I will share a story I mention briefly in my "Hardcore Beach Hunting" book, about creating your own beach or water hunting competition.
Back in 2004 I was trying several new beaches along the Treasure Coast of Florida, after two hurricanes hit the coastline.
I assumed a small beach south of the site of a known Spanish 1715 fleet shipwreck , may have a few interesting things wash ashore through the centuries.
This beach sees far fewer detectorists to this day searching for treasure coins, than the beach to the north where everyone assumes they have a better chance of finding treasure.
Back in the day I was using an expensive $1000.00 screened land metal detector for beach hunting, and full of confidence after years of experience metal detecting for old finds in the fields of England.
I noticed one other car in the parking lot as I walking towards the beach walkover, I made way for the owner of that car to pass me on the walkover, but he stopped to chat.
The other beach hunter was using a very old metal detector, a Whites coinmaster and I jokingly asked him if he collected antiques.
The beautiful Spanish silver treasure coin he pulled out of his pouch really wiped the smile off my face.
He told me how he did not like the newer models with screens and that his trusty (and rusty!) old metal detector had recovered another piece of Spanish 1715 fleet treasure.
The beautiful 300 year old silver coin had a visible late 1600s date, with a cross on one side and a shield on the reverse.
What made the large silver reale special, was the cool bronze ship spike it was still attached to.
Walking onto the beach I could see where the other guy had stopped to dig targets, I recovered several silver reales a little further down the beach.
Over following treasure hunting trips to the same beach, this beach quickly became one of my favorite places to search for Spanish treasure.
To this day the same beach gives up treasure coins and artifacts when the surf picks up.
I will never know how differently things would have turned out if not for the chatty stranger, maybe I would not have found anything and never returned to that site.
This experience taught me two valuable beach hunting lessons, loose lips cause unnecessary competition from other beach hunters and never judge a book by its cover.