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  1. I've been away doing some beach detecting and had a pretty good run on my Gold Bug Pro so I thought I'd better give that back to my wife to use and start using my Nox. We went to the next beach along the coast, only about 20 minutes drive into the next inlet from the first beach where my detectors were getting coins easily 20cm deep, often deeper without a glitch then on this new beach the sand looked different, it was darker in colour. I fired up the Nox and tried to ground balance and it ground balanced to 0, if I ran it in horse shoe mode I was constantly getting -8 and -9 over and over again on every single swing like a machine gun. I assumed this is the black sand style beach that VLF detectors just can't work on? After trying every mode from Park 1 to Gold 2 I found it ran most stable in Beach 2 with the sensitivity down to about 15. This is what the sand looked like, I didn't end up trying the GBP here as I forgot to bring it on this outing, but the Nox with multi would likely be the better choice for this black sand type stuff anyway The beach looked like it was at some point volcanic, this to me looked like Lava, I might be wrong. There was rocks of it that looked like they were flowing down to the water That's my daughter there playing with my sand scoop seeing I wasn't needing it. Unfortunately though due to the black sand I was virtually unable to detect, I found a bottle cap on the surface with the Nox and as a test I buried it at about 5cm, no luck, didn't see it at all, dug it up and put it on the surface and covered it in a tiny layer of sand and it picked it up with a really messed up scratchy signal with VDI's all over the place. I did however manage to find a single coin, right down near the water where for some reason the black sand wasn't as hindering and the detector felt like it was working slightly better but still had almost no depth. I don't know what the coin is yet, it's too corroded to work it out. Is there anything I could have done to make the Nox usable here? Or is this strictly the domain of a PI machine?
  2. phrunt

    Skunk Breaker

    I was excited about getting my Nox 12x15" coil and was hoping it would arrive in time for a trip up to the ski fields to do a detect for some jewellery, I've found the odd bit at the ski fields in the past and end up with a fair collection of coins at the same time so it's an easy day detecting and can be a bit of fun pulling up coins every 20 minutes or so. I'd already planned to do it and then it started raining but because I made the plan, I stuck with it. The drive up to the ski field I saw a weird rainbow, it was a tiny one, it struggled to get up off the ground 🙂 I didn't find anything amazing on the day, which is a bit disappointing as I may as well of been swimming as the rain ended up being heavy the entire day, much worse higher up on the mountain than it was down on ground level, when I drove back down the rain stopped halfway down! Lucky the Nox is waterproof. I did find someones bank card, an old Cardrona Ski Area badge which is a competing ski field and a free Breakfast at Snowy Valley Resort, I had to look up what that was and it's in Australia and the food has a reputation of being awful which is why someone probably threw the free meal away 🙂 I've taken a more dig it all between VDI 5 and 25 approach lately as I'm trying to find more rings, I was originally just digging coin VDI's and the method is working, I did find a ring that was a very solid 18 on the VDI's, I'm not sure it's of any value, it's not magnetic and has some numbers on the inside that don't mean anything to me, it was about 20cm deep so it's been there quite a while. Other than the ring I got my usual coins and something that I think is an ear ring. I'm pretty sure the ring is a junker. Before the next weekend my 12x15" coil arrived for my Nox so I was itching for another ski field detect to compare it to the 11" I usually use. I found it decent, the extra ground coverage was great and sped up the mission, I was able to cover an area in what felt like half the time I took with the 11" I didn't notice any depth advantage and I honestly don't know how I could judge if there was without doing some "testing" burying targets but that doesn't seem viable as I've found coins buried for a long time react differently. It did have a bit more trouble with EMI than the 11", but I guess that's to be expected with a bigger coil. Dropping the sensitivity back two or three notches fixed that up. The ski field is bad for EMI as it has high voltage power for the lifts and Wifi all over the mountain with powerful boosters and a mobile phone tower all right near each other. The other big difference with the new coil is NZ $1 and $2 coins both came up as VDI 21 on the 11", sometimes flicking to 22 on the $2 coins but mostly 21, with the 12x15" the $2 coins are consistently 22 on the VDI's with the $1 being solid 21, I can now tell which coin I'm about to dig with some confidence. My dealer, DredgeNZ threw in a snuffer bottle and gold pan with my purchase, he's a good guy and trustworthy, certainly not a "used car salesman" dealer 🙂 I did the dig it all approach with the 12x15" also, and recovered a number of coins and a reasonable amount of the usual ski field junk After my ski field mission I drove down into town to buy dinner and saw a message from KiwiJW asking if I wanted to go for a detecting mission the next day using his EBIKES!!!!! that of course was an excited YES! I have ordered a Steelphase SP01 audio enhancer and it had arrived at my local post depot but as I got home so late at night and was leaving early the next morning for the gold mission I was unable to get it in time for the trip. It arrived this morning, just too late for this mission 🙂 Can't wait to test this puppy out, although I might let John take it's maiden voyage as he'll be better at testing it and also he'll be able to compare it to his B&Z Booster so that will be interesting. It's on charge right now! I arrived at John's and we threw the Ebikes on the back of his truck and off we went, We went to a place we've done quite a number of times, rarely do we come away with nothing. John mostly does pretty well here, I sometimes get the odd nugget. The Ebikes made the ride up the hillside much easier, it's still a workout for a guy who hasn't ridden a bike in 10 or so years but I think if I wasn't on an Ebike I would of been pushing the bike up the hill rather than riding. Once you get into more level terrain they really show their ability, you can cruise along with almost no effort at all. They even had a little throttle trigger that you can press and it behalves then like an electric motorbike, driving along without you even needing to peddle, but of course this drains the battery more so you only use it when necessary. I often used it to take off, you know how when you ride a bike the initial takeoff requires a powerful peddle, not so with this nifty little trigger. A BIG thanks to Mrs JW for allowing me to use her Ebike!!!!!! I was silly and forgot to get a photo of the Ebikes! We started off detecting by going to some old throw out piles I'd never been to before, I don't think John had been to them either, the beauty of the Ebikes is you can go further than you could ever do walking. These piles had powerlines directly above them, I was thinking this maybe to our advantage as it keeps people with their detectors away, John's GPZ handles powerlines reasonably well, my GPX on the other hand doesn't with my coil configuration so I had my Monster with me just in case, and I was glad I did. The Monster doesn't care about power lines, worst case scenario I had to drop it back to Manual 9 instead of my usual highest setting of Manual 10, but even still that was to make it operate completely quietly, if on Manual 10 I got a bit of broken pulsing noise occasionally from the power lines and wasn't sure if that was causing any harm so I knocked back to Manual 9 just in case, both Auto and Auto+ were completely silent so I assume they were dropping back to Manual 8 and 9. John's GPZ was having a little more trouble than usual with the power lines but it may of been the wind, there was a warm breeze and we've both noticed sometimes wind direction seems to effect the EMI. The Monster performed well for me, I had found a signal, it was a very faint one so I scraped a bit, the signal then went all the way to the ferrous side so I scraped a bit more and it started to get random readings, a much more positive sign, the more I dug the more erratic the signal became until I got right down to the bedrock when then the signal went all the way to non-ferrous and I was now very hopeful of breaking my skunk. I've had about 6 weeks I think it would be with no gold. After a lot of messing around trying to recover the target and dropping it in the separation process I eventually found it, a tiny little bee poo bit of gold. It's to the left of the Minelab Logo on the coil, tiny little thing, you'll also notice a spider took up residence on my coil, not one of the life threatening touch me and you die spiders I'm used to from Australia, a friendly little chap who moved on doing his business when I took my gold off the coil. The depth was pretty amazing, It was at a depth where my scoop changed to it's handle, hard to see in that blurry photo but it's the only one I got. All 0.035 grams of it 🙂 but it's official, my skunk was broken! Another thing we both wanted to do on this mission is find a secret cave, there is one here but it's not easy to find and not marked on any maps or anything, we rode around for a while trying to find it, and then we parked up the Ebikes and went for a walk using John's google maps photo of the area, exploring around trying to find it. There was a cool looking rock formation in the area I call it the hotel rock, the old timer gold miners used to use rocks with hollowed out bits for accommodation, well this one was a multi level hotel, with hollowed out bit's all over the place. We even saw a rock that looked like someone had decided to cut in half with a giant saw I have no idea how that can naturally happen. We were wandering around for some time trying to find this cave, comparing where we thought we were with the google earth satellite photo and the location John thought the cave was but with no luck so we headed back to where we parked the bikes and you wouldn't believe it, the cave was right next to where we parked up, within 30 feet there were two cave entrances. We rode right past them both to park the bikes! unbelievable!!! John's navigational skills were better than he thought, he stopped right at the cave 🙂 The entrance is well hidden, that's it below me, the little dark hole! We didn't go down in there this time, it was a bit muddy from a massive rain storm we had a few days earlier, the most rain I've had at my place in years. A job for another day, maybe detect the walls of it with the GM 1000 🙂 Next we rode off to find somewhere else to detect, and stumbled across some old chinese workings and some nice terraced walls they had made to get their wheelbarrows up and down into a gully We started detecting again and John was trying to break his skunk (at this location), the last time he came here he was skunked and spent most of his day exploring, this time I was ahead with my little bee poo so the competition was on 🙂 We spent an hour or two detecting and found nothing then all the sudden John yells out he got one... uh oh, his is no doubt bigger than mine as the Zed can't find bee poo so I was in trouble, he was going to win again!! I've never won in gold tally, it's usually 10 to 1 if I'm lucky but this day I thought I had it in the bag. John had a forgetful day, it happens to the best of us but his was out of control He forgot to bring his gumboots he usually detects in so he has no metal on his feet, but to make it worse he had steel capped shoes on!!! I often found his shoes laying around where we were detecting as he ended up having to detect in his socks Lucky the ground wasn't wet. He also forgot his phone so I was chief photographer, Not a role I excel at as I always forget to take photos. He also forgot his scoop so he had to separate out his targets the old fashioned way. It wasn't 2 minutes after John yelled out he got his nugget and I was yelling back, I GOT ONE. I was getting desperate to find another one and scanning the ground wasn't working for me so I started kicking over rocks. This has worked in the past and it worked again. I put a red circle around my little nugget so it can be seen, tiny little thing for such a big coil. My biggest of the day, 0.162 grams! Now this brings up a question, this nugget was an absolute screamer, a nice loud "wee woo" even with the coil 10cm above the nugget I get a nice "wee woo" yet this area has bucket loads of shotgun pellets, if I use my Monster I can find one every square meter, yet the GPX wasn't seeing them, yet it screams out loud on this bit of gold which incidently weighs less than a pellet. An example, here is a pellet I found with the GM at the same place It's bigger, and weighs more yet the GPX with NF 14x9" Evo coil completely ignores it, yet it will find a nugget than weighs less and is smaller in size with a loud screaming signal, so loud I thought I had a 22 shell. I completely don't understand this so if anyone has an idea why, please do tell. Now it was game on again, I had two nuggets and John had one, we were walking along finding piles to detect on and our detectors had an argument, his was making noises at mine, mine was making noises back at his, then all the sudden mine makes a police siren noise, scaring his detector off... my detector feels a little intimidated by his superior detector so it faked a police siren to scare his off. It wouldn't even be ten minutes later and John's yelling out he's got another one, 2 for 2... I knew he had won as I had a bee poo, and his would have to be bigger and of course they were. His were .12 & .22 of a gram so he won again 🙂 We called it a day and jumped on the Ebikes and headed back to the car, fastest trip back I've ever had, often we are walking out and it gets dark as it's an hour or so to walk back, we were back in under 10 minutes thanks to the bikes... best time of the day for an easy trip down as we were both pretty exhausted. To top off John's forgetful day he even left his sunglasses in the toilets at KFC at dinner time A big thanks again to Mrs JW for the use of her Ebike! Sure made the day a lot easier and more fun and of course to JW for taking me along 🙂
  3. Last Thursday/Friday we had some very consistent rain. Two days & two nights of pretty heavy rain. That is very unusual for the Queenstown area. It didnt seem that cold but when it cleared snow was low down in the hills. This from our front door. Still a bit cloudy. By late afternoon it had stopped raining so I decided to get out for a local detect. I ended up going back to the last little spot where I got 3 bits for .76 of a gram . With the wet ground I liked my chances of getting more off the same ground. I E-Biked in there & there was snow on the tops. This looking across to a lateral glacial moraine that has been cut through by that trickle of water over time. This trickle is usually dry & only flows with snow melt or heavy rain. Looking in the opposite direction more snow on the tops & schist bedrock in the foreground that has had gold in it. Despite my confidence the signals were not coming. I finally got a signal over some bedrock that I had detected the time before & had got nothing. This time it was a definite signal. The damp ground had brought it to life. Hacking into the schist bedrock & peeling it out before the signal finally had moved. It still took a bit to isolate it & get it in my hand. But gold it was. .22 of a gram. But that was it. Oh well....at least I beat the skunk. The next day Mrs JW was keen to go out somewhere. She had twisted her ankle badly & has been two weeks on crutches. She was sick of being cooped up inside & not able to get around very easily. She wanted a change of scenery & was content to just head off up into the hills. Even if it still meant just sitting in my truck. So off we went. I hadn't been detecting over this way for quite a while & the last two months has been lambing time so I had not really even considered it. I called in to see the farmer & to ask which paddocks to keep out of. He said the lambs were far enough advanced & I could go anywhere. So that was good. I was amazed to see how much snow they had over this way up in the hills. He told me that they had had 58mm of rain in the last two days. That is close to two & a half inches. The grass had gone mental so that wasn't going to be too good for my detecting. Good for the farmer though as this time of the year it can be pretty dry. I decided to go higher up in the hills where hopefully the grass growth hadn't gone too crazy. I got over to Doug's Gully, as l call it, & dropped down into it. Mrs JW had no phone signal down in the gully so I drove up to the top of the spur for her. Meant I had to walk back down. A few days earlier that snow in the background was all gone. Oh well.....down to the gully & the old turned over gully floor piles. I have detected this gully countless times with all my gold detectors & I usually always still come away with some gold. Albeit small bits these days. What would today hold? I was backing the wet conditions & damp ground to really help me out here. I took down the Zed & the GB2. I still have a soft spot for the GB2. It has found me numerous small bits down there but so to has the Gold Monster. But I chose the GB2 today. In fact I started with the GB2 as I wasn't feeling very confident with the Zed. On getting down to the gully floor & in all the times I have been down here I have never ever seen any water in this gully. Let alone any flowing water. There is a first time for everything. 5 minutes into it I had my very first signal. Could have been a shogun pellet. But it wasn't .03 of a gram. 10 feet away another signal. Purple flowers are wild thyme bush flowers. It is that time of the year. Another small bit of gold. Looking up the gully & the old turned over piles. Looking down gully I decided to detect down the gully. Nothing for an hour & a half but shot gun pellets. I worked my way back up to the Zed with no more gold to show. So I swapped over to the Zed & retired the GB2. It had saved a skunk any way. I wasnt too long in getting a nice mellow signal with the Zed. The photo doesn't do justice to the depth of the dig but it was a bit of gold. I was just detecting the old timer piles as I have done countless times before. The damp conditions were certainly giving me an edge today. Another signal. This looking up the gully & over a few of the old piles. Another bit of the good stuff. But small. .03 of a gram with the Zed & its 14" coil. I was on fire. The signals & gold kept coming off these piles And the signals kept coming As did the gold Looking down gully. The back filled hole to the right of the GB2 was the last piece. This the next piece & ended up being my last before heading out. All up 7 pieces for just .89 of a gram. 2 for the GB2 & 5 for the mighty Zed. The damp conditions helping me out again. The next day was my E-Bike mission with Simon of which you have had that story from Simon, Phrunt. These are the two bits that I ended up with. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  4. Hi Guys, I have been a bit slack in coughing up posts of my adventures & finds over the last couple of weekends. So I will go back a couple of weekends to my first mountain E-bike mission up into the hills chasing gold. The challenge was always going to be just how do I carry everything on me on the bike. My only choice was to put it all into my backpack. Pro swing harness with WM12 & B&Z booster & twin speakers clipped onto it. Pick, pick holder & belt. Smoko bag & coffee thermos. The Zed with coil & shaft sticking out the top of the pack. That was going to be the biggest obstacle negotiating through bush & past rocky outcrops without getting the detector caught up on something & getting thrown off the bike, hopefully not down a ravine, or worse...breaking the detector shaft. Oh well....we will find out. So I was all packed up ready to go. Bike on the bike rack & I was off. Simon has committed himself to skiing every weekend day until the end of the ski season. So no Simon. He was up there somewhere on Coronet Peak. I got to as far as I could drive & got the bike all set up ready to go. It was all uphill from here. Having the backpack on certainly didn't help too much with balance & poise on the bike. I need to centralise the detector & tie it tight so it doesn't flop about. Lesson one. While it certainly was a lot quicker getting up the hill than walking, it was still bloody hard work & I was pretty knackered when I got to as far as I could ride. I then had to ditch the bike & carry on with backpack on & climb higher. Tee shirt was soaking wet. Still had a fair way to go Still a bit of snow in the shadows. Note the high sluiced gully center top of pic & the material "flowing" into the creek. Heading on up. That horizontal line cutting across the browe of the hill is a water race that would have feed the sluicing of that gully in the above pic. Up & up & time for a breather. Absolutely stunning country. I love it. Looking back down to the gully floor & the whole floor of the gully has been turned over by the old timers. All done by hand. After having a look around & a bit of a reconoscience I started detecting. I chose some exposed schist bedrock. I got a sweet sounding signal. Bingo. On the same run of bedrock another signal. I am way up from the gully floor but in a bit of a natural run off. Another small bit of gold. I noticed some rotten crumbling looking schist bedrock on a steep slope that looked promising. Got another signal. looking down the gully. A nice slug it was. There were a few finds that I didn't bother taking any pics as it was pretty steep & I always turn my phone off as it interferes with the detector. So sometimes it is a bit of a pain turning it on to take photos, so on some I didn't bother. I had to start thinking about heading out so I started my walk back down. Detecting as I went. I got to some alluvial/glacial gravels that were just above some old workings. I got a nice sounding signal. Looking down on the same dig Another sassy bit of gold. On the same gravels I got another nice hit. This one went down to a bit of depth. My biggest bit of the day. Then on the edge of some bedrock & these gravels, another signal. Another small bit of the good stuff. That was my lot, I had to get a wriggle on to get out before dark. Still had a bit of a walk back to the bike & then a bit of an uphill grind to get up out of this gully for the big downhill back to my wagon. I had seen quite a few broken glass bottles & on my walk back to the bike I saw a bit of green glass only just visible in the dirt. I carefully scraped around it with my pick. Expecting it to be just another broken bottle. But it wasn't. Gosh...that is a first. They are always broken. That one came home. On my walk back to the bike I came across three of my mates, & the only other life I saw all day apart from a few rabbits, which sums up the type of country I was in. Mountain goats. Had a close call riding the bike back down. I got a bit over confident coming down a very narrow part of the track with some over hanging brush. Sort of forgot about the detector sticking up out as much as it was. It clipped a bush & very nearly threw me off & over a bluff. Don't tell Mrs JW, ok Simon.....It tore the skid plate off the coil & I was so thankful it didn't break the shaft. Whew....& the skid plate did not sail off over the bluff. Sure was fun coming down, apart from that close call. WAY quicker & easier than walking. End result on the gold front was 12 pieces for 3.54 grams & believe it or not. Not one piece of rubbish. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  5. Warning: Pull up a comfy chair and grab a coffee! We decided being school holidays we would take our daughter for a camping trip, up to near KiwiJW's house at my summer sluicing area. The main reason for the trip was it's coming to the end of ski season and the camping location is only a short drive to the two ski fields we had a season pass to access. I packed my Equinox 800 with both coils, T2 with Mars Tiger and GPX 4500 with NF Evo 14x9 for the trip anticipating a lot of metal detecting opportunities. The first week was very busy skiing, we had perfect weather with the only rainfall I can remember happened overnight one night which caused a dump of about 12 inches of fresh snow over the ski fields so we can hardly complain about that. After the snow storm the Avalanche risk went up significantly and due to all the extra snow they extended the ski season another couple of weeks. This was a bit disappointing but good at the same time as I was waiting for the ski fields to close as I've had good luck finding coins under the lifts last season. Considerable avalanche risk, we did see the leftovers of an avalanche the next morning but I didn't have my phone with me to take a photo. It could be one the ski field caused as they bomb the hillside overnight sometimes if they think there is a big risk. My wife didn't really like all the extra snow the morning after the overnight dump as they hadn't yet groomed it so the ski field was a bit wild. However by the next day it was all back to it's usual self. I went metal detecting most nights to the beach front of the lake. I was digging up a lot of coins, mostly modern coins but a few really old NZ coins and a number of foreign coins, mostly American and British coins but some odd looking coins that I suspect are Asian. A couple of American coins and a British pound, I ended up finding a few pounds as they came up the same VDI numbers as NZ Gold Coins. Some old NZ coins. I got quite a few of these, most of them come from where the water meets the land on the lake, whereas most other coins were always further up on the beach. Some more unusual coins and an old 1810 necklace bit of bling. It's some religious thing about Mary. The ring I suspect is just junk and that was my first Australian gold coin of many more to come. The funny shaped coin is an old Queenstown Gondola Coin. I don't know much about it or why they have coins. One of the many American dimes I found. I was fortunate enough to find 5 rings on the trip, one of which is a Lord of the Rings gold ring which appears to be worth quite a bit of money, it weighs 15 grams and after doing my research it appears to be the 14k gold ring as it weighs approx 15 grams. They don't put gold hallmarks on the rings unless the purchaser requests it to keep it authentic to the movie. Also it has the engraving on the inside and outside which costs more, it seems it's possibly worth $2,654 NZD https://www.jenshansen.co.nz/collections/movie-rings/products/yellow-gold-elvish-love-ring This was the nights take when I found the Gold Ring I called it early after finding the ring to go back to my Poptop Caravan to tell my wife of my find. This started to get her and my daughter interested in trying detecting so the next day we hit the lakefront in a quiet area where no people were during the daytime It was only about 30 minutes after my wife took this photo my daughter decided to take her Go-Find 40 onto the rocks in the background, neither of us were paying attention as my wife was on my T2 and I was on the Nox detecting around and she took a tumble and landed in the water, the Go-Find was submerged but she quickly turned it off and ran over and said what happened. I was pleased she turned it off quickly and had no idea how she knew to even do that but I took the batteries out of it and we jumped in the car with it hanging out the car window to dry it out, then we went back to the Caravan and put it in a plastic bag with about a kilo of rice in it and left it overnight. By morning I was game to try turn it on so I put in the batteries and fired it up, worked a treat, no issues at all. The next day after skiing my wife wanted to try metal detecting again so we went to another quiet section of the lakefront, these were the finds that day I like the coin with the dude with the glasses, no idea what country it is but I know if I wore glasses and was going to be put on a coin I'd be throwing on some contact lenses 🙂 My wife got a couple of NZ gold coins with the T2 and also the little silver ring that's a bit buckled up, I straightened it up as good as I could as it was worse than that originally. I found the dolphin ring with the Equinox, it came up solid numbers which was a surprise as I'm sure at some point I'd seen a video of someone finding a similar ring which was a bit wild on the numbers due to the two dolphins and the way they join. My daughter never did find anything with the Go-Find but that's no surprise, it's hard to use a detector without VDI numbers in a place that has so many bottle tops and pull tabs as you spend all your time digging them. This was my next night detect on the lakefront, I got quite a lot of older coins that night as I'd already mostly cleaned up that area other nights of the modern gold coins. The view from the lakefront where most detecting took place. I found two cell phones on the night detects, one I didn't get a photo of as my daughter claimed it for a toy but it was an I-Phone 5 with a smashed screen, it works fine but wants a password to get into it. The other phone is a Chinese android phone and also works fine although it also has a broken screen. Both phones were buried in the lakefront gravel. I ended up finding 4 sets of keys but didn't bother with photos of junk. One of the two ski fields finally closed as they didn't have enough staff to stay open with a majority of the staff being from overseas and they had already booked flights to the Northern hemisphere for working at the Ski fields there. The snow was getting pretty thin on the lower part of the mountain where the beginners area is also which would have forced the close. We drove on up and all three of us gave detecting on the beginners magic carpet area a go. We picked this area as beginners fall over the most and are most likely to lose coins falling over 🙂 My daughter lost interest pretty quick and ended up reading books on her kindle most of the day. The Equinox was getting some gold coins at stupid depths, I wasn't able to get photos as my phone was flat and charging isn't easy when you are in an unpowered camping area and your Caravans battery goes flat, mainly because I forgot to charge it before we left so it just had charge leftover from last summer. I am sure I was digging gold coins in snow at about 45 cm sometimes, way deeper than I can get in air tests, I can't understand why this happened, the Nox just liked the snow and ice. Here was the take from the day, the $10 note was just sitting there in some melting snow. We then went up for another ski for our final day at the other ski field which extended another week, no doubt using some staff from the one that closed as they're both owned by the same company. This is how it looked first thing in the morning, pretty neat with the clouds below. The drive back down later in the day was just as nice, KiwiJW's house is just out of view to the left in this photo. I couldn't get a photo of his spot as a lump in the mountainside got in the way blocking the view of his area from where I parked. The next day was showing my daughter some gold mining history in the area by taking her to old chinese gold miners huts They are pretty cool to see, I detected for a bit in the area but the black sand was too much for the Equinox and I had to block out VDI's -9 to 10 to get it running stable so gold was going to be out of the question, I think I only found one coin. It snowed a bit on us, but nothing too major on the ground, it all mostly landed up higher The next day was skiing again but JW sent me a message asking if we wanted to come over for a BBQ, my wife had a friend visiting so that seemed a great excuse for me to escape that and go visit JW so off I went, and to my surprise he had his Jet boat ready to go for a spin so off we went, really awesome fun, love the little thing, it goes like a rocket. We went for an hour or more but it was starting to get dark so we had to head back, the water was so clear even in the really deep bits you could see the bottom perfectly. I took too long to decide to get a video so it was starting to get dark when I took it. Another day came and a rainbow formed over the area where JW's taken me before to find some nuggets so I went off with the Nox and 6" to try find more nuggets high up in the workings above the creek. This is my favourite sluicing creek where we parked up our Caravan I ended up never finding the workings and got myself quite lost in the dense bush above the creek, it was starting to get dark and I was hoping to make it out before dark. I eventually found my way down to the creek and got myself out of there. I did find lots of old stacked rocks and detected around them but had no luck on the gold. Another day came and another message from JW asking if we wanted to pop in for a BBQ, this was the last day of our trip and my Dad's Birthday so the BBQ was once again out which is unfortunate but I did manage to get to visit as the ski field had to close as the road up to it had far too much ice from a big freeze overnight. My daughter was very upset as she misses the last day of skiing for the season so my wife took her 10 pin bowling and to a movie as an alternative source of fun while I visited JW. The weather cleared up about midday so we went detecting with JW on his Zed and me on my 4500, JW managed to score 7 bits and I continued my skunk getting nothing. I was really struggling with hot rocks in this location digging about 50 of the damn things, they gave me a good signal so I kept digging them, some of them tiny, the size of a small nugget. I was getting annoyed at the things and couldn't work out how to ground balance them out. I guess I have to learn the different sound they make on the GPX over gold as at my ability level I just have to dig everything. Our total finds from the trip, a majority with the Equinox but my wife managed about $10 of it with the T2. I promised my daughter earlier in the trip she could keep all the gold coins I found expecting to find about $20, I was wrong, We ended up finding just under $150 in modern coinage so she bought herself a tablet with the money, big smiles!!! Disclaimer : This post is probably full of errors and the days all mixed up, I'll fix it when I get time, still unpacking and sorted stuff out from the trip
  6. Hi Guys, I am giving this its own thread as I think it deserves its own separate topic. It started with a Reply to Jim_Alaska's Query on my Continued On From My Previous Gold Finds post. Jim_Alaska Posted yesterday at 04:24 AM “JW, the gold in your pictures seems to be water worn. Is it glacial gold or was there once a river at the height you were working that slope?” kiwijw Posted yesterday at 01:46 PM... Hi Jim, It is a tricky one. Most definitely was a glacial valley & with more than one advance.This particular valley was just one finger of this massive glacier that buried the countryside for many thousands of feet with just the rugged mountain tops protruding above the ice. Evidenced by there jagged rugged peaks as opposed to just below them the ice grounded & smoothed styrated mountain sides. There is a river way down below. That river is believed to have not used to have been there & is fairly recent geologically speaking. The glacial lake that now flows out through that river used to flow out many many miles way further south at what is now the southern end of Lake Wakatipu. Possibly the last major advance of the glacier pushed up a terminal moraine, like a giant bulldozer blade of ice pushing material ahead of it. Effectively blocking off this glacial river draining system like a natural earth, rocks & boulders, dam. Today the main highway passes through the boulder field of massive rocks & debry that was pushed & carried many many miles & traveling on the ice. And then literally just dumped when the ice retreated & melted away never to advance again. Dropping these massive rocks to the ground. A lot of these rocks are very foreign to the local geological makeup of the surrounding mountains. Having come from a long way back. These foreign rocks are known as erratics. I know Jim that you will have an understanding of all this but I am being a bit more thorough in my description for those that don't. After traveling this highway a bit further it climbs up & over the moraine & then drops down into, across & up the other side of this now cut off & dried up riverbed. You can see it as plain as day. Even one not up to play with what has gone on will recognize it as an old river despite that it has grass growing in it now. Well sort of among the rocks & gravels. The banks are still there & the dried up river trough "flows" & winds its way down this glacial valley, although very wide, for miles. The road still passing through older boulder fields & moraines. About the same time as this last advance that blocked off this river, give or take a few hundred or thousand years geologically speaking, it is believed there was a major event that ripped open the ground in this valley where I have been detecting that caused this "new" river & the present day out let for the lake. This major event affected & changed many other land drainage localities in the Otago region. In some cases draining massive lakes. Along with mountain building, land upheaval, faulting & folding, subsidence & glaciation, Otago is a tortured landscape like no other. Bearing in mind that the Southern Alps, from which these glaciers flowed from, are caused by the collision zone of the pacific tectonic plate with the Indo Australian plate. Getting back to your initial comment. Yes the gold is very alluvial. All the Queenstown area gold & most of Otago gold is very alluvial no matter where you find it. Could be 5 thousand feet up on top of a mountain plateau or any where up & along the flanks. No present day river or water for miles. No sign of water worn rocks or debris. Glacial debris....yes....tell tale alluvial river worn material.....no not always up in the hills except in present day rivers. Maybe glacial melt water river/creek type "alluvial" material. But they aren't as rounded & water worn in a lot of cases as a lot of that material is just ruble & debri that got carried on the glacial ice & not pounded & rolled like river material does. The Glacially carried material just being dropped when the ice melted away & only subjected to the dying glaciers melt water forming a river to give it an alluvial worn look. Until there was no melt water left & the river dried up. I am talking up in the hills & higher areas not the valley floors that carry present day rivers. I guess I am theorising in my own head trying to work it out. I know over the years I have given up but it still intrigues me. Possibly the alluvial gold that is now way up in the hills was deposited by river systems that no longer exist. That the glaciers came & wiped out the the rivers alluvial gravels & material. Leaving the gold buried down in the schist where I am finding it. The land also being pushed up to the heights it is now. The higher sides of this valley I have been detecting in & where this"new" river now flows out from the lake has two hugely major gold bearing rivers flowing into it. The Shotover river, known in the early gold rush days as the richest river in the world, & running parallel & separated by a ridge line, the Arrow River. In turn these two rivers had hard rock gold mines developed near their heads. These loads being only a shadow of what they must have been to have released the amount of gold they did. On Lake Wakatipu, a glacial lake, all the gold deposits & loads are on this northern side going back to the lakes head. Nothing on the other side of the lake. The stamper battery & crushing plant being the glaciers which would have filled these side valleys of the gold bearing creeks & rivers of today flowing into the lake from the north & the Shotover & Arrow rivers flowing into this now "new" river that drains the present lake. The signs are there that the lake was much bigger & the water level much higher than today. Possibly held back by massive moraines until this major event happened & erosion from the lakes release cut through & washed the moraine away. Leaving pockets of lateral moraine & glacial silt deposits which are in there own right massive & obvious. https://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/about-doc/concessions-and-permits/conservation-revealed/wakatipu-landscapes-lowres.pdf I have gotten carried away again. I may even add to this. Good luck out there JW kiwijw Posted yesterday at 05:14 PM I have included this link of the Ree's & Dart track. More so just for the photos but it is an enjoyable read nonetheless. These two rivers enter at the very head of Lake Wakatipu & there headwaters were the source of this once immense glacier. The Dart glacier just a small Remanent & one of many now smaller glacier remnants up in the mountains heads. The photos of the Dart Glacier show what I was talking about with the rock debris sitting on top of the ice & just going along for the ride & just being dropped when the ice melted away. I have also included it to show just how very similar the glacial countryside is to what Steve has been sharing with us on his Chisana & Gold Hill post. Virtually identical. Enjoy. https://www.gang-gang.net/nomad/NZ/NZ34.htm JW
  7. Hi guys. Saturday dawned a beautiful clear blue sky day & Mrs JW was keen to take our mountain bikes, that I had recently converted to Electric Mountain Bikes. Mrs JW's bike My bike Taking them for their first major uphill/mountain excursion to some old gold workings. Some of the highest & most remote in the country. I hadn't really planned on it & so wasn't organised for it. It took me a while to find my mountain biking box of bits & pieces, including a very handy bike tool kit that is a much needed accessory when off out in the middle nowhere. I eventually found it all & checked every thing. Yep all there including a couple of spare tyre tubes. We were ready to go. Mrs JW said, "Aren't you taking a detector?" I let on to her that I don't think you are quite aware of what we are in for. So no to a detector. I will just treat this as a reconnaissance mission. We got to our destination & started off. The wagon is parked somewhere down by that clump of dark trees left of center in the background. It was 3 hours of up. And up Mrs JW broke her chain. It gave her a good chance to have a bit of a breather. Me to I guess. Luckily I had a chain breaker in my little bike tool kit. I had never ever had to use it before & I have done a lot of mountain biking over the years. It certainly saved the day. Not that it would have been difficult going back down. You didn't need to peedle going down. So with the chain fixed, minus one link, we were off again. Mrs JW having another breather further up & making noises about, this is far enough, I have had enough. Our destination was that gully directly above her head & around that hill top. Only it isn't really a hill top. It goes on quite a bit further than that. I managed to coax her on a bit further. In the above pic you will see some disturbed ground center right. They are old bucket dredging tailing piles. After our second rest stop & coaxing Mrs JW to carry on we headed off again. Getting up into spinifex, spear grass, Spaniard grass, country. Nasty stuff. Things got even steeper & Mrs JW was calling for enough again. Bugger. I haven't even got to the beginning of any old workings. I knew they were not far off. Maybe another half an hour. But no...that was as far as we were going to get. Mrs JW dug in her toes. I was amazed she went this far & she had done real good. So that was it. Down we went. 3 hours up & not even half an hour to get back down. That was fun. On our way down we went & checked out a little old Trommel plant I noticed on our way up. From here I saw an old hand stacked schist stone wall off in the distance. I said to Mrs JW it is either an old road/track embankment or a water race. Lets go check it out. Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great..... It was a water race embankment. If you go back to the first pic of the trommel plant you will see the level cut continuation of the water race center right. That was our Saturday E-Bike days adventure. Sundays detecting with Simon to be continued. Cheers Good luck out there JW
  8. Yesterday started off what looked to be a bad winters day, fresh snow all around my house on the hills and a fog with drizzle, KiwiJW had invited me along for a detect if the weather was good when we woke up, and the weather was terrible!!! I quickly jumped on the NZ Weather website hoping it would be better up near JW's house as it usually is, and what do you know, it had no issues at all, just some high cloud with no sign of any rain. It's amazing a place 90km's / 1 hour drive down the road has such different weather. I arrived at John's and he was ready to roll, and jumped in the car and off we went. We arrived at our chosen destination, a place I'd been desperately wanting to go back to but was unsure I'd find my way out again as it's over an hour walk from the road down little old sheep tracks or something into the mountains with lots of little tracks going off in all directions, a place somebody like myself with no directional skills can easily get lost. I've remedied that now "in theory" as I've got hiking software on my phone with offline maps designed just for people like me called ViewRanger ... with it I can record my steps and take the same steps back out again 🙂 It's the spot you may recall me talking about that has the path that just keeps on giving.... there is this section of track on the long walk, around the halfway mark which is handy as we always stop there for a drink or snack to keep us energized for the rest of the walk. The path that keeps on giving turns out was in a giving mood AGAIN. I have never found anything in this path but John manages to ensure his day won't be a skunk every single time he detects this path, I started at the bottom with my Nox and was just getting used to using Gold 2 on it, the coil was a little more knock sensitive and I was hitting a lot of areas that were coming up -8 to -9 on the VDIs, but the same spot would also flick across to 12 to 14 on random sweeps so when not in all metal swinging over it I was getting broken up signals all the time around 12 to 14. I later in the day worked out to switch over to Horseshoe mode and put up with getting -8 and -9 signals rather than getting all these broken up crackling 12 to 14 signals all the time which was frustrating, it was much nicer to deal with getting the high negative signals which I assume were types of hotrocks in this area. I ended up getting nothing out of the path that keeps on giving, John on the other hand did in the path what I regularly do in a day, even though this path has been absolutely thrashed by us both, using the GPZ, GPX and Gold Monsters. I will leave it for John to tell his story about what he got out of this crazy stretch of the path 🙂 This was the first time I'd taken my Equinox into this area, I don't think from memory John's had his in there either, we headed back to this odd little ridge where a couple of trips ago we found quite a number of little nuggets right up at the top left side of this ridge, it makes no sense why they would be there, some just in the grass roots. John was running his GPZ all day and I started off on my GPX with Nuggetfinder Evo 14x9, it was getting so many signals and I was digging lots of junk and was really getting frustrated with all the digging and no results, I had a target I was sure was going to be something good but my hole just kept getting deeper and deeper and I wasn't able to track down the target, I thought maybe I'm looking for a ghost nugget and even used my Garrett Carrot to try find it but no luck, so I dropped my GPX and walked back to our bags where I left my Nox, not sure if I was even going to be using it and swept it over the top of the hole, no signal at all, lowered it down halfway in the hole and boom, a nice target sound and a steady 7 reading on the VDI, I was a tad worried as 7 seemed pretty high for a nugget but sure enough, after a little pinpointing using the Nox out it popped, the biggest nugget I've found in some time. There was a bit of snow on the hills and surrounding mountains, none down at our level although not far off At this point I decided I'd put the GPX down, I knew I would be losing significant depth as the Nox only picked up that previous nugget half way down it's hole but I would also gain the ability to discriminate, something that seemed vital at this location. I am starting to wonder if Johns GPZ handles whatever these -8 -9 signals are better and ignores them as he doesn't seem bothered by them yet I couldn't take a step or two without hitting one. I knew my plan for the day was to try Gold 2 out, my iron bias was set to zero, it was the best way to run the machine nicely without being bothered by the positive signals these possibly hotrocks were giving. I tried lowering the recovery even lower than 4 and the machine just got too unstable and knock sensitive so I set it back to 4. I stayed exclusively on this little ridge all day detecting around, I probably stayed within a 60 meter by 30 meter area all day. However, the Nox delivered, it felt like I was digging another nugget about every 30 or so minutes My smallest of the day, 0.043 grams I had an unusual one also, I found a big bit of quartz looking rock that was making my detector sound off with a 1-2 on the VDI's. I thought I was going to have to take it home and smash it up so see what's inside but after some time hitting it with my pick in random spots the signal disappeared off it. I was at a loss as to why, I hadn't even cracked it yet so I scanned the ground around where it was and what do you know, a little bit of gold sitting on the ground. I guess the gold was stuck to the rock. I was tempted to carry the rock out with me just in case there was more as I was still getting a signal with no VDI's when scanning over it but I really didn't want the weight in my backpack to carry out, my legs were already like rubber from the previous 3 days over the weekend where I skied every day and into the night on two of them. This one was my second biggest of the day, it was coming up a 5-6 on the VDI's, it's very flat and thin but quite a decent size. And my last nugget dig for the day was also an interesting one, I was certain I'd dug a shotgun pellet except the VDI was a stable 5. When I first dug it I was certain I'd dug a pellet, it was round and looked like a pellet when it was brown covered in dirt, it was rolling around in my scoop like a pellet does so with my little knowledge on guns I thought maybe it was a shotgun that had bigger pellets. I decided for some unknown reason before throwing it in my pockets junk collection to spit on it and give it a clean and I am sure glad I did... it was a gold BALL! It's a very round bit of gold. I ran the Nox all day and left the GPX back at my pack, something I didn't go there expecting to do but the Nox was just working so well, I ended up running Gold 2, sensitivity 24 and manual ground balanced it. I won't talk about John's side of the day, that's his story but he had a good day also 🙂 I am still shocked by his efforts in the path that keeps on giving! Especially seeing that path has only ever given... to him 😄 and my total for the day We walked out and got back to the car just after it got dark, I had the best time! My second most successful day ever with 6 nuggets in my jar.
  9. Hi guys, Came across this on our local forum site. "Paydirt". Unbelievable. Check out the youtube footage. Enjoy. He did http://community.paydirt.co.nz/t/gold-detected-in-the-middle-of-christchurch/2909 Cheers JW
  10. I'm not much of a coin/relic hunter, I've dedicated my detecting time mostly to Gold prospecting so my jewellery finds lately have been more chance than anything, first a found a silver ring at a ski field using the Equinox while I was trying to get my wife and daughter hooked on detecting by going to a place they will find coins to excite them, next I found a silver/ivory ring while detecting for gold using my GPX 4500 at a prospecting location and then today my most bizarre find of all using my Gold Monster 1000. I chose to use the GM1000 because it's tiny coil was handy for quick recoveries. I was itching to go for a detect as I'm all excited my Equinox 800's new 6" coil is on it's way to my house but I had a job to do today, we bought a bunch of 20 hedging plants to put along a fence line of my back paddock as there is a house there with neighbours and I dislike any form of neighbours so I wanted to block them out more than the 6 foot fence will do. This part of the paddock is riddled with junk, lots of old rusty nails and rubbish from a point in time where there was an old farm house on the land. I'm converting my back paddock into normal landscaped ground as I got rid of my pet sheep before winter. I was worried I wouldn't have enough grass for them to last the winter as I've planted out half the paddock as a fruit orchid with 30 or so fruit trees so I had to fence that part off or they would eat them. That wasn't an invitation for kiwi and pet sheep jokes I was digging up all the ground along the fence line to get rid of the grass there while the soil is all soft, the frozen ground has defrosted the past week or so as we've had abnormally warm temperatures for winter and this part of the paddock normally stays frozen as it's in the shade from the fence so my wife wanted me to take the opportunity to dig up the ground ready to put the hedge. We bought all the plants last week ready for them to start to grow in spring. I hate digging there in summer as the ground goes rock hard and dry. I was going to dig up the entire area anyway so I was walking along it digging up all signals with the GM1000 but it got too hard as there were so many targets so I went in discriminate mode finding any non-ferrous and digging them. I found my share of junk, one odd looking thing with metal balls on it, no idea what it is Starting digging the area and and targeting non-ferrous with the GM1000 Strange looking object with the metal balls, a giant chunk of metal too, not sure what it is but its non-ferrous Some more junk The weather was starting to turn as it's meant to snow tonight up on the mountains around here, it was getting windy and dark clouds approaching so I started to speed things up and stop digging any of the grass up and just went exclusively digging non-ferrous targets and I had a loud signal all the way to the right on the non-ferrous meter on the GM, I was hoping an old coin as I'd found lots of old coins in the paddock behind mine a few months ago with the T2. I decided to take photos/video of the recovery when it got interesting and I dug and found an old bit of a branch of a tree but the signal was loud and coming through the wood thinking I was about to film an old coin recovery. Turned out to be some sort of old jewellery I'm not sure if it's real gold, but the gold indicator on the GM1000 goes all the way across to non-ferrous, I'm unsure what the pearl looking stuff is either. The interesting thing is when I cleaned it up, it says Western Germany on it, no hallmarks at all that I can find. Since it says Western Germany I can guess it's pretty old as now it would just say Germany. My guess is it was about 10-15 cm deep, I took a video of the recovery thinking I was digging up a coin but it's not overly worth watching as I wasn't knowing it was going to be anything decent so I didn't put any effort into keeping it stable or anything but I'll put the video up if anyone's interested. I'm not sure what the thing is, looks like you hook it on something.
  11. Hi guys, I am going to start off with going back a few weekends when Mrs JW & I headed over to the West Coast to catch up with my mate. The weather was looking like being absolutely mint, which for the West Coast is a bit of a rarity. We took the jet boat of course as the rivers & scenery are stunning when the weather gods are smiling. I finished work at lunch time to get the boat sorted & to give us time to get there before dark. We encountered a bit of snow on the road heading over the pass from Otago to Westland but on getting to the coast it was just stunning. The next morning my mates mate wanted me to give him a hand with going out in his boat to pull up his crayfish (lobster) pots & to rebait them & chuck them back. I was there mostly just to make another person on board so he could legally take more crays. We did quite well. Yum. After that it was off to the river. Above pic looking up river & below, looking down back to the coast. Deer prints on the beach Grounded...Bummer. But how stunning is the scenery? And we were the only souls there. Sorry guys, Something has popped up & I have to bail. Will continue.......stay tuned. JW
  12. A prospectors yarn from the West Coast of New Zealand. 1881. Enjoy. https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/OW18810115.2.50?query=lost gold in the cascade JW
  13. 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 🙂
  14. 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. JW 🙂
  15. 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. And coming And 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 JW
  16. 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. Tiny. 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. Gold Gold 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. Cheers Good luck out there JW
  17. 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 JW
  18. After a busy day on the slopes doing some skiing yesterday I managed to score an afternoon around Queenstown area to myself as my wife had some friends staying there and was hanging around with them, I'm not a social bumble bee and very far from it, in fact I'm a recluse, especially with people I don't really know so I took the opportunity to take off and do some exploring. It's a wonder kiwijw puts up with me, It's said I'm very antisocial which bothers my wife, I on the other hand don't notice it. A couple of days ago I went to one of the spots kiwijw had shown me that I've done OK at especially with my high frequency VLFs and he's done pretty damn good at using his GPZ but unfortunately that turned into a skunk for me so I wanted to try find some new ground closer to town that I can get to easier. I used my GPX 4500 with Joey coil on that trip. I had read the previous night about some old workings close to town that could be easily accessed in the time I had. I put my Mountain bike in the back of the car so I could speed up my trek even more rather than walking to these workings. I had no idea where they were and I'm very prone to getting lost, all I knew is a walking track takes me to them so I jumped on my bike and took the track. I wasn't even sure I was going to do any detecting so I just threw my Gold Bug Pro with Nel Snake in my backpack as it packs down tiny and weighs nothing. It also doesn't overly react to shotgun pellets so I thought may as well use that on the scouting missions so I don't spend my time digging up pellets as I didn't have very long. I have had a bit of a love hate relationship with my Gold Bug Pros, I've struggled to have any success with them but I haven't put the hours on them either as I quickly upgraded off them. Today proves they are very capable of finding TINY gold. I found various spots along my ride that looked alright for detecting, some that looked to be bedrock. I wasn't sure so I detected around a few locations along the track and wasn't having much joy. I stopped at a spot right by the river which was very rocky with a thin layer of dirt over the rock and looked promising. After 15 minutes of detecting around I got my first tiny little nugget using the Gold Bug Pro. It was in a bit of a crack in the schist, I had to scrape it out with a screwdriver, my guess it was about an inch in a crack. It was 0.021 of a gram, the size I only ever expected to find with my GM1000 or Equinox 800. I only had about 2 hours all up so after another 20 or so minutes checking the area I decided to call it quits and head back to the car. I ended up only being 15 minutes late for the wife pickup 🙂 I didn't have my phone with me so I couldn't take any photos at the time, I left it in the car by accident as I was in such a rush. What is significant about this for me is it's only my second ever nugget with the GBP, it was absolutely tiny and far exceeding my expectations for the GBP and my first detected nugget that I've had no help with, all my other nuggets I've detected in the past kiwijw showed me where and how to find them. This was my lone wolf nugget, I found the location and the nugget alone. I never did find the old workings but there is always another day. I am hoping kiwijw hasn't found this location yet so I can finally share with him a spot I've found that has gold, he's been a good teacher, mentor and friend. It would be hard to find a person willing to show you how to find gold in an area you work yourself, thereby taking albeit small bits of gold off him that he would of potentially found. A nice gesture that I am grateful of as I really enjoy the hobby and it's possible I would of given up without his help to get me started. It looks far bigger in the photos than it is, it's a tiny spec on my finger tip. The Gold Bug Pro is very sensitive to tiny gold especially when combined with a tiny coil like the Nel Snake.
  19. mn90403

    NZ Gold

    For Sale These are a few unique nuggets. Are they found in a particular place there? Mitchel https://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=1656424654
  20. Woke to our first dusting of snow to ground level in Queenstown for the winter. Heaps up in the hills but not all that often that we get it low down in town. When we do it doesn't last too long. Pretty though. Guaranteed to be carnage on the roads. Good luck out there JW
  21. Hi guys, Mrs JW & I headed up to our old haunts of Whangamata & Waihi Beach at the base of the Coromandel Peninsula up in the North Island of NZ over the Easter Weekend. We have made Easter weekend a time to unite with all our "kids" & for me two grandsons & for Mrs JW a granddaughter. Mrs JW flew out a couple of days before me & I got the first flight out of Queenstown at 7am on the Thursday morning before Easter Friday. Caught the sun coming up out of the eastern horizon over the airplane wing. We hired a house at Waihi Beach were we could all get together & hang out. My youngest son, Aydin 23, came over from Brisbane in Australia with his partner to be with us for the weekend. Whangamata Beach Waihi Beach I had taken my EQ 800 as Aydin said he was keen to show his partner some detecting on the beach. The three piece detector shaft assembly made it a piece of cake to break it down to fit in my suitcase. Long story short was that we just got too busy doing other stuff for the beach detecting. It wasn't until every body had gone off after the weekend that Mrs JW & I had an extra day up our sleeves. So we hit the beach on Tuesday morning before we headed up to Auckland later that day to go to Mrs JW's sisters place for the night before flying out on Wednesday back to QT. Due to people being back to work on the tuesday, the beach was fairly deserted. So I took the EQ 800 down to the beach while Mrs JW spread out her beach towel to enjoy the sun & get a bit more of a tan. This was my first use of the EQ 800 outside of gold detecting. I put it in Beach 1, Full max sensitivity 25 & left the rest at factory pre set settings as this was going to be a bit of a learning curve for me. Back in my detecting teeth cutting days I started out with some very basic coin/relic machines. Pretty much just switch on & go detectors. My very first was a Dick Smith Electronics VLF kit set that I had to put together. That was fun & it even worked. Scored me quite a few lead sinkers down at the beach. I then purchased a 2nd hand Garrett Treasure Ace 300. Just had an on/off sensitivity knob & a discrimination knob. But I found a heap of neat stuff with that. Coffee jars full of coins & many pieces of jewellery over the years. Then got a First Texas Bounty Hunter Tracker lV, which wasn't much better than the Garrett. I never did get into a machine with VDI numbers & all those bells & whistles. I then got the GP 3000 & just stuck to gold. So the EQ 800 with VDI read out numbers & all the discrimination abilities is all very new & a first for me. So I just started out very basic. Normally with gold just digging everything. So I just did the same with the EQ to get a handle on what the VDI numbers were telling me. It is still a work in progress. Anyway....Mrs JW was all settled on her towel & I was into my detecting. Not even 30 seconds into it & not even four feet from Mrs JW I got a big hit reading 21-23. A $1 coin. I only remember it was 21-23 because I ended up getting three $1 coins & one $2 coin & they were all very strong hits at those numbers. I then got another very positive hit & now I cant recall what the VDi number was. But it was a silver ring with 9 little diamonds Got a couple of lesser coins & quite a few little tent pegs from those shade gazebo things. I was surprised I got those as I thought that iron was out in the discrimination. But they were flickering around in the mid to high 30's. A bobby pin too at good depth also had me excited at fairly high VDI numbers. An aluminium can tab at 1-2 had me flashing back to small gold reading the same. Wasn't gold though. I then got a fine silver chain with a little silver thingy on it. It wasnt deep. Again I cant recall the VDI number. I rubbed the coil into the sand & the chain got caught up around the coil. Took a bit to untangle it. Here is the end result for a couple of hours detecting. Oh...& someones car key & a long thin piece of lead. Was a bit of fun. Cheers Good luck out there JW
  22. Hi guys, On Saturday I asked Simon (through the forum) what he was doing Sunday & were you keen for another mission. I got no answer until 9pm Saturday night as he had gone Back to Coronet Peak ski field detecting coins under the ski lifts with his EQ 800. I think he said he got $16.50 & a silver ring. But yes he was keen for a mission on Sunday so it was arranged for him to come to my place & we would head off in my wagon. I told him to bring his EQ 800 as there was a lot of flat sheet bedrock & wide open spaces. Sunday arrived & I did a weather check on my chosen location. MMMMM... -1c during the day up on the hill top with possible snow & -6 that night. Oh...bugger. I checked a lower in altitude location & it was 9c during the day but with a 90% chance of rain. Another bugger but we went for it any way. The day turned out pretty good & no rain. Was coolish but I like that & dressed for it. Simon just went for it in shorts & bloody T shirt. I couldn't believe it. I told Simon to try full max sensitivity 25 & Multi IQ & leave the rest in factory pre set. If a bit ratty then try 40 Khz & if still ratty to knock down the sensitivity. Play around with full all metal or one push of the horse shoe button & it will knock out the negative number signals. He was able to run full max sensitivity & Multi IQ all day & he stuck with all metal. He soon learnt that shot gun pellets & tiny gold both read 1-2 & he got a pocket full of pellets & 5 bits of tiny gold. He had christened his EQ 800 on gold on his first days attempt. I had every bit of confidence that he would as I had done pretty well here in the past & knew there would be tiny gold that would suit the GM 1000 & the EQ 800. He left his GM 1000 in his backpack all day. I just took the Zed. Simon got the first bit of gold for the day & it took me a wee while to get my first little hit. I was running high yield/normal with sensitivity on 18. The signal was on the bottom edge of an old timers throw out pile from a little ditch in the bedrock they had dug down on. The signal lived on right down to solid bedrock. When it was finally out. .16 of a gram I then hopped across the little ditch they had dug out & was detecting the upper opposite bank of what looked like virgin material. I got a good hit. Ended up being my biggest bit of the day. .34 of a gram I got my share of shotgun pellets but Simon by far exceeded in that department. One double blip signal I got, which usually is a pellet, turned into a pellet size & shape piece of gold. .11 of a gram I then heard Simon had got his 5th piece just as I was digging a signal that was a .16 of a gram bit. I wandered over see Simons bit & showed him my bit. It was a while before I got another. One scrape & I was on the schist bedrock. Just to the left of the coil. The smallest of the day for me. .06 of a gram. Not long after this we called an end to the day. We both got 5 pieces each & Simon was off to a positive start on gold with his EQ 800. My total was just .86 of a gram. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  23. A neat clip put together after the last 3 days dredging
  24. I woke up Sunday all motivated to find some gold, I’d been looking forward to a prospecting outing with KiwiJW for some time, he’s been a very big mentor to me and has answered every question I’ve had with a very detailed and easy to understand answer, which is fantastic as I’m very much a beginner, but an eager one at that. I sent John a TXT message asking if he wanted to go on a hunt, I was pleased to see he replied with a YES. We arranged to meet at a location to give it a shot, John recommended I put the 5” coil on my GM1000 for the task at hand, I’ve barely used my 5” as I always thought I’d have more chance with the bigger coil. He decided to use his GB2 so we were both on a different detector. Both our Equinox’s stayed in the cars as the big coil was no good for the task at hand, come on Minelab, we want the 6” coil now!!!, and while you’re at it, make it with a solid base cover please. We had some serious terrain to get through before we got to the location where we started to detect, as we headed down to the area the rocks were covered in moss and I took quite a nasty fall, landed flat on my back and winded myself, not a great start to the day but up I get and off we go, after all, we are on a mission. John gave me a rundown on what to do and how to do it and off we went detecting in the creek, I tried to stay on the opposite side of the creek to John so I didn’t get in his way, not long after we arrived we were walking along the creek, detecting in the areas John indicated would give us the best chance, and I could hear John’s GB2 making noises that even sounded good to me and very much like my Gold Bug Pro sounds. He had what appeared to be a target, I ran across with my GM1000 and tried to find the target that he was getting… nothing, not a signal at all on the GM1000 in Auto+, he hit the area a few more times with his pick and said now try it, still nothing, I changed to manual 10 and there it goes, sounding off on the target with a good positive reading on the indicator. I now really understood why John told me I should be using the 5” coil, the smaller the better for this job and why he mostly uses manual 10 if the location allows it. He kept digging for some time, so long I went back to my detecting thinking it can’t be anything as he’s been on it about 10 minutes chunking away the rock and still got nothing. How wrong I was, all the sudden I hear John yell out, got one! So I ran back over and it was massive, the biggest nugget I’ve ever seen in person, it was big, but very thin weighing in at 1.52 grams. We guessed the nugget was up on its side which is why the Monster struggled in Auto+ as I was swinging directly over the top of the area with the coil flat, where as he was able to use his tiny little 6.5” elliptical coil on his GB2 to really get down into the crack so he was hitting on the target sideways, the likely orientation of the nugget, I didn’t know to do this at the time. Being the beginner trying to follow all the rules of detecting I suggested he check the hole again, and bang, straight away, another target, I stayed around to watch the retrieval of this one, and tested it prior to retrieval on the Monster and was giving a good full bars on the indicator. Up comes John’s second nugget shortly after. John's nuggets, look at the size of that thing! Now I was really getting motivated, I kept my Monster on Auto+ as there was a bit of instability around his GB2 with it on manual 10. We walked along a bit and John said, That spot over there looks good and explained why, so off I went and virtually straight away, I had a good signal so I dig for a bit and found nothing, and moved on to an area next to it, John came over with his GB2 and I said I had a good signal but couldn’t find anything, he got his pick out and scraped away some of the gravel and said, try again. I did, and managed to narrow down where the target was, scooped up the gravel into my scoop and waved it over my 5” coil and bang, it’s in the scoop. John talked me through narrowing down where it is in my scoop and after a few minutes my first nugget of the day and the biggest I’d ever found by a long shot. We rechecked the area and nothing so continued on. At this point I had a smile on my face like the Joker that couldn’t be removed. My first nugget of the day After climbing over a few waterfalls while John was giving me further instruction of where to look I found another signal in some schist, there wasn’t even a crack in it, this was a solid bit of schist in the creek but it was giving a good signal, normally I would just walk away thinking some sort of false alarm, he instructed me to hit it with my pick and break it up a bit, and I did, shortly after a nugget was visible in the rock, retrieved it, rechecked the area, still had my perfect full positive signal, smashed some more rock out, another nugget, and again, this process went 6 times! I got 6 nuggets out of this bit of rock! Unfortunately the 6th nugget which was only tiny was washed away during retrieval by the fast flowing creek and I just couldn’t find it after that. My schist glory hole! We walked along a bit further and decided it’s time to try out another nearby area as this was more an educational journey for me so we decided to take the high country goat track back to avoid having to walk the creek again, this possibly turned into a harder walk than the creek itself but it was an adventure! I managed to lose my scoop during this walk back to the cars. My Nuggets from the first creek My nuggets in the Vial, John's directly on the car bonnet, his was bigger so harder to lose We arrived at the next creek and found an apple tree so had a snack and then walked up the creek doing a bit of detecting, then John said, there is plenty of old mining workings up that hill there, want to go up? I of course said yes so we climbed up. I was amazed at what I saw, there was water races, and piles and piles of rocks and various workings, even old rock structures they had made, this looked like it went on for many KM’s along the creek side high up in the hills. John said now there is all that bedrock here, let’s go detect that and pointed out what I needed to look for. He specifically said target the cracks in the bedrock as gold gets stuck in them so that’s exactly what I did. I found a further two nuggets right near each other in cracks in the bedrock. There wasn’t many targets up there in the small amount of time we were searching and it was getting late. John just found some junk unfortunately. I feel a bit bad as John spent so much time helping me he didn’t get that much time detecting to find targets himself but he did get BY FAR the biggest nugget of the day and another decent size one so that’s some consolation, by weight our day was very similar. We headed back down and John knew a shortcut to get back to the cars so we took it and it worked out well, we were back in no time, the walk back was also very educational for me. John pointing out various old timer workings and explaining it all, I learnt a huge amount on this adventure and I am very thankful to John for taking me along and sharing his wealth of knowledge on the area’s gold mining and metal detecting techniques. I feel like now I can actually metal detect for gold, and do it with some success. The Gold Monster 1000 is a perfect beginner’s machine, and as it seems great for the experts too. Regretfully I had to take off home at this point as my 7yr old daughter was waiting up past her bed time for me to get home so she could see if I found anything while I was out with the guy who she sees in all the forum photos finding gold all the time and wonders why daddy can’t do it! She’s quite the keen little prospector too. My wife and daughter were shocked when I showed up rattling my vial with 8 nuggets in it, weighing in at a mighty 2.167 grams. I just had the time of my life! If you look closely in the vial there is actually 9 in there, I'm wondering if the tiny one is the one I thought I lost as I don't know where it came from A huge thank you to John (KiwiJW) for a wonderful educational and successful day out! Freshy washed nuggets, ready for weigh in!
  25. Hi guys, After my last successful little outing with the EQ 800 & scoring 12 tiny bits of gold. I was keen to go back with the EQ 800, GB2 & the Gold Monster, & do some comparisons. All being high frequency VLF detectors. The night I got the 12 bits with the EQ 800 I was walking back through the old workings to my truck, When I got a signal amongst some exposed schist. It was dark but I had a go at scraping & digging either side of the exposed schist. Signal was still there & looked like it was actually down in the more solid schist & not in a crevice either side of the protruding schist. I scraped at the schist & it was damn hard with no obvious "openings" to be able to get stuck into with the pick. I decided I would come back to it on another day & also bring the GB2 & the Gold monster. Late Saturday afternoon, after my visiting sister had gone back to Aussie, I asked Mrs JW if she wanted to come along & enjoy the beauty of the river & the surrounding old gold workings. They do have a beauty all of there own. It was a very pleasant evening & she decided to tag along. I carried her camp chair for her. Got Mrs JW all comfy & settled in. She had her magazine to read & she even brought along cheese & crackers. Not that I got any. Ok...she was all good. So I went to my little signal in the schist bedrock. You will notice how flat the ground is in that particular spot & I was able to get the 11" DD coil of the EQ 800 right on to the ground scuffing over it to get the signal. Due to our insanely mild ground I was maxed out in my settings & all three detectors easily got the signal. The dig holes either side of the schist was from the night I first got the signal but gave up on it. You will see in the schist where I actually had to chip into it to release the target. you may even be able to make it out in the scoop. If not.... How bloody small is that ???? I had to keep getting Mrs JW's phone to take photos as I left mine at home. So I didnt end up getting many pics. I decided to go back over the previous dug areas with the GM where I had got the 17 pieces of tiny gold with the EQ 800. There was a spot where I had got a signal the previos time with the EQ 800 that turned outto be a little iron stone. It was reading -8, -9 on the VDI so I wasn't surprised. For no reason I walked up to this bit & moved the GM's coil over the same ground. It was in a small channel between to raised bits of schist bedrock. I got a good signal with the GM. You will see the dig scrape beside that schist. It was down a good 4". This is a good example of the size & shape of the EQ's 11" DD coil not being able to get the sweet spot of the DD close enough to the ground to be able to get a hit due to the target being tight up against that raised schist bedrock. The size & shape of the GM's coil was able to get in between the schist bedrock & so make the hit. I didn't try the GB2 on it At 4" I dont think the GB2 would have got it. I will now never know. My comparison tests actually turned to custard as I just carried on with the GM. I ended up getting two other bits with the GM in my previous turned over ground with the EQ. Probably because I had brought them closer to the top. Mrs JW was making noises about heading home after a couple of hours. Damn. I did manage one more tiny bit with the GM before I relented to Mr's JW's pleas & called it quits. So the comparison didn't eventuate. Sorry. So just the 5 little tiddlers. Mostly with the GM. On Sunday we made more of a day of it & I was keen to swing the Zed to get some bigger bits. Yer right..... Amazed at how green the hills had become. It was hard detecting but finally got a double blip signal with the Zed. These of course usually turn into shot gun pellets & I ignore them....sometimes. This one...even though a double blip kind of sounded different & more mellow. We know what mellow can be. Oh yer...could still be lead. It was on the side of an old prospect pit throw out pile & was down a few inches & signal still there. I was thinking....cant be a shot gun pellet now....can it? Nice big deep prospect pits from the old timers. They wouldn't have done these for nothing. Note the bald spot on the back left prospect pit. That was the scene of my second signal. Back to this first signal. About the size of a shotgun pellet Maybe hence the double blip signal. So on to the second signal. Wasn't a double blip & it was down a good 4". Gold it was. I re scanned the hole before pushing the dirt back into it. I then scanned again after half pushing the dirt back in. BANG...another signal. So two bits from the one little dig on the left & the one on the right from the first dig. Was a while between drinks before the next positive signal. Digging down on it I was in to a beautiful dark top soil loam & thoughtno way is this going to be gold. Mr's JW hiding in the shadows on her bloody phone....or is she doing a cross word puzzle? Note the old turned over worked ground. Pile after pile. Well blow me down with a feather....it was gold. The biggest bit of the weekend But that was my lot. Got another bucket full of mushrooms though. Yum yum. So the five on the left from the GM & EQ 800 on saturday afternoon & the 4 for sundays effort with the Zed Not even one gram all up. Fiddle sticks. Better than a skunk though. I will take them. Cheers. Good luck out there JW