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TREASURE HUNTING by Gary Bain
If one enjoys history, the great outdoors, and can stand the excitement, treasure hunting and metal detecting is an incredible hobby or vocation. I first started treasure hunting over thirty years ago. I'm still looking for the treasure I've never found but am sure it's just around the corner. I honestly believe though, the treasure is in the looking, not in the finding.
Since I first started using metal detectors in the early seventies I have used almost exclusively White's detectors. I have found them to be rugged, reliable, efficient, user friendly and best of all, the company stands behind their product. For my last two adventures to Ganes Creek Alaska in 2003 and 2004 I used the White's GMT. The two trips were very successful and I found about six ounces of nuggets, the largest being 1 and 1/2 ounces. Feel free to visit White's at: http://www.whitesmetaldetectors.com/
Some of the more interesting hunts have taken me to Mexico, Italy, Canada, the Cayman Islands and quite a few of the states in America. I've prowled the beaches of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, searched the emerald mines in North Carolina, the diamond mines in Arkansas, the hills of Virginia and Missouri, old plantation homes in Georgia, old cabin sites in Colorado, old settlers homesteads from the land run in Oklahoma, the ghost town of Beveridge in California, the deserts of Arizona, the Sierra Madres in Mexico, the Kootenay Mountain Ranges of British Columbia, and a sunken city off shore from Naples, Italy.
My main quest has been to find some gold coins. The closest I have ever come to doing that was in the Cayman Islands. I was using an underwater detector there and had gotten word that a gentleman had lost a $6,000.00 watch in shallow water on the beach of Little Cayman. While looking for the watch I picked up a coin and it was bright yellow with coral encrustations covering most of it. A short time later and with much excitement I picked up the second one. I had finally, after years of searching, found my Doubloons!! Or so I thought. After very careful scrutiny and a little bit of scraping I saw writing on the coins. My doubloons quickly, and with a great letdown, turned into what was plainly written on the coin, "Brac Reef Drink Token". They were brass and were used as a form of currency by tourists!!
Also in the Cayman Islands while I was living on the East end of Grand Cayman I uncovered a few brass spikes from the wrecks of the famous, "Wreck of the Ten Sails". I preserved them and after soaking in fresh water for a long time, I baked them and then coated them with polyurethane. To this day they appear to be perfectly preserved. I also took some black coral that I had a native carve for me into a 6" lemon shark and is mounted on a beautiful piece of caymanite. This is one of my prize possessions. I also found quite a few silver coins from England and the U.S. on the beaches there as well as other artifacts.
Some of my most interesting hunting was while stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, S.C. Antebellum homes, the outlying sea islands, civil war sites and the outer banks and beaches provided a wealth of places to search. The most fascinating was Port Royal where James Ribaut in the 1600's started a colony, the second I think in the Americas. There I found hand forged hoes and clay pipes as well as many coins and other artifacts.
While stationed at Cherry Point North Carolina I participated in a Marine Survey of the USS Pickett, the flagship of General Burnsides invasion of New Bern, NC. It was sunk in the Tar River and our survey turned up muskets, plates, dagger handles, coins, swords, belt buckles and a host of other artifacts. Most of the articles are now on display at the Washington, NC museum .
My most fascinating trip and my first videotaping adventure was to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, in Mexico. Thirteen of us, guided by Frank Shattuck, were attempting to walk from the Atlantic to the Pacific, a distance of about 180 miles. Even though we didn't complete the trek the journey was a most incredible one. Our travels took us to the ruins of San Lorenzo in Veracruz, the site of the most ancient ruins of the Olmec, the most ancient civilization in the Americas. There, I documented the discovery of the tenth colossal head to be discovered at San Lorenzo.
And the search goes on and hopefully the adventure has just begun!!.........
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