Most of my hunting is done in the water……..snorkeling. That’s why I prefer a good underwater metal detector. Water is usually less than 4ft deep. I use tools that do not float. In current they can get away from you very quickly. The scoop is used on the beach in dry to moderately wet sand. In the back of the scoop is a magnet. It helps with those pesky lil pieces of steel that keep going through your scoop. Scoop is sometimes used in the water while snorkelling when there is lots of loose sand. Screwdriver is used to pry coins out of rock or fish them out of cracks and holes. The trowel is 15 inches long, is made of stainless steel and wood. The stainless steel is strong and doesn’t rust. The wood to make it lighter and more comfortable to use. Also the long handle saves my knuckles from getting skinned. Coral cuts do not heal very well. And they burn like hell. This tool is the one I use most. Dead coral, rocks or rock bottom are common. Sand can be, none, 1 inch deep or several inches……….or several feet. The trowel handles most digging jobs quite well. When the signal starts getting pretty loud I stop digging and use the trowel to fan the water in the hole. This hydraulic action moves less sand but it preserves the find. I learned this trick the hard way after knocking the top off of a 1944 class ring. It takes a little more time to get to the target……….but the rewards are great. The long handle takes a bit of practice getting used to and because of the leverage…….your forearm gets tired in a hurry……….but after a while you build the muscle. A fellow detectorist introduced me to the long handle trowel. The Screw is used in loose sand that is in shallow water. It can go deeper than your detector and you don’t have to worry about the sand filling in the hole faster than you can excavate it. Since my hunts sometimes last 5 or 6 hours every effort is made to conserve energy. I use a double valve snorkel. This takes less effort to clear, wear good fins to help you manoeuvre and stay in position. I use a mask with a valve in the nose. This way I don’t have to stop and clear my mask……..just exhale out my nose and the water is all gone.
A multipocketed belt is used to hold finds and other things……like one pocket is for coins, one pocket is for rings and one pocket is for bullets and fishing weights etc. A wet suit helps to keep you warm and protect you from the sun. Sunblock is a very good idea. Beaver brand is the best I have found so far. It will last in the water for a long time.
A mesh bag is used to hold all the trash that is found on a hunt. THe cans I mash to conserve space. The Mesh bag is connected to the belt while snorkelling.
Safety: Know the precautions for your area. Here there are cone shells, stonefish, spiny urchins, strong currents and BOATERS. Cone shells are fine if left alone. They have the ability to harpoon at a couple inches……..venom can cause respiratory failure, Same goes with the stonefish. His dorsal fin has venomous spines that can do you in. So watch where you step. They aren’t aggressive but like to be left alone. Spiney urchins arent poisonous but the pain they cause if you are stabbed by their needles will be intense. Fire coral is another anoyance. It really burns like the dickens if you brush up against it with your bare skin. eels and snakes are ok if you don’t challenge them. An eel maybe only the size of a pencil but if you make him mad……..he will come after you like he was a bear.
It scares the pee out of you to have one of them buggers hit your face mask. Wear bright colours ………sailboats, paddle boats, canoes, jet skies, sailboards…….all need to see you…..cause you’re looking down and your peripheral vision is limited. I wear a white hat and a very bright snorkel tube. Being torpedoed by a boat is no fun. Don’t forget to eat and drink water or some sport drink. You get dehydrated floating along out there in the sun and water. Drink LOTS of water.
Detector: I use the hardy CZ20. It has held up well to the rough treatment I give it. When in the sand that is less than 5 inches deep I swing a moderate speed arch in front of me, trying to overlap slightly. When in deep sand I slow the speed of my swing way down. I try to hunt the valleys and low spots and around rocks. The water seems to deposit goodies in these places more than others. Water will pile up sand on one side of an obstacle and wash it away from the other side.
Closeup of magnet at rear of scoop
Rings are more plentiful close in to shore. But so is the trash. I use 0 discrimination and dig all but iron targets. Sensitivity is cranked up to the max…….along with volume. Ground balance here isn’t much of a problem. We usually set it on 5 and don’t bother with it……….
The mesh bag is of good marine quality material. I have car keys on the lanyard. That way I know where they are at all times. A better mesh bag has a wire trap like opening……….much easier to use than mine. Sand screw has a trap door to keep goodies from falling out. a trigger controls the trap door up and down motion.
I go to the beach I use a backpack. . The top is meshed and I put my fins , mask, wetsuit, mask and snorkel there. The bottom is a cooler that holds water and lunch. Comes in handy when you have a long walk down the beach. The backpack has pockets on the sides……spare batteries, sunblock, mask defogger go here………
The Sand Screw is made of stainless steel. Cost me about $60 used…think they sell for $99 new. Bought it form MYBECO. Somewhere in NJ or NY. Came with a video. Drills really nice holes in the sand………….hope the pics give you an idea of how it operates……..Its used mainly by waders……most folks perfer the long handle scoops.
To each their own……this works good and is very light. 2 improvements would be ……one to have slip grips so your hands wouldn’t have to wear gloves. and 2 if it could be made of something other than metal.