Day two started with the same for breakfast as day one finished with dinner, but washed down with two cups of coffee.
Shot of camp set up in among the long grass.
Looking up the gully from standing right in it.
And down the gully
It is very unusual for the grass to be this lush at this time of the year. This is what it is usually like.
These pics are actually at the exact same spot as my post. That rock Mrs JW is sitting on is the rock in front of my wagon in the above pic of my wagon.
Any way.....after I had finished my breakfast I headed off with the Zed. Long story short....not a thing. Well no gold any way. So I went back & got the EQ 800 with its little 6" coil. Walking down & detecting the bald ground of a sheep track I got a faint hit. That big rock, which is cemented silcrete (sarson stone) that the Zed is sitting on center left. Had quite a bit of small tiny gold that the GB2 scored a couple of years ago. I went over it with the EQ 800 but nothing.
On digging this signal from the EQ 800 I was expecting a shot gun pellet. But no....it was a sassy bit of gold.
Not far down the gully & on the opposite side I hit a spot where I had got two bits with the Zed on my last time in here. To my surprise I got a faint hit. Could of course be a pellet
That dirt pile bottom center was one of the bits that I got with the Zed the last time & the rabbits have dug out my back filled dirt. Little shits. You will see a rabbit hole left center, that was where my 2nd bit was that I got with the Zed last time. The Nox's signal is right where the coil is. Another small sassy bit of gold
Back in the days of my GP 3000 I got quite a few bits of gold from around that rock & up on the top edges as well.
Moving on down the gully bit further & on to another "old" hot spot of mine that I did well on with my 4500. I came to a high pile from the old timers. It is very bald & just crushed shattered schist bedrock that they dug down into from the gully floor & must have had a good amount of gold in it. Right up on top I got a faint signal.
This looking back at it from a bit of distance. Gully floor to the left with the grass growth in it.
Another little bit of gold for the Nox.
Then things dried up for me. So I went & got the GB2 & went over the same areas that I had just been over with the Nox. It wasn't until I was back down to the above pile that I got a good hit with the GB2 at the base of the pile. It was weird as just next to the signal was a signal that I had got with the Nox that just turned out to be a bit of rubbish. I know for sure that I had the Nox right over this spot where the GB2 was giving me this very positive zip zip. The point of the pick is where the scrape was from the Nox & the bit of rubbish. The small hole by the GB2 coil is the positive zip zip from the GB2. You may be able to make out the little shard of gold in the scoop.
The deadly little GB2. 👍
Well that was the end of it for 2018. So all up, 3 for the Zed, 4 for the Nox & 1 for the GB2 for just over 2 grams.
Unfortunately Mrs JW's mum passed away . It was unexpected but happened when Mrs JW was up there & holding her hand. Maybe that was meant to be. Mrs JW's brother had come over from Sydney on the very day she passed, so all three of Mrs JW's mums "kids" were present. So that was pretty cool...although sad of course. So I had a mercy dash to get up there for the funeral. The service was held in the same little church, which was built in 1874, where Mrs JW's parents got married in 1952. The coffin rested on the very spot where they exchanged their wedding vowels all those years ago. Sad but that was a nice touch too. The spot where they started their lives together & where Mrs JW's mum had her final farewell.
Sorry to be morbid, but with that & then xmas right upon us is the reason I didn't get to do that last post adventure of 2018. Xmas I went over to the West Coast jet boating & bush camping.
We had two days of perfect weather & then two days of light rain. The river rose 3 feet & was still rising so the next day we decided to bail. The extra water made for saver boating back down river but our launching area was under water for pulling our boats back out. We had to boat up a side river to another spot to get our boats out. The fun of it all. Of course Mrs JW didnt come over for that. So I headed back home, picked her up & we headed back to the West coast but this time went north up the coast further to see a friend & took our E bikes to do a new West coast Wilderness trail. The trail follows old gold mining water races & old timber milling tramway tracks. It was pretty cool riding through these old historic areas in the native bush.
The start of a water race section
The water race now takes water to feed a small hydro power station
That would get a pelton wheel spinning.
Went past a plaque showing the Kanieri Bucket line gold dredge. There were heaps of these operating in NZ. This one continued on until 1982.
Mrs JW on a section of the bush milling tramway track.
Despite taking the three amigos, GB2, Gold Monster & EQ 800 I didnt do any detecting on the West Coast . Too much other stuff to do. It wasn't until the Saturday just gone that I went out for my first detect of 2019. It was a stinkin hot day & not very enjoyable. I even forgot to take my phone with me, so no pics. I managed just three small bits. All signals got with the Zed & two of those where pinpointed & recovered with the GB2. Once I had moved them & broken the halo effect the Zed lost them.
After getting those three I headed off elsewhere for a bit of night detecting to get away from the flies & the heat. It was a spot where I wanted to try the Gold Monster & tiny gold on bedrock, but all I got was Simon's favorite. A pocket full of shot gun pellets. The Zed got its fair share of rubbish & damn pellets too.
At least my first days detecting of 2019 wasn't a skunk.
Oh....how can I not tell you that on the 22nd of December I went & saw Shania Twain live in concert in Dunedin. It was her final show of her "Shania Now" world tour of 88 shows. Mrs JW wasnt into it so I had to go all by myself. Center stage 9 rows back from the front.
On that note I will leave you in peace.
Best of luck out there for 2019
The old coinshooter has been gone now for many years (1993) but I remember him very well..he used a CM 3 then, which he just wore out, it was replaced with a brand new Coinmaster 4...I got to hunt with him a few times and it was a pleasure to watch him slowly shuffle along he would stop scan back and forth and either dig or move on, I knew he was listening carefully.. We were hunting together in an old park, lots of targets old steel BCS mostly and other junk.. He called over to me and said what do you think about that? He used one of those old diggers that looked like it was made from conduit with a long narrow point, perfectly stuck on the end was a nice little gold ring..... This person had a ring collection that would choke you, in fact one ring he told me about that he had found was a gents gold piece with a large precious stone, he had taken it to a jeweler that cleaned it for him and I think later he sold it to the jeweler for enough to buy himself a new Ranchero...I tried to hunt with him as much as I could but we lived quite a distance apart and I was just starting to work on preliminary Trans Alaska pipe projects... By the time I could spend time with him he could no longer swing that heavy Whites unit but he liked tagging along with me.. The gold rings he had found were sold but the other pieces he had tied together on a string and there were many.. I haven't looked in the big canvas bank bag he gave me years ago that was almost full of dimes, quarters, halves and a few silver dollars he had found at the old Fairgrounds, parks and old closed country school yards.I .learned a lot by watching how carefully this person hunted, slowly, listening and moving around..He did his homework, a little research and talking to the old timers that stopped by watching him...Who was this person? This Old Coinshooter, I knew him very well, He was my Dad....
Hi guys, I never got around to posting what ended up being my last gold detecting adventure of 2018. Mrs JW had gone up north to spend time some with her aging mum & was gone for over the course of a weekend. So being home alone I made the decision to do a saturday overnight camping adventure to "Doug's Gully". You may recall in a post not long ago of a day trip Mrs JW & I made to this same gully & I made the comment that in all the years I have frequented this gully I have never seen any water in the gully floor, let alone any running water. Well that time with Mrs JW there had been two days of very heavy rain resulting in lots of flooding throughout Central Otago. On getting to this gully there was 4" of water flowing down this usually bone dry gully floor. You will notice snow on the hills in the background.
Of course the grass growth had gone mental & I had been struggling to find gold here now. I have trashed it over the years but always manage to wrangle a few bits out of it. On this occasion I was betting on the wet & damp conditions to aid me on this quest. I wasn't disappointed & managed 7 little pieces before Mrs JW made noises about heading home.
So I had unfinished business to do in there as I had not detected as much of the gully as I had wanted to when Mrs JW was with me. I know the hot spots & again we had had a bit of wet weather & I knew the ground would be damp & so hopefully carry on giving me the edge on the gold from where I left off last time.
So with tent & gear on board & Mrs JW up north I headed off. I took with me the Zed of course & the three amigos, the high frequency VLF's. The Gold Monster, GB2 & the EQ 800 with 6" coil. I can drive right to this gully but it is a bit of a mission & has its moments. But I got there unscathed. The grass had gone even more crazy but the bonus of the damp conditions was that there were mushrooms everywhere. Ye Ha. I love those so after I had set up camp,
I went for a wander & gathered a few up. I knew what was going to be on the menu for dinner that night & breakfast in the morning.
After a cup of coffee I fired up the Zed & targeted that bald spot straight out from the tent. Which is an eroded old timers throwout pile from turning over the gully floor. I was going to have to target these bald spots due to the crazy grass growth.
Not even two minutes into it I got a real faint signal. Digging down onto it, it lived on to a bit of depth. I tried each of the VLF's at about 6 inches. Not a peep out of any of them. Hmmmmm. You will notice an old back filled dig hole to the upper right of the scoop & also to the left of the GB2. They were small bits of gold from my last time in here when the water was flowing down the "creek"
So I kept on digging & at about 8 inches there was still nothing from the VLF's. Bloody hell. The Zed was going nuts but I still didn't know if it was ferrous or not or where a bouts exactly it was in the hole. Finally I got a hit on the VLFs, well the GM & the EQ 800....just. Not the GB2 at this stage. I had to dig a bit more to get the VLF's to give me the nod of a non ferrous target. My hopes increased that it may be gold now. Finally at about 14 inches the signal was out.
The scoop is 12 inches long.
Was it a bloody .22 shell??
No..... Just over 1 gram. Ye Ha. I am picking that it was on edge to give the VLF's such a hard time in picking up on it.
Here is a pic standing back a bit from the scene looking down the gully. You will see the long grass growing in the pit that the old timers had dug out & the resultant doughnut like circle of the dug out dirt tossed out around the perimeter of the pit. Hence they were called pot hole diggings. Along with other humps & bumps & holes up & down the gully from there activity. I would love to get a digger into that gully.
Well....not two yards away I got an identical sounding signal & on getting down 12 inches & it was still in the ground my hopes were high. I didnt get the VLF's involved on this one as the digging was a bit easier & then the signal was out.
The tip of an old timers pick. Even if the VLF's told me it was ferrous I still would have got it out of the ground just to get rid of it. BUGGER. Not far away on the edge of this bald spot up against a clump of grass growth I got another faint signal.
It was getting down to about 6 inches before it was out. Pretty small for the Zed & that 14" coil. Still blows me away at the depth it gets this small gold.
I got another small one with the Zed.
I then thought I would give the EQ 800 a spin over that bald spot after finishing it with the Zed.
I got a faint little hit with the EQ 800 in full max everything in the settings department & Multi IQ, Gold Mode 2
Down about 2 inches.
Looks better a bit bigger.
I called it quits for the Saturday on that one. So three for the Zed & one for the EQ 800.
Had me some mushrooms to sort out for dinner.
On top of a couple of bangers,
baked beans & eggs. Washed down with a coffee.
Doing it tough on the goldfields. I then wondered if I was the first to have camped here since the old timers. I doubt if anybody else had.
to be continued: I need my beauty sleep.
Good luck out there
One thing that I have not seen or heard since the Nox has been out is what people are finding for Spanish treasure and relics with the Equinox out on the FL Treasure Coast. Of course ever since the Nox has been out there has not really been any storms to get some good beach erosion going on. Out of curiosity, what settings and mode are folks using for the relic/treasure hunt on the treasure coast beaches, including the iron settings. Can't wait to hear the answers! I plan on being down there for a couple weeks in Feb and if the weather gives some good erosion I'm gonna be out there with the 15' coil swinging away!
But even if the weather doesn't "cooperate" I'll still be looking for that modern bling in the Beach modes. I think I have to be the only person that goes on a FL vacation that hopes for a NorEaster
By Steve Herschbach
I am an avid metal detector user and I like always being at it. Just because there is no gold prospecting for me in a given time frame is no reason to not go metal detecting for gold. There are a lot more ways to find gold than prospecting, and so jewelry detecting is very high on my list. If you like finding a gold nugget, I do not see how you could not also be excited about digging up a gold ring.
Jewelry detecting and nugget detecting share many common traits, not least being the hunt for gold. Both also require a high tolerance for digging trash items, and both are best done with detectors made for the purpose. It just so happens that the detectors best used for nugget detecting are often the best to use for jewelry detecting.
In other words, a lot of you guys are already outfitted for this!
There are two general ways to hunt for jewelry - on dry land, or in and around water. Let's leave the dry land for another article and focus on the water detecting for now, since I am gearing up for a water hunt myself right now.
Almost any detector, with the remarkable exception of the most expensive one you can buy, comes with waterproof coils and can be submerged to the control box. Minelab PI stock coils are not warranted waterproof but only water resistant so it takes aftermarket coils to get them up to speed. But they are a poor choice for wading as there is probably no machine I would like dropping in the water less than a Minelab GPX 5000 with high amp battery attached.
Detectors that can be hip or chest mounted offer even more flexibility for wading applications. Few nugget detectors are fully submersible, but there are some, most notably the Garrett AT Gold, Infinium and ATX, all waterproof models. Jan 2019 note: see also Makro Gold Kruzer and Equinox 800.
Water detecting can be broken down into fresh water and salt water detecting. Fresh water detecting is pretty straight forward since fresh water is invisible to your detector. The tuning and operation of the detector is similar to what you do on dry land. All you have to worry about is keeping the electronics dry, and recovering targets underwater. Fresh water swimming holes are great for jewelry detecting, and there are many fresh water stream and river opportunities for gold prospectors. Any good gold prospecting detector also works well for freshwater beach hunting. The Garrett AT Gold has an obvious edge for being waterproof. The Tesoro Lobo gets special mention for being convertible to hip or chest mount.
In fresh water VLF detectors usually have an edge due to large amounts of trash often being present but PI detectors do have their place in fresh water detecting. The only way to know is to just give it a go and see how much trash there is. The nice thing about beaches though is the digging is easy compared to what nugget hunters often face.
Salt water adds a whole new dimension. Salt water is conductive, and therefore a hot metal detector can actually get a signal from salt water or wet salt sand. Many prospectors already know the issues surrounding salt and alkali flats. Detectors that are used in salt water need some way to tune out the salt signal. The problem is even worse on beaches that have mineral content, classic black sand beaches. A white beach composed of broken down coral and shells is no problem at all, but add volcanic material and the issues compound. Most prospectors would not be surprised to hear that pulse induction (PI) detectors have an edge in dealing with salt water scenarios.
There is an unsolvable conundrum however. The signal for salt water and small gold items, like post earrings or thin gold chains, actually overlaps. When you tune out the salt water, you tune out these items also. There is no solution to this problem with existing metal detectors because of the way they work. It is possible to find these items at the beach using a hot detector, like a White’s Goldmaster or Fisher Gold Bug 2, but you must be on bone dry sand. Any attempt to get near wet salt sand with these units will result in the sand acting like one giant target.
Most mid-frequency gold machines handle salt water beaches to varying degrees. They will generally have no problem until you get on sand currently seeing wave action or actually in the water. The higher the frequency, the less able to handle wet salt sand. The Fisher Gold Bug Pro at 19 kHz and Garrett AT Gold at 18 kHz are not happy on wet salt sand. They can be made to function but only by losing a lot of depth. The Tesoro Lobo has an alkali setting and White’s MX Sport a salt setting specifically designed to handle wet salt sand. In general though these detectors will all work better higher on the beach and have an edge on small rings, earrings, and chains that other beach hunting machines tend to miss.
The Minelab Eureka Gold and X-Terra 705 have low frequency options that make them well suited for beach hunting. The Eureka can be hip or chest mounted, but be aware the stock coil is another that Minelab does not warranty as waterproof.
The PI detectors fare better, the Garrett Infinium and new ATX having an edge again for being waterproof designs. The White’s TDI and Minelab series do well but must be kept dry. The TDI models except the TDI SL have an advantage in being convertible to hip or chest mount. Be aware that turning off or not using a ground balance system can often add extra depth with a PI on white sand beaches. The TDI and GPX 5000 can turn off the ground balance setting, and the factory default on the ATX before ground balancing offer possibilities on low mineral beaches. For 2019 see the new White's TDI BeachHunter.
For serious salt water beach detecting hunters turn to detectors not normally used for prospecting. Ironically, this is because the general lack of sensitivity that makes prospectors eschew these models makes them ideal for salt water. Multi-frequency VLF detectors are not very good prospecting machines but they excel in salt water. Two detectors that vie neck and neck in the salt water VLF market are the Fisher CZ-21 and Minelab Excalibur. On the PI side the Garrett Sea Hunter, Tesoro Sand Shark and White’s Surf PI are the three popular models.
Minelab Excalibur II waterproof metal detector
There are lots of options but if you ever want a specialized waterproof detector for both fresh and salt water and want to make a safe choice, get a Minelab Excalibur. It is probably the most popular water detector made and for good reason. It gets the job done with minimum fuss and will work well anywhere.
I am a PI guy myself however. I have used the Garrett Infinium extensively trying to deal with salt water and volcanic sand and hot rock conditions in Hawaii. I have had success with the model but it is difficult to deal with, suffering from an inability to ground balance into the salt range and susceptibility to EMI interference. Huge numbers of posts exist on how to try and get an Infinium to behave in salt water. The new ATX has taken steps to address these issues but the jury is out there yet. I will be giving the ATX a good go in Hawaii soon. My latest water detector is a White's Surf PI Dual Field to back up the ATX. I have had good luck in the past with the White's Surf PI models and recommend them for people interested in a waterproof beach PI. Again, a simple unit that gets the job done, and at a bargain price.
Where to hunt can fill a book, but really boils down to two things. The first is that the best finds will be made where people who wear quality jewelry congregate and engage in some kind of physical activity. On fresh water beaches where items get dropped is generally where they stay. The second item comes into play more often on salt water beaches. The waves and seasons concentrate items on layers, much like placer deposits. They sometimes bury the items too deep to find, and at other times expose them for easy recovery.
Beach watching can teach you a lot. There is the towel line, where people set up shop for the day. Lots of items get lost here. Then there are the places where people tend to play beach sports, like Frisbee or volleyball. Best of all, are areas in the water where people congregate, with areas where people can actually stand on the bottom being best.
Items dropped in sand obviously sink over time, but hard sand will resist this longest and keep the targets close to the surface longer. Extremely soft sand swallows items quickly and is not a good place to hunt. Areas where the sand tapers into a hard rock or coral bottom can be very good when the overlying sand is shallow enough to reach that hard layer with a detector.
Beach detecting is very popular, but beach hunters have on tremendous advantage over prospectors. The finds are being constantly replenished. There is no beach, no matter how heavily hunted, that does not have the potential for finds. The more activity there is the more items are lost in a given period of time. The finds made by beach hunters can rival the best made by prospectors, as not many gold nuggets come with diamonds attached.
I know for many prospectors it is about getting out into the middle of nowhere and away from the crowds. Beach hunting is not for everyone. But you can hunt early in the morning or even on rainy days, when people are few and far between. As more and more areas accessible to prospectors get hunted out, it is possible other places are near to you where gold may be easier to find. If you have a detector already you certainly have nothing to lose by giving it a go. Hopefully this post has at least made you consider the possibility. As always, volumes more information can be found just by Googling “beach detecting forum”.
Here is an example of a hunt at White's Surf PI Pro and Platinum Rings in Hawaii I got four platinum and three gold rings over a couple week period. One of the gold rings is white gold so it looks like only two gold. All fairly plain men's bands reflecting the rough surf area I was hunting. There is a picture of everything I dug at the link including the junk. All the platinum I have ever found was rings, and when platinum peaked at over $2000 an ounce I cashed in over two ounces of platinum.
Another very successful hunt was Detecting Gold in Hawaii with the Garrett Infinium Please note that unlike my prospecting outings I do not spend every hour of every day in Hawaii detecting. These finds are being made hunting on an average of two or three hours a day. I am not one to just sit around so detecting keeps me busy. And a good vacation can be paid for in finds or at least subsidized with some hard work and a little bit of luck.
Waterproof VLF Detector Comparison Guide
Some gold and platinum finds made by Steve in Hawaii
I’m considering buying an Anfibio multi and am wondering about it’s abilities in and around saltwater, I know it has a beach mode but do you have to lower the sensitivity much to get it stable? I have an Equinox 600 and it’s a great machine except I live in Canada and find it frustrating on our clad coins, I’ve heard the Anfibio does well on it, the 600 is great in many ways but my buddy finds way more clad with his AT gold but can’t go near the salt, I have used the 600 snorkeling and would also dive with the Anfibio, the fact that it is rated deeper is a bonus along with the collapsible shaft. Anybody have experience with one.