I have ordered a new size X-coil, it's a 12x8" X-Coil, It's already in the post however it's delayed in shipping due to international shipping delays the world over. Hopefully this coil arrives soon. I am very excited about it as I think it will be the perfect size for NZ.
It's even in NZ's black and white colours.
This should be good in our rocky terrain on small gold.
I haven't had a chance to go prospecting since our lock down ended a few weeks ago, once lock down ended I was busy catching up on everything that couldn't be done in lock down 🙂 NZ has done a stellar job in eradicating the virus so our lives are essentially back to normal now except for no International tourists which in our part of the country are a big part of our economy. We haven't had any new cases in some time and there is now only one person left in the entire country that is in quarantine with the virus.
The one case left is on the North Island, so no problem for me down the bottom of the South Island 🙂 Every morning lately has been a heavy frost so I was intending to do my gold hunt in the afternoon once the ground thaws out.
This was my yard before I left. A bit chilly 🙂
It was good to get out prospecting again, my wife and daughter wanted to tag along as they were going to ride their bikes along the cycle trails in the area so my day was limited, I only had a couple of hours. We parked up and I walked to my usual spot and showed them where I'd be so they could come back and find me. My first target was a shotgun pellet, damn it, I'd forgotten they existed, I had a hard enough time remembering how to use my detector it's been so long 🙂
I was then walking across to the spot I wanted to have a snoop around and on my walk there I got a signal, it wasn't a booming target and it sounded too good to be a shotgun pellet. I dug the surface away and the signal was still there, looking positive, it was at this point I took a quick video in case I was lucky enough that after only about 15 minutes I had my first nugget.
I wasn't too sure on this one as the spot where it was located didn't really feel right, not the usual place we'd been finding gold around this spot so I turned the video off and started the recovery, possibly expecting a deep old bullet shell or something. It was a really scrubby area too, lots of prickle bushes and old sticks everywhere. In all of my excitement of my first find of the day I didn't even get a photo of the area, but the video shows it. I had to dig a fair way down to get to my target, It was stuck in some layers of the rock which I had to smash out to get to it.
A decent size too! woohooo, what a start. I like when they're big enough my Carrot narrows them down.
Just after I'd found the nugget I was rechecking the area and heard a bike pull up, it was JW, we hadn't seen each other in some time due to the lock down but he'd been coming to this spot again the last few weeks once lock down ended. We had a chat then got stuck back into it, he went to his usual spot where he's been doing very well, and I went back exploring the side I've been attacking.
No good targets for about 40 minutes now then in between some bedrock I had another nice sounding target that survived a few scrapes of the pick, always promising.
These small coils are just brilliant for our hunting grounds here, the smaller the coil the better, the small 10" X-coil has brought this old hunted out area back to life as you can get into all these little tight spots and it paid off again, the coil only just fit between these rocks too, there is still a lot of ground the 10" is too big for but it does get a majority of it.
I'm no photographer 🙂 but in the shadow in front of my coil is the dig hole, right between the two rocks. A bigger coil would have missed this gold.
The bedrock is shallow here but I have done this ground with the Equinox a few times and missed this piece. If you look hard you'll see the crack in the bedrock where it was.
And the nugget, typical sort of nugget for this area, all water worn looking smooth bits even though none of the rocks around the area are rounded water worn rocks.
A few more junk targets and my phone dinged, it was my wife saying shes done bike riding and was on her way back to collect me so I walked over to see how JW was doing. I had heard him banging away at the rock for ages while I was detecting around so I assumed he'd done well. When I arrived he was digging out a big hole in the bedrock cliff face, all the soil was out of the crack and he was breaking apart the rock with his screw driver and hammer. So far he had one bit of gold but another signal was in there, so we tried to use my Carrot to narrow it down, no luck so he kept smashing away.
He had created that big hole, the big bit of rock at the bottom of the photo was from the hole, the rest were thrown down the side off the cliff.
After smashing some more up and trying to find it he still had no luck so we tried the Carrot again, this time it picked it up, real good. It sure helped speed up the recovery.
A big one too! Carrot detectable size again. Unusual to get biggish ones and now we've both got one!
He checked the hole again, and another signal
A tiny one!, Rechecked again...... another signal, unbelievable. A lot more smashing out of the rock and out it pops
The hole was getting bigger and bigger
And more kept popping out. My wife and daughter arrived on their bikes now to collect me so I called them over to see the hole that keeps giving, it still had a signal in it now that we were working on recovering, each target as needing more rock smashed out
This 10" Coil can really pick up some incredibly small nuggets.
And they just kept coming, my family were watching on with interest. More nuggets kept coming out then JW checked the soil and crumbled up rocks that came out of the hole and more signals, all over the place
Absolutely nuts, what a hole!
All from that one hole,all were in the rock needing smashed out. I had a ball helping with that recovery, 13 nuggets at 1.8 grams total weight. JW said yesterday he found a similar hole on the same cliff face with 10 pieces in it.
And my total, sorry for the glary photo, was taken at night once I got home, and the houses LED lights mess up photos. 0.865 grams for 2 nuggets, 0.76 of that is the big one.
I really love the small GPZ X-coils, I can not wait for my 12x8" X-coil to arrive as it may get into the spots the 10" coil can't.
I'm not shy about it. Yup. I have big clumsy feet. The good news is it gives me stabilizing ballast should sobriety forsake me. The bad news is it's hell on GPZ 7000 lower shafts. I have broken several. To make matters worse, the lines of communication between my big feet and my small command and control center often get disrupted somewhere between my gullet and my gizzard which allows my big feet to proceed on a different heading than the rest of me. Oops, there goes another GPZ 7000 lower shaft. But I don't take full responsibility for all of these broken lower shafts. I don't recall ever breaking the good ol' GPX lower shaft and they fit at least 10 different detectors and cost less than half of a GPZ lower shaft. So I lay most of the blame at the feet of Minelab and not because of the feet of Klunker. The shaft is just plain flimsy.
Being a "tight wad" by nature I have tried numerous times to repair a broken lower shaft using glues, epoxies, tape, splints and every flavor of bubble gum you can imagine. Nothing worked. I finally came up with the idea of totally replacing the lower end of the shaft and it work splendidly.
This was made from an inch and a quarter by 1 inch pvc plastic pipe tee, a fine toothed saw, a drill, a round file, a sander, a heat gun and a bit of good epoxy.
This repair has held up for a couple of dozen trips and survived the icy conditions of early spring detecting, which is when my big feet are at their worst. If anyone is interested I will post instructions
Why oh why does the WM12 take such an unusually long time to recharge when the GPZ battery charges in a couple of hours, and other electronic equipment charges in (much) less time than that? I am not actually complaining but I am very curious why this is so.
JW contacted me in the morning saying he's got the day off work so if I wanted to go for a detect jump in my car and head on over to his place. This is always a hell yes from me, the world would have to be ending to stop me.... oh uhm... whoops 🙂 maybe more than the world ending.
We were going back to the exact same spot we were at the previous mission so figured I'd either use the 15x10" X-coil or the 10" X-coil, but because the area is very rocky I went with the 10", you need as small of a coil as possible for this terrain.
The 10" can get into some pretty tight spaces. Gold here would be missed with any bigger of a coil.
JW noticed our Davsgold picks looked a little different, this is odd as we both have the same pick so we compared them
The years of wear on JW's pick is pretty evident, his pick has gone through hell smashing up schist for years 🙂 He needs to give it a sharpen, the sharp point on mine is very handy.
I've also upgraded the magnet I had on my pick, it's been excellent. I drilled out a 30mm deep by 20mm round hole in my pick and dropped the strongest magnet I could buy into it with the same dimensions. Now not only is the base of my pick magnetic, the sides are too, it sucks up ferrous junk like mad. I'm very happy with it.
I can move the black sand around on it 🙂
JW was back detecting his highly productive cliff edge armed with his hammer and screwdriver, so I figured I'd go back and check around where I was the other day.
It wasn't long and I had a very faint signal, a few scrapes and the signal improved. The bedrock in this spot is about 4 to 9 inches down. It turned out to be quite a nice bit of gold down in the bedrock that required breaking up some bedrock to get to it. For the first time I managed to record a good part of the find on video as I was so confident it was going to be gold. I've wanted to capture a find on video for a long time.
Here is a photo of the spot I got it, it was actually quite deep, and the gold was on edge, it's a very skinny bit.
My biggest of the day.
I spent the next hour or so checking the area slowly. Plenty of pellets but nothing else.
I moved back down towards the little gully JW was detecting and on the path we bike in I had a signal, I'd done this path bit the other day with the Nox, I'd spent an hour or two on this small area with it but I missed this piece, maybe just too deep for the Nox.
Down through the gravels to the bedrock again.
Almost like a little ball 🙂 This round gold is common in this spot, JW's been getting a lot of it.
I then realized I forgot to balance to my ferrite ring, seeing I'd gone from the 12" to the 10" X-coil I thought I may as well do it.
Again I don't know if I am balanced to it being new to the GPZ but I did the procedure and the noise of the ring all but disappeared after a couple of sweeps over it.
The day was getting pretty exciting, I was hoping for a 3rd but for the next few hours I got nothing but pellets... I had a break and drink and watched JW for a while, I usually learn a few things doing this and I was able to see his coil control is far better than mine, he drives that thing around keeping it so close to the ground hugging the rocks while checking the bedrock cracks.
The cracks in the bedrock like in this photo can contain gold, but you have to check the entire rock as the gold has proven it can be anywhere in the rock in healed over cracks.
As the day was coming to an end I went over to a spot that chased JW away with the abundance of pellets there, they were everywhere!!!!
It paid off though, my final nugget for the day
This is up on a bedrock ledge, the ground is 10 to 15 feet below where this little ledge is
and down deep in the gravels was a bit of gold........ and about 8 pellets 🙂
The gold had a louder and more distinct signal than the pellets. Another ball type bit.
And now the weigh in.....
Not as bad as last time, I'd already done a lot of the cleaning of the area 😉
Not too bad 🙂 I haven't had three in a while. Almost worth celebrating with a beer at the pub