My inbox is full of Hurricane Mathew questions, so here are a few beach hunting tips that should make a difference if beaches along the east coast erode due to the hurricane.
1. Site selection
This is post hurricane beach hunting tip number one as far as I am concerned, you should have one or two sites picked out that you are going to hit first and a number of good back up sites.
Always go to the site or sites with the most potential, not the sites everyone else is probably heading to.
Knowing what wind and waves are necessary to erode your favorite beach hunting sites is the key to having success after a coastal storm and of course this is why local beach knowledge rules!
2. R O T
Return on investment is very important to me, which is why I hit the beaches I know the best, sites that are preferably within a decent traveling distance.
The more time you spend behind a steering wheel, the more time other people have to search a site before you show up.
After a major storm has caused beach erosion, you want to give yourself the best shot of finding something good.
Local beach hunters have a heck of an advantage over people who decide to travel long distances to detect the same beaches.
Advantages including time saved not traveling to detect and inside information on what part of the beach looks the best to search.
3. Equipment choices
Following up on my previous blog, it is important to use the right equipment to take advantage of prime beach hunting conditions after a hurricane.
Try not to get carried away thinking about deep targets and ground coverage when six to ten feet of sand have been stripped from the beach.
Go for the easy to detect targets, an eroded beach is not the place to get bogged down digging everything.
Think about what you are really searching for, what it sounds like and where it is likely to be found, then choose the equipment that will help you do that.
Also be prepared to stay at the beach much longer than you usually would, including taking extra batteries, water and snacks.
4. It ain't over until the fat lady sings
I have searched beaches I know are very productive with monster cuts and not found a darn thing, but the following days I have cleaned up.
When a beach is stripped of sand and targets are as rare as hens teeth, you may have better luck on the following high tides as things taken off the beach and into the water are pushed back onto the beach.
The giant sandy conveyor belt theory of jewelry and coin hunting has worked well for me in the past, so don't forget to search for coin lines.
I usually search higher up on the beach after erosion first takes place, then lower down over the following high tides as the surf calms down.
5. Savor the moment
Beach hunters lucky enough to search an eroded beach after a hurricane, often only appreciates the opportunity they had well after the hurricane.
Some of my favorite finds have been recovered after severe beach erosion caused by hurricanes, the lessons learned from those hunts really helps you prepare for the next big storm.
Finds like these rings recovered after a hurricane in 2012, a vintage 18K Cartier diamond & emerald ring, antique 18K jade ring and an18K amethyst ring, with a combined appraised value of $20.000.00 Talk about site selection, good equipment choices and the luck of the English!
Unfortunately I do not have the time to go metal detecting directly after this hurricane, but I am hoping things I have learned from previous storms will at least help me pick a few trinkets up the weekend after.
Who am I kidding, I know I will find some good stuff well after the storm has passed.
Savor the moment and put the stuff you learn from this hurricane beach hunting experience to good use after future storms.
Good luck and be safe hurricane beach hunters!