I put all my gear in the car the night before ready to roll as I was intending to go for a solo mission to try find a nugget, or a flake, which ever comes my way, I am happy either way 🙂 I sent Kiwijw a text message that morning as he hadn't been on the forum asking if he'd like to come along as I knew he wasn't working that day and he was all for it. It was unusual he hadn't been on the forums but it's because his computer had broken down so I told him I'd take it home with me and fix it up.
The day was off to a cool start, I left home and at the time I think it was -5 degrees celsius and very icey on the road, black ice everywhere. I was in a thick fog when I left home to head to John's to pick him up but that cleared up about halfway to his house, it was about -2 when I got there I think and nowhere near as icey up his way. We jumped in the car and off we went, the roads were much better up his way as it was nice and sunny.
We went to a spot we have been to quite few times before and had success, I call it the shotgun pellet place as there are zillions of them there. I think I've even done a solo mission there, I don't have any record of that as I obviously was skunked if I did but John mentioned I have been there before myself and I vaguely remember it now I think about it. I've done a few solo missions to various places but rarely have any success on them for some reason and I only tend to remember times when I do well.
Cool looking rock at the area I was first detecting, looks like a broken easter egg, it looks like its a big hollow rock that some has broken off over the years. Maybe old timers used it as a hut, I know I would.
We started off detecting, John on his Zed and me with my 4500 and my new Nugget Finder 14x9 Evo coil which I'd been dying to try out but just hadn't had a chance.
I'd found nothing by lunch time except junk and If I recall correctly John was up to number 3
My days junk collection, I had quite a few more shotgun pellets but they fell out of a tiny hole in my pocket. That little bit of wire on the far right side screamed out as loud as a 22 shell, puzzled by that. In the process of recovering some junk I used my GM 1000 as a pinpointer, the spot was really muddy so I tried to take my coil cover off to give it a clean as I was right at a creek as I was going to put my Monster in my backpack so it's not left sitting there out in the open in case some passer by stole it, unlikely but I'm cautious of thieves after living in Oz for years and having house and car break ins and so on over there. John leaves his Zed lying around like that, it scares me 🙂 So I tried to pull my coil cover off and my coil cracked, a big crack too just by me using my fingers to push it in a bit to get the cover off. I wish they were tougher epoxy filled coils. I've since spoken to Minelab service who said they will replace it for me, see this link for photos of the crack More excellent service from Minelab, thanks 🙂
John come walking over and showed me his finds and we had some lunch. John suggested I go try detect some throw out piles from the old timers as it may increase my luck and showed me where they were and off we went detecting again.
It was only about 20 minutes and I had my first hit, right next to a big hole someone else had dug to recover a nugget, probably John as it was a big hole like his pick makes
My little hole at the top, someone elses big hole below it, my little nugget was down about 10cm to 15cm I would guess.
About 30 minutes of swinging later on top of another pile which was covered in soil and grass and not rocky like the last one I had another good target, It sounded promising and it seems junk in this area is uncommon as I'd had no junk digs since moving to it.
I had to smash up the ground here to retrieve this one, it was in the shade and the ground was frozen solid, it actually made the recovery quite easy as the clumps of dirt were coming up as frozen blocks so I could sweep each chunk over the coil until it sounded off, then melted the target clump in my hand to get the gold out.
I started swinging around further along this pile and there was a giant bit of schist and it was giving me a good signal, I spent about 20 minutes scraping the moss off and checking it all for the target and also breaking away the top layers of the schist trying to find where this signal was coming from, it had me stumped. I wasn't sure what to do, I was going to go ask John thinking possibly it's some sort of hot rock situation but I could see him off in the distance, too far away and I was unsure I'd find the spot again if I left it so I decided I'd try move the rock, maybe the target is under it. It was in frozen ground and had suctioned itself down, it was also FAR to heavy to lift, I used my pick to dig around it a bit and lever it up, this took a good half an hour and I was exhausted, I managed to move it a tiny bit which relieved the suction, it also had me rolling down the side the of pile as I took a tumble when the rock finally gave way.
You can see the top part of the rock here where I was chipping away at it trying to find the target inside it.
Now that the suction was gone I was able to lever it enough that I eventually slid it down the side of the pile. I eagerly checked the area where it was and bingo, the target sound was still there.
You can see the size of the rock here with the indent in the ground where it came from. The rock would of been about 20 cm thick too and then the nugget was down another 5 cm or so in the soil under the rock.
and it was my biggest nugget of the day 🙂
I went to go show John my find and tell him the story and he said I should go scan that area a bit more as there could be more, we only had about an hour of light left so I wandered back to try find the spot, and wouldn't you know it, I couldn't find it, lucky I didn't leave earlier to try get John to help move the rock.
So all in all a good day out, fixed up John's computer today so he'll appear back on the forum tomorrow no doubt as we are heading out for part two of this mission so he'll get it back tomorrow, it needed a new motherboard. He had someone nearby to his house look at it as it was running very slow and they did the usual things like spyware checks and cleaning the dust out and so on and had broken a fan mounting clip for the CPU in the process of the dust cleanup I guess, John said it got really noisy after they looked at it which is normal as the fan would be going top speed trying to cool the CPU with the poor contact of the heatsink and shortly after it died and wouldn't post (display a signal on the screen), I guess the cpu heatsink being so loose caused the CPU to overheat by not being clipped down properly and caused the motherboard to die, or else it was a huge coincidence the motherboard dies the day after they clean out the fan and break its mounting clip. In saying that I've not seen a motherboard die from heat in this manor before, although I've never seen someone run one with the heatsink not clipped down properly.
As for my first proper detect using my new Nugget Finder Evo 14x9, I love it, It seems just as sensitive to tiny gold as the little Joey coil if not even more sensitive but punches deeper, It's ability on small targets feels like using a high frequency VLF. It's going to be my stay on coil from now on, the little Joey will be perfect for tight places and creek detecting and situations where a smaller coil is required. I can highly recommend the Evo coil. Thanks to all the people who recommended to me to buy the Evo coil. I am very happy with it.
Stay tuned for John's portion of the mission when he gets his computer back tomorrow 🙂
Hi guys, I have put together a little photo clip from a trip that Mrs JW & I did a couple of years ago on New Year's Day up to the Tops of the Old Man Range in Central Otago here in NZ. New Years Day is getting well into our summer months but it can & does snow on any day of the year up here. As it happened it had snowed the night before. The medium average temperature up here is zero degrees celsius. That is freezing point. I did a bit of exploring & detecting & managed two small bits of gold right up in the headwaters of the Fraser River. The huts you will see are all gold mining related from the early gold rush days. Many a prospector perished up here by leaving it too late to come down before winters icey tentacles took hold. Enjoy.
After yesterday's success & the little hot spot still producing when I had to leave due to dark & the cold chasing me out, I just had to get back there. Again it was pretty cold & bleak with a bit of a hoar frost going on & the bushes clothed in ice crystals. Again, this was 2pm. Note the same in the background.
Fired up the Gold monster, full max sensitivity on 10, deep all metal mode & we were off. I had hardly put the coil to the ground & had my first signal.
And first tiny bit of gold
It was just a continuation of yesterday. When the signals stopped coming it was just a matter of scraping out a bit more of the rotten schist bedrock.
And the gold kept on coming.
When it stopped, just scrape some more bedrock
Again the dark & cold drove me out. The scrape hole was getting bigger but still producing when I had to leave.
25 pieces for just .55 of a gram.
I am going to have to put the dirt through my sieve buckets & then put the concentrates through a sluice box. I can see that happening. Cheers.
Good luck out there
Hi guys, I headed back to the spot where I got 10, Eleven but lost one on getting home, bits of gold that I showed a couple of posts ago. I got chased out by the dark & hadnt quite finished the area. Due to my little bit of success I was keen to go back & finish it. I just took the GM with 5" coil as per before. Traveling nice & light. 👍 I didn't get there until 2pm & we had a hum dinger of a frost this morning & got a stunning clear blue sky day out of it. This spot at this time of the year gets no direct sun & was still in hard frost when I got there.
Bugger. going to be hard ground to go with it. It took me a while to get my first signal.
I had to use the pointy end of the pick to "break" the ground out & the signal was coming from that frozen clump of dirt.
I broke it in half & then saw a bit of gold poking its tongue out at me.
A 2nd signal wasn't long in coming
Another small bit of gold
That was it from this area, In could get nothing else. So I moved on to another area that had been good to me in the past. I got a few pellets & quite a few signals all in a very tight area. The ground didn't look overly favourable so after a few pellets I decided to give the other signals a miss & jumped across an old tailing race to a spot where I got a nice haul of chunky gold back with my GP 3000. Thinking this would be worth having a go for tiny gold with the Gold monster. I knew there was rotten schist bedrock not far down & I was going to scrape off the top dirt to expose this bedrock for the monster. I did a quick scan before doing so & BANG, got a signal. Not thinking it was going to be gold.
But it was
Nothing more so I scraped away about an inch of gravels over a bit of an area. Got numerous very soft faint signals.
And more Gold
I then whittled down a very positive hit to a bit of small schist
It was nutting off. How I didnt discard it initially I dont know. I was in full max sensitivity 10, Deep all metal mode & the gold chance indicator was hard all the way to the right & not flickering at all. I went into iron reject & the audio was nutting off & the gold chance indicator still hard to the right. I had rubbed the stone clean of dirt, or so I thought, & couldn't work out what the heck was going on. My magnet ignored it. I rubbed it again to clean or dislodge any gold that might have been stuck to it. Nothing dropped off into my scoop. I tumbled the stone over in my hand.....and then I saw it.
Mystery solved. Was a bit of a head scratcher.
Once these signals dried up I just scraped down to the schist bedrock & signals & gold just kept on coming. I ended up smashing into the bedrock & still they kept coming.
I then got a very good hit & the biggest bit of the day came to light.
Still the signals & tiny gold kept coming. I gave up taking pics as it was not far off dark & getting bloody cold. My feet were going numb. I called it quits at 20 pieces & will have to come back to it.
.61 of a gram. Was bloody fun though. I will be back. It ain't over.....
The Gold Monster was on fire.
Good luck out there
Hi guys, I guess the jet boating was a bit out of place so I will give it a miss. I can actually do without the video editing of a clip I was going to put up. So skipping ahead to sunday just gone. I was going to go jet boating up the Dart River at the top end of Lake Wakatipu as the New Zealand Jet Boating Association had its annual general meeting in Queenstown over the weekend & the Otago branch was celebrating its 50th anniversary on Saturday night, of which I am a member. So Mrs JW & I went along to that.
They were following up with a jet boat run up the Dart River on sunday. Ironically Mrs JW & I did the Dart River on Saturday as the commercial operation was having a half price locals day which we had booked in advance. I was still keen to go in our boat on sunday but Mrs JW wasn't. The river was very low & there has been bad fog. so all that could have ended up in a few groundings. I think Mrs JW is still getting over the pushing we had to do the other weekend on the West Coast.
So come sunday I decided to go for an afternoon detect to a local area. I grabbed the Gold Monster with its 5" coil & relented in taking the Nox or the GB2. Just the GM. Many of you will recognise the area from photos of previous posts of gold finds that I have made here. It is where I very first used my Nox 800 & the success I had there with it & also many times with the Gold Monster & GB2. No one knows better than me that you never get all the gold from a good producing spot. Ever. No matter how many times you go over it. No matter how very slow & thorough you have been each & every time. I have given up being surprised at getting more gold on different days at various location. Ok... it is very small gold, hence taking the GM 1000 & 5" coil. The Zed just can't cut it here anymore, but who knows...maybe one day it will. The thing I was banking on this day was how damp the ground was & how deep the dampness had penetrated into the ground due to a few recent snow falls that had melted away. But the cold winter days & frosts hadn't allowed the ground to dry out. I know I bang on about how this helps with better sensitivity & ground depth penetration, but it just seems to be a fact.
So I get to the spot. Fire up the GM. Let it cycle through its start up tuning. Deep All Metal Mode, Full max sensitivity on 10 & just using the detectors internal speaker backed off a couple of notches from full max & into it. Despite the damp ground it is running sweet in our insanely mild ground. Due to getting many small bits of gold here I am in absolutely no hurry with my coil sweep speed. Coil kissing the ground. Not even a couple of minutes into it I get my first signal. I said to myself that I should video this from start to recovery. I didn't....but I went through the whole procedure as if I was videoing it. Even talking it out. I went through all the settings. Auto sensitivity, Auto + sensitivity. Backed off to 9, 8 ,7 All metal mode & Iron reject. First off in 10 sensitivity & deep all metal when I first got the signal it was a very positive hit with the gold chance indicator saying non ferrous most of the time, but the occasional flicker to the dark side. Push the detect mode button to iron reject & still a very strong positive hit & audio signal. If it was ferrous it would have been silent in the audio & the gold chance indicator would have favoured the left side. So I was of no doubt that it was non ferrous. But was it going to be gold? I went back into deep all metal & backed off the sensitivity to 9, still a strong good hit & the gold chance indicator flicking to the right but being a bit eratic, 8 still a hit but a lot weaker. Would have pulled ME up but there was no movement on the gold chance indicator at all. Ok...time to dig. More of a scrape really. Signal was still in there so bit more of a scrape until the signal had moved.
Ah.... now had it in the scoop in that clump of dirt.
I see it. Ye Ha a bit of the good stuff.
Off to a good start. Slowly scanning about & not two feet away another sweet little signal. Went through the same procedure with settings as before & knew it was non ferrous.
It was on a schist face dropping down to a tailing race which is down in among those bushes to the left.
Another small bit of gold
Then another signal
Another bit of gold
Not even a bit of junk yet.
Moved on a little bit & was pulled up by another positive signal
This was a bit deeper
But gold again
Not two feet away I got another signal. This had me digging down to the schist bed rock & even smashing into it.
This was very promising, peeling out schist bedrock & the signal still in there. Non ferrous all the way. Then the signal was in my dug out pile but seemed a lot more mellow. MMmm... thats strange. It should be screaming. Isolated the target in my hand down to a bit of ferrous crap. WHAT....no way. Scanned back over the smashed out bedrock hole
& bingo....screamer signal. That's more what I expected. And here is why.
You beaut. 👍
Then things went quiet for a wee while so I did my mountain goat thing scrambling on the edge. A 6 foot section of this drop off face has already succumbed to the river below & from where I got a bit of gold in the past with the Zed before it broke away. That was a bit of a wake up call. But I got a signal with the GM & couldn't help myself.
Looking down to the left you will see the smooth slicken schist face from where the rock face peeled away & the ruble way down at the rivers edge.
But gold it was for the GM
But oh so small
Back away from the edge a bit I got another sweet little positive hit.
Smashing into the schist bedrock again to move the signal.
Another bit of gold
It was starting to get dark so I took a pic out in the field of what I had so far. 7
What are my chances of getting 10 bits before I call it quits or get driven out by the dark? I made 10 my goal, then I would leave.
Carrying on from my last bit, I got a signal between two raised edges of schist bedrock.
Scraped away into it until the signal was out.
Gold bit number 8.
Playing mountain goat again I got a faint faint signal. This glacial deposit area is prone to hot rocks but they are a distinct sound & the rare earth magnet soon sorts them out. This signal was better than that.
Still plenty of battery. Auto+ Sensitivity, deep all metal mode & volume down a couple of notches.
Gold bit number 9
One more to go. Come on.....
A few minutes later & it came
Number 10. Cool. Time to go.
Couldn't help myself & kept detecting as I walked out. Got another signal & gold bit number 11. Somehow when I got home to wash & weigh I lost a piece. Bugger.
So 10 bits here for the Gold Monster
.53 of a gram
First swing of the Gold monster for quite a while & it didn't fail to produce on absolutely flogged ground. Loved the damp conditions & although I am not too much of a fan of this tiny gold & all the effort that goes into it, it is a bit of a novelty & a fun way to fill in a few hours close to home on a nice cool wintery but sunny afternoon. Cheers
Good luck out there