Treasure in a time warp
This article is to prime you for the main event of beach hunting when all the years of learning and gaining experience come together for an extraordinary door into the past. Consider our sand beaches which are loaded full of hundreds of years of historic artifacts. The more that I learn about the beach I see how quick that the deep sand beaches swallow all the dropped artifacts of each generation that comes to sun and swim. It has been this way for centuries and that is not the major source of artifacts but the tens of thousands of shipwrecks that have been buried below our shores for hundreds of years. Maps of shipwrecks show up like sunbathers along all our beaches and many have been tossed up and destroyed in storms wrecking the ship and sinking the cargo right there on our beach.
I am talking about the kind of beach erosion that only occurs in the most severe conditions. When a hurricane or typhoon spins up the wind and seas they can cut right through the sands of history and just like a time warp they can take you back in time hundreds of years. You can then easily reach objects that have last been held by people long ages ago. Of course it depends on the intensity of the storm as to the amount of erosion and the type of beach because you may have bedrock only a little way down on your beach and some of the treasure may have already been recovered years ago.
Due to the position of the storm and its counter clockwise circulation (as in the case of hurricanes) you will often see an onshore flow as the storm approaches your area and then after the eye passes the wind switches and the offshore flow begins. Now we are talking about a Strong offshore flow of perhaps a 150 mph wind. The onshore flow has overflowed the beaches and pounded the shore with extremely powerful waves and storm surge where the dunes may be stripped completely away. The onshore surge has cause severe beach erosion and removed the sands that covered our treasure and exposed shipwrecks and old coins not to mention the gold jewelry of centuries and it is just laying there exposed on the sand, bedrock, or clay bottom. The thing to know and the key to this treasure is knowing when and how you should go about recovering it and how long it will be there. The sand in mild beach erosion may be replaced in only a year or two but the severe erosion may take ten years or more to replace. It is possible in severe erosion to cut the beach down far below the erosion that these images depict.
After the eye has passed a beach and while the winds are still blowing strong just stay home and dry, but pack your beach equipment and enough food to prepare to stay a while if necessary. As the wind drops below hurricane velocity to where you can drive on the highway safely you can prepare your way and watch for road closings and flooding. It seems that a rental would be in order of a small truck with a high enough bed to roll through the water and make you way to the seashore before the barricade’s are set up to block anyone access. Since you should stay well clear of all homes and wreckage so not to be confused with someone looting the area you should move quickly to the beach area. As the winds subside into gale force the beach or what was the beach will look far differently from the beach that you recall. It may have been stripped of almost all sand and only rocks, mud and perhaps the old wooden timbers of the shipwrecks will be exposed along the beach. At this time you may not need your metal detector as a 5 gallon bucket will do. You should find the area littered with more treasures than you will be able to pick up easily.
Now winter storms that frequent the eastern seaboard and the summer tropical weather that plagues southern California may do some beach erosion but a large storm will really do the job for you. The key to the whole idea is beach access and being “Johnny-on-the-spot” so to speak. Getting there too late might not get you anything for your trouble as the water rushes back in to cover the treasures and quickly begins covering it with sand again. You can see why this is not an easy task, but at the same time it is an opportunity most rare.
From time to time there are modest storms or oceanic events that may cause some fair erosion and there is some sampling of the treasures that lie there and wait for the daring treasure hunter to take it. You can see finds of Spanish cobs, an occasional gold escudo or American gold coins to give you an idea of what may lie there but the mother load is under cover waiting. We see old Spanish treasure show up around Vero beach Florida up and down the beaches along there. The numerous old wrecks have deposited literally tons of treasure coins in the sands. Along the Atlantic beaches some coins are recovered as all of our shores have vast numbers of shipwrecks on them.
Now if you choose to hunt the storm ravaged beach you should be prepared and know what you are doing. The wind can just blow you into the sea and carry you away or the water surge suddenly and wash you off the beach beyond all rescue. Be advised this method of treasure hunting could cost you your life and make sure that you do so understanding that and that you go at your own risk. Under no circumstances go to the beach before a storm as the full impact of a huge storm is unlike anything you might imagine and you probably would not have a chance of survival. Make sure that the storm has well passed and that you monitor a portable radio for information on the storm. Many storms make erratic movements and could turn around and head back at you. Treasure is not worth a day of your life!