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  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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 🙂
  8. 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 🙂
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. A neat clip put together after the last 3 days dredging
  18. 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!
  19. 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
  20. Hi guys, I came across this youtube footage that you may find interesting. You may recall the post I did a few weeks ago showing Martha Mine open pit wall collapse. This footage shows a bit more of the surrounding country & you will notice in some shots looking out to the coast towards Waihi Beach which is where we stayed when we were up there for Mrs JW's 60th birthday. The actual footage is old "news" now. But interesting none the less. Enjoy. Cheers Good luck out there JW
  21. Hi there all, Last saturday was Mrs JW's 60th birthday. We had organised to go up north to make it a family reunion with our kids, grand kids & close long time friends. We booked a waterfront house at Waihi Beach that slept 10 & where the front yard merged with the ocean beach. Beautiful spot. Waihi Beach was a great central place for people to come to & was an area where I lived for most of my first marriage & where my kids grew up & went to school. Three of my boys still live & now work in the area & are no more than 10 k's from each other. The oldest two have a son each, so two grand sons for me. My fourth & youngest son is over in Brisbane, Australia. He was going to fly over but it turned out to interfere with a two week schooling block course for his electrical engineering apprenticeship that he his doing. Both Mrs JW's daughter, son & his partner & there daughter (Mrs JW's grand daughter) came & stayed with us along with a few close friends who traveled to be there for a long weekend. On leaving a beautiful hot sunny Queenstown I landed in Auckland to rain. And it rained for three straight days. Mrs JW had flown up earlier than me to go even further north to stay a couple of nights with a close old friend of hers at a new place that she had bought. Mrs JW picked me up from the airport & we headed straight to the beach. Luckily the place we had rented had a games room so the rain didn't bother us too much. So it was socialising, drinking...opps...I mean celebrating, eating, playing pool & table tennis. It was a good time to be with family & close friends. We are making easter time an annual event to do the same thing. one of my sons told me that the Waihi Martha mine open pit had had a major collapse & was likely to end the open pit operations of the mine. They are also under ground mining....so not all is lost. You will recall this over view of the Martha Mine operation that I put up not long a go. The open pit is pretty much right in the center of the town. On our drive back to Auckland we went through Waihi to check out the collapse. This is a mock poppet head serving as a monument to what used to be several of these back in the old deep underground mine working days. Parked underneath it we head on up to the viewing platform, walking past another monument. The old Cornish Pump House that has actually been moved some distance from where it originally was over a deep shaft, that was collapsing, where it pumped out the water from the under ground workings. So this is what greeted us at the lookout viewing platform. Just below that big tin shed top right of center you will see the haul road going diagonally to the left right through where the slip has taken it out. lt curls on around the open pit to where you cant see it passing directly below in the foreground & winds on around the back again & passes right through where the slip has buried it with a few pebbles. Note directly below & to the left of that tin shed, beneath the haul road, quartz veins in the pit wall. You use to be able to see the old mine drives in the pit wall as well & the old timbering supports & large chambers that they had stoped out. Bit of video footage. And another On getting back to Queenstown I was hanging out for a detect. Oh...the withdrawals. So I headed to the hills for a days detecting. It was damn hot & dry & I didnt last the whole day. Gave up by 3pm. It was a bit of a struggle hitting on some gold but I finally got a sweet little faint signal in my hot settings. Down into the rotten schist bedrock & the signal was singing. Just knew it was going to be a sassy bit of gold. And it was. .7 of a gram. YE HA Ended up with three more little suckers for a total of four for just 1.31 grams. Still...better than the skunk. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  22. Hi Team, Mrs JW & I have had some good friends of ours come down from our old haunt in the North Island. Waihi Beach. I have known Shane since early school days & we have remained close friends ever since. Shane shows a lot of interest in gold but he is more of an armchair fossicker. I have taken him out numerous times, both up in the Coromandal area. Where Waihi Beach is at the base of the Coromandal Peninsular, famous for its hard rock gold mines. The Waihi township, which is 9 kms inland, has the famous Martha Mine. Do a google search if interested. I use to live immediately to the left of the Favona Project Area on the yellow line mining license boundary. The red dashes are the gold bearing reefs of the Favona load. Now all mined out by under ground methods. The mine is no longer owned by Newmont but has been taken over by Oceana Gold. Any way. I took Shane out for a days detecting a couple of weekends ago. He used the GB2 & the gold monster. He got skunked on the gold but got more than his share of shotgun pellets. He didnt pay much attention to where I told him to detect, & I believe that was his down fall. After that weekend staying with us Shane & his partner went off to do there own thing for the week & were due to come back to our place on the friday evening. Mrs JW flew up to the North Island to attend her aunts funeral during the week & visit other family & was due back down late saturday afternoon. Shane & Carol ended up staying the friday night elsewhere on their travels & said they would be back at our place about the time Mrs JW was due back. I made the decision to do an over nighter detecting mission after work on the friday. Doing it rough staying in an old timesr rock hut shelter detecting until dark & then most of saturday before picking Mrs JW up from the Queenstown airport at 4.15pm. I was keen to try my new 19" coil on the Zed & have a play with my new drone. On getting there Friday after work I stuck with the 14" coil. Hitting old ground that had produced for me in the past. I was running the Zed in High Yield/Normal & sensitivity up to 18. B&Z booster with duel external speakers sitting on my shoulders right under my ears. The ground was not kind to me. We are well & truly into spring now & daylight saving started a few weekends ago. Not sure if you practice this in the USA but our clocks go forward one hour giving us an extra hour of daylight in the evenings outside of normal working hours. So not getting dark until around 8pm & growing longer each night until we reach the longest day. Where it will remain light until around 10pm. But after 3.5 hours of detecting & getting dark, I had no gold. I was wondering back to my wagon to head off to my Hilton abode for the night. Cook up a feed, have a coffee & hit the sack for an early start in the morning. When all of a sudden I got a sweet little hit & it was a small bit of gold. Ye Ha. Beat the skunk. Woke in the morning to a bit of a chill & pea soup FOG. Bugger. The fog had made the ground pretty damp, which was a good thing, but I was in no hurry to get out there. Cooked up a wicked breakfast, couple of coffees & decided to go back to where I had detected the weekend before. Carrying on from where I had left off. I ended up not taking the 19" coil for a spin. Wanting to complete going over these areas with the 14" coil first before trying the 19" on them. For no reason I went to a spot where I had told my mate to go over with the gold monster. He didnt. It was a small area where the old timers had turned over a bit of a gully. I had found gold here with my GP 3000 & little coiltek 10 x 5 joey mono coil. My mate ended up detecting above the old throw out heaps despite me repeating to him to stick to the piles. He still didnt so I left him to it. My first few signals with the Zed were shotgun pellets. But then I got a signal that wasnt that shallow small target double blip signal. But lived on down to about 4 inches before it was out. Had that nice mellow gold sound. The few scrapes on that bald patch were the shotgun pellets. Gold it was. I went back to the wagon & got the Gold monster. Threw the piece of gold back into the bottom of the hole. I don't read much into doing these type comparisons after a bit of gold has been disturbed & pulled from its resting place in the ground. But I was interested to see at what depth the Monster would hit on this. It gave a no mistake signal with the coil a good one inch above the ground level so about 5 to 6 inches above the gold. Then nothing more but shotgun pellets. So I moved on to my wee patch area of 4 meters x 4 meters where I scored two more bits last weekend with the Zed in the one dig hole. Just out of interest. Last weekend at this spot the auto tune settled on 140. This day it settled on 184. This was about 9 in the morning. After doing the ferrite balance all other settings were as I had left them last weekend & the night before. It hadnt gone back into the default setting of difficult ground. My next signal was down past the shotgun pellets & with the help of the monster. I pulled out an old timers button Then with the Zed I got a very faint signal....well I thought it was a signal. In fact all the signals that turned out to be gold this day were very very faint to almost no signal but almost imagined signals & more just a hunch that it may have been a signal. After a bit of a scrape the signal livened up, & small gold it was. The next signal I had to get the Gm 1000 involved to pin point & recover it after initially getting the "imagined" signal with the Zed But gold it was. A real faint hit with the Zed that lived past the shotgun pellets. Look how small that piece is for the Zed. Then I had to get the Monster involved again. Even though the Zed got the initial hit but then I "lost" it. Monster to the rescue. Again. Look how tiny. I ended up with 7 bits off this small patch area, where I only got 2 last weekend. Did the fog help with making the ground damper or was I just in the zone?? I stopped for a bite of lunch & a coffee before moving to another spot down the gully further. Another old patch area which was a bit larger than the previous one. I did another auto tune as the sun was out now & it settled on 153. Ferrite balanced & it needed balancing to smooth out. other setting remained the same. After a few hours I had bagged another 6 small pieces. Stopped for a coffee & then auto tuned again on firing back up. It settled on 70. That was strange I thought. Ferrite balanced & away I went. Hell. The detector was running real quite. Couldn't believe it. With sensitivity on 18 it was never this quiet. So I checked all my settings. High Yield yes, WHAT, difficult ground. Changed that back to Normal. WHAT sensitivity 9. Wound that up to 18. No wonder it was quiet. But why would it go back into these default settings?? I then auto tuned again & it went back up to 184. Strange. It was getting time to think about packing it in if I wanted to have a play with the drone & then have to get back to pick up Mrs JW from the airport. When I got another of these almost imagined faint signals. I wasnt convinced it was a signal but just the 18 sensitivity driving me nuts. I gave it a few scrapes & it improved. Ended up down about 450mm, 16-17 inches. It was nutting off now but I was having trouble pin pointing its exact position in the hole without having to make it a lot wider to get that 14" coil in there. So I went back to my wagon to get a small shovel, the Gold monster, & bugger it, my Minelab pinpointer that lives in my glove box but I had never found any gold with it as the gold I find is way small for it to be any use. Scene of the dig hole First off I stuck the pinpointer down the hole. Nothing. Yes...I did turn it on. Got the little shovel & dug out a bit more. Pinpointer back in there & a faint response. Dug a bit more & then the pinpointer came to life a bit more. I now knew where the signal was & got stuck into it with the little shovel. Pinpointer was now going mental. Few more digs & it was out. Pinpointer into the pile & I had a little lump of dirt in my hand. But boy....was there a bit of weight there. Kinda surprise. Bit of a rub Spit & polish. Ye Bloody Ha.Just over 4.5 grams. Had to end on that note. All up 15 pieces for 7.19 grams. I am definitely getting a picture of where to go back with the 19" coil. The day will come....but not just yet. Cheers all. Good luck out there JW
  23. Hi guys, It has been a few weekends since I was able to get out for a swing due to two weekends of crap weather. One Saturday was a lovely day but I had to catch up on a bit of work. Thinking the sunday would be ok, but it wasn't so missed out. We have a couple of friends down from the north Island visiting & my mate was keen to go for a detect. He has just recently had shoulder surgery & so wasn't too sure how he would go detecting. I took along the 4500 & 11" Coiltek Elite coil plus the GB2 & the GM 1000. The day before we took them for a bit of a local tour. Saturday we headed off for a detect. My mate chose the GB2 to start off with. I put him on to a turned over gully from the old timers that had quite a bit of wild thyme bush growth & that little coil was ideal for poking & prodding in between & around the thyme bushes & the old dug over piles. Telling him that I couldn't get in there with the Zed's 14" coil so he had every chance of getting some gold. I decided to focus on some spots where I had got gold before in more open areas above the turned over gully. I had in fact got gold here before with the Zed, but I was now getting in to these hot settings & had the sensitivity cranked up to 20 & High Yield/ Normal. I went over a small patch area where at xmas time I had got this on one day. And this on the next. A lot of the real small stuff was got with the GB2 at depth after the Zed had found a few bigger bits in the same dig hole initially. So running these hot settings on the Zed I went back over this small 4 meter X 4 meter area but only got the faintest of signals. Apart from a few recent new shot gun pellets thanks to rabbit shooters that gave that double hit signal that usually is a tiny shallow/surface target. One faint signal that only gave the one hit I dug down on & it lived down past the pesky shot gun pellet depth. Ended up getting two small bits of gold with the Zed. Tried the GM 1000 but there was no more. That was all this old patch area gave up to me so I moved on to the other side of the gully above the turned over gully floor where I had sent my mate into. Another spot where over the years I had got quite a bit of gold....& yes....also with the Zed but not with these hot settings. Bring it on. A couple of very faint signals that ended up being about 4 inches in depth. Ending up in two bits of small gold for the Zed. Taking my tally to 4 Then another very faint signal initially that went down quite a bit deeper, getting louder all the time. I was then in to that rotten schist bed rock & the signal was out. Not too long after, & the same scenario. But deeper still. Bingo. And then another. Then things dried up for me. My mate hadn't done too good on the gold, getting none but got his share of shot gun pellets. He didn't do as I said though & instead of sticking to the turned over piles in the gully floor amongst the thyme bushes he wondered up out on the top fringe of them in to much deeper ground. Despite me repeating for him to stick in the gully floor. So end of day I had 8 bits of gold for 2.55 grams. I also got an old timers metal button that was down very deep. I was able to make out the writings on it. 86 Oxford St. HYAM & Co. I did a google search & came up with: Deriving from clothing worn by working men, such as soldiers, sailors, fisherman & farm labourers, trousers replaced knee-length breeches. Made between 1870 & 1880 by British manufacturer Hyam & company, who were based in Oxford Street. Looser fitting & wider in the leg than breeches, trousers were considered to be more suitable for those who led an active life....... So that was interesting. Cheers guys. Good luck out there JW
  24. Sunday dawned a beautiful stunning cloudless sky day. Mrs JW said, "What do you want to do for fathers day?" I'm easy I said. What would you like to do. I wouldn't mind getting out of here & up into the hills some where. Is there somewhere you haven't tried the Zed that isn't too much of a walk? She replied. Oh....yer.... You sure you dont mind me detecting. I said. No, I will just enjoy the sun, scenery & read a magazine. She said. Oh...ok....I will make up a thermos & a bit of a picnic lunch. I know just the spot. I said. It was where I went with the Zed on my very first time out with it. I had got a few bits of gold & I was keen to try these hot settings there. So all packed up we headed off. Two hours drive later we parked up. I shouldered the pack & carried the Zed & GM 1000. We had about a half hour walk but first we had to cross a creek. Mrs JW didn't bring her gumboots so I crossed first & dropped my gear & went back to piggy back her across the creek. With the snow melt the creek was running rather briskly but we got across with no mishaps. 20 minutes later we were at these old workings. Mrs JW said, "I am having a cup of tea, would you liike a coffee? Ok I said. So she got that happening while I rigged up. Coffee done I was into it. I went straight to a few hot spots & also where I had got a few bits with the Zed on my first time here with it. Nothing. Three hours later & still nothing. A bit of rubbish but no gold. Time for a lunch & coffee break & then try further up & out of these old turned over ancient old river channel workings that wouldn't have been a flowing river for tens of thousands of years. Hoping to do better in some deeper ground. Another couple of hours later & still no gold. I combed over a small patch area where I got numerous nice size pieces in the past. My tell tale back filled holes were still apparent. But NOTHING. Not liking the feeling that I was going to be skunked on Fathers day I headed higher up to some ground sluiced slopes that the old timers had washed the surface off down to the schist bed rock. The schist was very flat & smooth but did have many fractures & cracks through it. Not like the schist I usually detect in that is up on edge & a great trap for gold. The old timers had barred up a lot of this flat platy schist slabs so obviously they wouldn't have done that for nothing. I stopped to check my settings & discovered that the Zed had gone back into the default setting of Difficult & that I wasnt in normal. Oh no......So into normal I went & 5 minutes later I got a signal up against a step up in the slab of schist bedrock. It was very faint but unmistakable. I ended up raking the pointy end of the pick under that wee overhang to the left of the coil. Target out & oh so small. It is on the coil there. .06 of a gram But at least it was gold & the skunk had been avoided. I will have to go back over the ground I hit earlier in normal...but that will be another day. I carried on combing around these edges of the schist & got another sweet hit. This one sounded a bit better than that first one, again it was in the edge of this platy schist. Another small piece at .13 of a gram. But no catch & release. Half an hour later another mellow signal. This one had a bit more depth to it. I did in fact use the GM 1000 to pinpoint it in a tight crevice & to see if it was ferrous or non ferrous. Non ferrous was the reading so I smashed it out. .22 of a gram. No record breakers. That is for sure. The sun was getting low & Mrs JW was making noises about heading home as it was starting to cool down. I was happy to have bet the skunk & was happy to call it quits. I was just peeved at not picking up a lot sooner on the Default setting of difficult getting activated. So three tiddlers for Fathers Day. Better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick. Cheers. Best of luck out there JW
  25. Hi guys, Well....Mrs JW went up north for a few days to catch up with friends & family leaving me home alone for the weekend. We all know what that means......Johnny click beetle can go detecting for the whole weekend & stay out up there in the hills sleeping rough. So early Saturday morning with batteries all charged up, tucker bag, thermos, cooking primus & all other required paraphernalia, I was off. 2.5 hours drive later & I was rigged up & in to it. The conditions were absolutely perfect for detecting. About 4 degrees Celsius, that's 4 degrees above freezing point. So cool but not cold. Well not to me anyway. Not a breath of wind & going to be a lovely sunny winters day. The ground was nice & moist but not saturated & I was amazed at how deep the moisture had actually penetrated into the ground. Found this out after digging a few crap signals. Usually the ground is bone dry when you have dug down 4-6 inches. I was excited by the depth of the moisture in the ground as I know this enhances depth & sensitivity beyond what is "normal". It did make for a bit more liveliness from the ground but nothing I was uncomfortable with. I stayed in High Yield/Normal & even cranked the sensitivity up to 10 from my usual more conservative settings of around 4-6. I had decided to hit some well flogged areas, three in fact, where I had done very well on & had found some nice patches. Two of the areas were pretty close to each other all had each given up to me well over an ounce from each patch. They were all discovered back in my GP 3000 days & with the 24 x 12 inch coiltek UFO coil. Giving up numerous multi gram pieces & the usual small gold that I normally get. I had been over them a couple of times all ready with the Zed. Getting some small but deeper gold from two of the spots but nothing off the other. Due to the conditions I had a very confident feeling as I know that no one gets all the gold & despite me having been over these areas so many times over the years with all coils on my PI detectors I knew there still had to gold there. The day had a good feeling about it. The grass was very short, not only due to the winter conditions, but the sheep had been in these areas in the last couple of weeks & chewed it right down. They had even chewed the tussock grasses right down to the little nub or crown that sticks up 2-3 inches above the ground level. In the past I had to just detect around these tussocky grasses as I could not wave my coils over them. Today was different. Although with the Zed I had to be very careful in lifting the coil up & over these crowns as the Zed doesn't like to have its coil raised & lowered from the ground so I had to do it very slowly. In fact I detected very slowly over the entire areas skidding the coil over the ground listening intently for any faint whisper or interruption in the threshold. So....first spot & after an hour I got a faint but nice sounding signal. I had been getting quite a few of those little double hit signals that usually end up being a very shallow shot gun pellet. I usually dig every thing but as I had been over these areas not long ago with the Zed I took these to be new shot gun pellet type signals to be from recent rabbit shooting. So if they moved after a couple of scrapes I just moved on. I was waiting for the signal to live on down a bit before I would carry on to retrieve the target. So this signal was living on down beyond the usual shot gun pellet signal. If you click on a pic once it goes through to flicker. If you click again on the pic it will go full screen if you want a closer up or to see more detail. Bingo....a sassy bit of gold. Then just heaps more shot gun pellet signals So I stopped for a coffee break before getting back into it. Half an hour into it I got a signal that lived on down a bit. The dig was into a top soil & not looking promising. So I went & got the GM 1000. It told me it was non ferrous so I carried on with the dig. I was just getting into crunchy schist gravels when the signal was out. So I placed a few handfuls of dirt over the Zed's coil until it nutted off. Whittled the target down to a light in weight item in my hand. Hmmmm I thought.....not gold but not iron either. I rubbed it in my hands to get some of the dirt off it. I then ended up with two bits in my hand. A piece had broken off. I passed the smaller bit over the Zed's coil & nothing. So I dropped it in the dig out dirt pile & waved the bigger bit over the coil & it nutted off. Couldn't see any gold in it & was thinking that maybe it was a piece of aluminum. Which seemed odd for this area. I didnt want to stick it in my mouth so I went back to my wagon, which wasn't far away, & got my bottle of water & gave it a wash. It was a gold quartz specimen piece. Choice but bugger. As I had dropped the smaller bit that broke off in the dig out dirt. As the Zed didn't register on it I got the Gold Monster on to it in the dig out pile. It sniffed it out & I gave it a wash up & it showed colours of gold. Ye Ha. Scanned the hole again with the Zed & the Monster & nothing. Scanned the dig out pile again with them both. Nothing with the Zed but got a hit with the Monster. Another small specimen bit. So two for the Monster & one for the Zed. The Zed getting the signal in the first place & the Monster cleaning up two more. Loving it. A couple of hours later & nothing more so that called for another time out & a coffee break. Another few hours & no more gold. It was just getting on to dark when I got a signal that again lived on down a bit. Into that lovely crunchy schist gravel & then the signal was out. Another little bit of gold. That was it for Saturday. So made myself comfortable in an old timers rock hut shelter. Cooked up a feed, had a coffee & hit the sack. Woke up to rain. Bugger. So was in no hurry to get up. Made a coffee at about 9.30am & cooked up some sausages, baked beans & toast. Another coffee, made up the thermos & then the rain stopped. I headed off to spot number 2. Rigged up & got into it with the Zed. Not even 5 minutes & a sweet sounding signal that lived on down. Just to the right of the bottom of the coil you will see a little grassy clumpy nub/crown from a tussock type grass that the sheep have chewed down. More on that in a minute. I was down onto schist bedrock & the signal was out. Backed up on the dig out dirt & bingo..... Sweet. No more signals. Back filled & carried on. One very slow sweep over that little clumpy nub of grass. Oh...what was that?? Oh...nothing. Changed direction & tried again. Oh...that was something...I am sure....Mmmmm....maybe not. bugger it. Tried again. Still not convinced. Got the pick & knocked that nub of grass off to ground level. Scanned again. Oh hell yeah...that is something. but Oh so faint. Scrapped away quite a bit more & yes...that is something & still in the ground. Again I got down to that schist bed rock & it was still in there. The signal was booming. Where the scoop is was where the first bit of gold came out of & back filled. Down 500 mm, 20 or so inches, & the signal was out. I was just about to get the Gold monster to pin point it & to see if it was ferrous or non ferrous. No need now & I could feel the weight in my hand. You bloody beauty. My biggest bit since last year. 3.62 grams. A beaut round ball chunky bit. YE HA.... Then it started to rain again but I battled on. A few hours later & nothing more. The rain got heavier so I went to my wagon & had a coffee. Thinking of heading off. I moved to the third spot which wasnt far away. The rain stopped so I thought I would give this area a go. It was the area where I had got nothing with the Zed on two previous occasions. About an hour into it I got a very faint whisper on another of those grass nubs. Knocked it off to ground level & it brightened up. Down on to the crunchy schist gravels & it was still in there. Suddenly it was out. Backed up on the dirt pile. Got the signal in my hand. Ended up with a dirty looking stone in my hand nutting off. Had a little bit of weight to it. Gave it a rub & saw the glimmer of gold through the dirt. Bit of spit & polish And.... Another whopper. Well whopper for me aye. 4.39 grams to be exact. YE bloody HA. Bit of quartz still attached to it. I wasn't far from my wagon. Hows that ground for detecting? Bits of quartz scattered about. Very low grass. just perfect. The rain came back in & I decided to head off. Had to pick Mrs JW up from the airport back in Queenstown & a 2.5 hour drive to get back. So...my best weekend for a longgggg time. 8 bits for 12.20 grams all up. Cheers guys. Best of luck out there JW