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Clean sweep
Beepin' About With Tom Ivines 

This Way for a Clean Sweep

Living in Florida has its advantages. There are miles and miles of beaches with miles and miles of people on them. Most of these people have everything on their minds but their jewelry. What a gold mine! But you do not have to live in Florida to hunt beaches. There are beaches everywhere. To take advantage of all the goodies lost on a beach, a little strategy is needed. Obviously, hunting among the thousands of sunbathers is difficult and even sometimes irritating, especially to them! It is an intrusion into their privacy. I mean, how would you like it if someone snuck up on you swinging a disk on a stick, flicking sand and blocking your sunlight? And, what if your wife was lying there beside you, barely clad in a teensy-weensy bikini?. . .
   "No, buddy, I'm not gawking at your wife!. . . No, no, please don't throw sand in my face!. . Agh! Cough, choke gag, gag!"
   See what I mean? Better to hunt the beach when all the people are gone.
   During the warm months the best time to hunt the beaches are on weekdays after 5:00 in the afternoon. Most people have either left the beach for the day, or are leaving. Now, that gives you almost three hours of prime-time hunting before the sun goes down, and too, it is not so hot!
  In the winter months and when not too cold, anytime is good. Seldom are  the beaches crowded in the winter. And so what if you have to wear a jacket? If you can have the beach all to yourself it is to your advantage, and again, it is not so hot!
  The preferable time to get to the beach is at tow tide because most jewelry is found just in or at the water's edge. If you can get to the beach on a weekday at around 5:00 p.m. and have a low tide, then the hunting is going to be good. I always try to pick the days that have an offshore wind and low tide together. That way you can swing your metal detector over prime areas where most people frolic in the water and still hunt on land. . . Well, yes, you can find things up on the beach, too, but the gold in abundance is where the people congregate in the water.
   If you are a beach hunter, you will undoubtedly have a water scoop. Dragging it on the sand while hunting will mark the territory you have already hunted. I find that hunting up and down the beach incline, perpendicular to the shore, is more advantageous than hunting parallel to the shore. That way you are more likely to cover areas you would otherwise miss. Walking distances up or down the beach can cause you to walk a swath you did or did not cover. . . Hmm. Which way is up the beach and which way is down the beach, anyway?
  Yeah, yeah, I know. The first instinct is to head right for those spots you think are the hottest, but don't worry, the stuff is not going anywhere, that is, unless you have a gazillion TH'ers on the beach with you. Otherwise, it is better to cover a small area thoroughly than a large area sparsely. Catch my drift? And it pays to go slow. Slow is better.
   Let your coil overlap so you will know you are not missing any of those deep targets. Satisfy yourself there is nothing left to be found where you have hunted. If not too trashy, hunt in "all metal" and dig all repeatable targets. The best treasures come in small tones. Jewelry seldom knocks your ears off when the coil passes over them like coins. Gold will generally sound like trash on most detectors, usually in the pull tab range.
   You are going to dig trash inevitably, so get used to it and put it in your pouch to be discarded into the litter barrel later. Not only are you going to do yourself a favor, you are doing everyone else a favor, too. Not only will the beach be a better place to frolic and lose jewelry, it will also be an easier place to hunt next time without all the junk. From then on most targets will be good ones.
   As a final note, unless you only have one day, do not try to cover the whole beach at once. Keep coming back repeatedly, eventually covering it all. Then you can start all over. And by all means, have a "beeping" fun time!

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