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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Searching old landing areas

Many islands have old landing areas, places where people would have landed by boat and walked onshore.
I found several old landing areas on Oak Island Nova Scotia this summer, the area in this photo was known as the wharf. 

It was the site of an old wharf in the late 1700s and an obvious place for a beach treasure hunter to metal detect. 
There was no signs indicating an old wharf,  just clues to the general location in references to the history of Oak Island. 
The dated 1770 English copper coin and musket ball were recovered from the rocky shoreline at low tide. 
No doubt, typical pocket spills from people landing ashore around this area in the late 1700s.
I used a two pronged approach to searching the area at low tide, one that I would typically use on the Treasure Coast of Florida searching for old treasure coins and artifacts. 
I used my 11 inch search coil first to help me locate shallow targets, then switched to the large 17 inch search coil to help recover any deeper targets. 
There was quite a bit of iron on this rocky beach,  and I had more success using the smaller search coil than the larger search coil. 
Over several low tides I searched the lower rocky beach from different angles and recovered a pocket full of musket balls, several US and English navy buttons and an early 1600s coin. 
It made a change not having to worry about sand washing in and covering the area, like it would on beaches back in Florida. 
If you live near a river or an island, with a little detective work you may discover sites used as landing areas. 
I lived near a tidal river in England, the river banks opposite old landing areas were my favorite bottle hunting sites. 
Coins and artifacts lost centuries earlier, are often still trapped within reach on rocky shorelines close to landing areas. 
You may have to wait a while on sandy beaches, but at least you can be prepared for when the sandy beach is eroded. 
In a way I was well prepared for searching this landing area on Oak Island, beach and water hunting for modern jewelry is all about searching sites where people get in and out of the water. 


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