee done I was into it. I went straight to a few hot spots & also where I had got a few bits with the Zed on my first time here with it. Nothing. Three hours later & still nothing. A bit of rubbish but no gold. Time for a lunch & coffee break & then try further up & out of these old turned over ancient old river channel workings that wouldn't have been a flowing river for tens of thousands of years. Hoping to do better in some deeper ground. Another couple of hours later & still no gold. I combed over a small patch area where I got numerous nice size pieces in the past. My tell tale back filled holes were still apparent. But NOTHING.
Not liking the feeling that I was going to be skunked on Fathers day I headed higher up to some ground sluiced slopes that the old timers had washed the surface off down to the schist bed rock. The schist was very flat & smooth but did have many fractures & cracks through it. Not like the schist I usually detect in that is up on edge & a great trap for gold. The old timers had barred up a lot of this flat platy schist slabs so obviously they wouldn't have done that for nothing. I stopped to check my settings & discovered that the Zed had gone back into the default setting of Difficult & that I wasnt in normal. Oh no......So into normal I went & 5 minutes later I got a signal up against a step up in the slab of schist bedrock. It was very faint but unmistakable. I ended up raking the pointy end of the pick under that wee overhang to the left of the coil. Target out & oh so small. It is on the coil there.
.06 of a gram
But at least it was gold & the skunk had been avoided. I will have to go back over the ground I hit earlier in normal...but that will be another day. I carried on combing around these edges of the schist & got another sweet hit. This one sounded a bit better than that first one, again it was in the edge of this platy schist.
Another small piece at .13 of a gram. But no catch & release.
Half an hour later another mellow signal. This one had a bit more depth to it. I did in fact use the GM 1000 to pinpoint it in a tight crevice & to see if it was ferrous or non ferrous. Non ferrous was the reading so I smashed it out.
.22 of a gram. No record breakers. That is for sure.
The sun was getting low & Mrs JW was making noises about heading home as it was starting to cool down. I was happy to have bet the skunk & was happy to call it quits. I was just peeved at not picking up a lot sooner on the Default setting of difficult getting activated.
So three tiddlers for Fathers Day. Better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick.
Best of luck out there
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, We are in about the middle of our winter so things are pretty cold & the grounds frozen up in the hills & mountains. Even if not in the snow the grounds are pretty hard digging. I went to an area that I have hammered with the Gp 3000 & the 4500 & done pretty well but hadn't been here with the Zed , GB2 or the GM 1000.
You will see in the above pic those long thin dry/dead stalkey plants. I got in to it with the Zed first off & they were a real pain with the Zed to get a decent coil swing. Just had to negotiate through & around them as best as possible. Wasn't long in to it when I got a faint little signal. The ground was rock hard & the flat blade of the pick just skimmed over the top taking off the mosey grasses & that was about it. Had to drive the pick point in to make any head way.
The signal out....a small bit of gold for the Zed
After a bit of weaving & negotiating those stalkey plants I got another faint signal. Again I had to drive the picks point in to make any head way.
Not long in to it & the signal had moved....but I couldn't find it again with the Zed. So I got the GB2 involved. Had the signal in my scoop. Whittled it down & I couldn't believe what I was looking at. In utter disbelief & astonishment.....I just couldn't believe the Zed had found that. In my moment of disbelief I didn't take a photo at the time. Here is a pic I took when I got home.
You can now see my disbelief in the Zed having found that. So I re scanned the pile with the GB2 & got a much better hit. Swapped over to the Zed & yes got that faint hit. A damn shot gun pellet. So obviously the Zed didn't get that tiny bit if gold & I was lucky to have got it with the GB2. If I had of got the pellet first up with the Zed it was unlikely I would have involved the GB2.
To cut a long story short, I got nothing more with the zed in the gold department. I was now in a bed rock area & so put the GB2 in to action. Running the GB2 in max volume through the external speaker, full max sensitivity, audio boost mode, & low mineralization. So running it flat out. I had done quite well in this bed rock with the GP 3000 & 4500 with my small to medium size coils so wasn't too surprised in the Zed getting nothing. Got a faint hit with the GB2. A few scrapes with the pointy end of the pick & the signal had moved.
Ye Ha a sassy bit of gold for the bug.
I then got in to a shot gun pellet grave yard. Oh the joys of higher frequency VLF's. Then the batteries got weak in the GB2 so I swapped over to the GM 1000. I went back over the bed rock areas that I had done with the GB2. I got nothing more there with the Monster. I was running the monster flat out in manual sensitivity on 10 & deep all metal mode, volume about three quarter strength. I then carried on to another bed rock area & got a good hit. A few scrapes & the target had moved.
In to the scope....whittled it down.....& bingo. A sassy bit of the good stuff for the GM 1000.
The sun was going down. It was damn cold & I had the usual longish walk back to my wagon. Gold found with each detector. One each for the Zed & the Monster & two for the bug 2. Total of 4 tiny bits for .21 of a gram. Wont be quitting my day job with results like that.
Good luck out there
Hi guys, My first time out last Saturday since the Zed upgrade & since the 2nd of July due to family coming down to stay. First my eldest son, wife & 5 month old grandson stayed for a week & then my 2nd eldest son, partner & 6 year old grandson came for a week.
I then did something to my left knee & could hardly get about. So I was off work for a week & it has now come right. Well...better. So Saturday I headed out to a well flogged spot of mine that I have already been over a few times with the Zed & had found some gold each time. With recent snow & rain the ground was quite damp & with the new download on the Zed I was hoping to get some more at a bit of depth. This time I took the GB2 with me as well & gave the Gold Monster a rest.
On my walk in I came across an old galvanized wash tub, complete with briar rose bushes growing through its rotted out base.
I did it real hard with the Zed. Skunked on the gold front . Did get a few crap targets & got a real nice faint signal. As I dug down on it, the signal was getting better all the time.....& deeper. I put the GB2 on to it & no signal. Hmmm...deeper still. Down two feet & a faint hit on the GB2. Dug a bit more & flicked in to discriminate....nothing. Bugger. down the depth of my pick handle, which is 700 mm (27.5 inches) & the target was out. An old gold ore small gauge tramway rail spike. No other signals, so it wasn't masking any nice faint gold signals...damn.
In desperation to not be skunked for the day I went to some shallow bed rock that the old timers had ground sluiced down to that were now quite thick with wild thyme bushes. Top center you will see a gap between those two bed rock schist tors sticking up. To the left & right you will see stacked piles of rocks. They are the embankment of an old water race that ran from the left to the right. The gap is where they breached the water race & allowed the water to pour straight down towards the bottom of the picture. You will see bed rock schist to the right & left of the gutter/ditch now all covered in wild thyme. I did quite well here back in my GP 3000 days & the little 10x5 coiltek "joey" mono coil. The wild thyme was no where near as bad as it is now.
No chance of getting the Zed's coil in amongst that stuff but ideal for the GB2. The GM 1000 would have struggled in max manual sensitivity on 10 & deep all metal mode with the touch/bump issue in amongst these bushes. The GB2 I could drive it flat out & no problems pushing that little 6x3 coil through the thyme bushes. Got a very faint hit.
Couple of scrapes & it had moved. A sassy bit of the good stuff. Saved the day. Saved the skunk.
A few feet away & another faint little hit & another tiny bit of gold.
That was it for the day. Had a big walk back to the wagon so called it quits at that. Not a record breaking outing but fun all the same.
One rail iron spike & the two tiny bits of AU.
Total for the two bits .08 of a gram
Good luck out there
Hi guys. After that awesome day biking up the river & checking out a few sights we headed back to the little local town. There was a bit of a shin dig happening that night in the local pub. A local hunting club was having a prize giving for best head (deer).
The guy in the middle was the splitting image of Todd Hoffman.
There was also a competition for best duck calling & stag roaring. That was an absolute laugh & the same bloke won both the stag roaring & the duck calling.
A few racks of antlers hanging form the pubs roof trusses. This was only a few of them. There were heaps.
Was a great night. The band were excellent.
We headed home the next day & I went for an afternoon detect with the Zed to a spot I hadnt been to for a couple of years. I was no longer getting any finds with the 4500 & I hadnt got around to trying the Zed here. So this was the Zeds first time here. I went to a spot that I thought had the greatest chance of the Zed getting something. I was wrong. The next spot I went to I thought I was least likely to get something. I was wrong again.
Up on a high terrace directly above the road, I got the fainest of faint signals. Well I thought it was a signal. Was pretty iffy, but I scraped away a bit of dirt...well more like rotten schist. I was then in to more solid schist & the signal had now improved & as I smashed in to the schist rock I was opening up & getting in to a crevice. The deeper I got the more confident I was that it was going to be gold. I had to be careful not to let any rocks tumble down on to the road below.
Finally the signal was out from deep in to the schist.
Out popped this sassy little bit. YE HA...
I wandered down a bit further along this terrace & over a bit of exposed schist bed rock. I thought I heard another very faint signal. Backed up on to it & tried a different angle. Nothing. Tried the first approach again & yes I was sure that was a faint signal coming from that crevice. Raked the crevice out with the pick & bingo. You may just make out the tiny piece of gold on the coil label.
If not....then here you go. How small is that for the Zed? No wonder it was a very faint signal one way & nothing the other way. High Yield/Normal sensitivity 5
That was it & all I could get from this most unlikely of spots. Gold is where you find it. Not a truer word spoken. I then went off to another unlikely spot. It looked like somebody else had been here as they had scraped down a bit of material. The material looked promising but I knew I had been here back in my GP 3000 days with the little 10x5 coiltek mono joey coil & pinged a few small bits. Maybe some one had scraped down more material & got a few more. I had also had the 4500 over here with the nugget finder 14x9 advantage coil & sadie coil & got nothing. Bring on the mighty Zed. Straight away I got a little faint hit. I groveled around in the dirt with the scoop until I had the target in it.
Whittled the signal down to a kinda surprise.
The Zed never fails to impress me on the small gold it can ping. I would be even more impressed though if the gold were bigger....
So I was happy with the three little bits for a fun afternoon & I can see I will have to go back as there are more spots here to go over.... & with the Zed....well you never know your luck.
A few weekends ago we had our first dusting of snow.
Last weekend I went back over the coast to see my mate again. I took the jetboat as we had a plan to go up the river to do some prospecting.
But the jetboat had other ideas & gave us a bit of grief. It started ok, idled fine & accelerated a little but wouldnt get up & dance, & boy....does it usually get up & dance. But not today. So that wasnt going to happen. Took it to the local garage 50 k's away & they couldnt look at it until the next day. So that day was stuffed. Next day didnt get any better as the garage couldnt sort it. Said the motor was ok & it looked like it was something to do with the computer & an electronic problem. They didnt have the gear to diagnose that. So end of the jetboat idea. My mate has been doing a bit of painting for the garage owner between his possum trapping & deer hunting & that was my link to tracking my mate down. Some one from an area I some times detect at had said they thought they had seen him painting this garage.....& so it turned out. So with the boat out of action the garage owner said to my mate, "What say we fly to Wanaka & pick up some roof paint?" The garage owner has his own little plane & so off we went.
It was a mint day to be flying over the Alps
When we crossed the Alps & got on the Lake Wanaka & Hawea side the lakes had a low cloud over them
We got to Wanaka, got the paint & on getting back to the airport had a coffee at the airport cafe before flying back. We got inside & my mate was dumb struck. He used to have his own motorbike shop & he specialized in custom bikes & restorations. Up above the entrance way on display was his old Harley Davidson that he had lovingly restored years ago. He recognized it straight away & approached the lady behind the counter asking her about it. She pointed outside to a chap talking to some one & said to my mate. "He is the owner of the bike. Have a talk to him. Well that talk went on for half an hour.
My mate was just blown away
Approaching back to the West Coast & in to the setting sun
Well that was last weekend so a bit of a catch up on what I have been up to. Went for a detect this weekend with a bit of success but will keep that for during the week. But here is a peak at a bit of scenery not too far away.
Good luck out there
Hi guys, A bit off topic to start with but just a bit of a catch up with a few of my latest adventures & trips away over to the West Coast chasing down a mate of mine who seemed to have vanished off the face of the earth. But I tracked him down after a year of not hearing from him. Was starting to think he had gone bush & something had happened to him. Ended up he had gone bush, possum trapping & deer hunting & just didn't bother coming back "home" last summer.
I will start off with some pics from a trip up to the head of Lake Wakatipu. The first three are taken from a jet boat going up the Dart River which flows in to the Lake. A bit more of Alaska from down under for you Steve
Couldn't give me a push could you??
A couple of weekends ago I took the Zed for a walk for just a half day mission. Got skunked on the gold front but did get a pretty deep signal on thrashed ground.
An old timers broken pick point. BUGGER!
Heard a rumor my mate was over the West Coast so Mrs JW & I decided to head on over & chase up on this "sighting" of him. We made a long weekend of the trip & if it turned out that it wasn't him then we would check out some sights any way. Some places that Mrs JW hadn't been to.
We left straight after I had finished work on the friday & got over to the Coast & booked in to our accommodation. Was a three hour drive & dark by the time we got there so we left trying to track down this sighting of my mate until morning. Morning came & yes it turned out to be my mate but was another 50 or so k's to his bush camp. What a surprise he got when we rocked up. After hand shakes, high fives & hugs I then abused the crap out of him for not informing us of his wanderings & intentions & that a few people were worried about him & about to go to the police with a missing persons report....etc. He put the billy on & we had a brew.
Me at his bush camp
We couldn't have picked a more perfect weather weekend to go over to the coast. Usually it is bucketing down. Something like 8 meters of rain fall a year.
The call was made to go for a bike ride up the river towards his hunting blocks. I hadn't ridden a motor bike for 12 years or so & was a bit apprehensive about that....but I didnt show it. Just had to think of it like mountain biking but with a motor. I had done heaps of mountain biking. Mrs JW was to go on the back with him on his 400 & me on the 125. Oh Boy...this will be interesting.
View up the river. Stunning! But a real jungle when you get up in there.
No sweat. Like a duck to water. Just like ridding a bike...oh year...I was ridding a bike.
Was an awesome day.
We then headed to the Coast & a sheltered little anchorage bay. Even the surf was non existent. Most unusual for the West Coast.
Ended the day with an awesome sunset
to be continued......
Good luck out there