Fantastic Florida Finds
By: Allen Cascadden
After hearing about the hurricanes in Florida, I could hardly wait to fire up the motor home and head south. Our Michigan weather was turning bitterly cold, and my wife and I had just spent Christmas with our families. So, we loaded up the RV and headed for the Sunshine State. We stopped in Kentucky for the night, then headed straight for Daytona Beach.
When we attempted to drive on the beach, we were surprised to find that some of the beach ramps were closed because high water had washed part of them away. We finally reached the beach and were amazed at the destruction left by the hurricanes. Most of the sand was washed away, and many steps and landings were destroyed. Many of the coastal motels displayed external and internal damage. Roofs and siding just could not hold up to the wind's force.
I took out my brand-new White's DFX detector and headed down the beach. I began getting hits as soon as I started, and was kept busy digging fairly new quarters, dimes, nickels, and of course pennies. I was working the wet sand area and really having a blast. The temperature was in the 80s, it was pure sunshine, and I was finding coins at a regular pace.
I noticed a definite pattern in my finds. All of the coins were in a line, not more than 48" apart, and running parallel to the water's edge. I stopped for lunch, already with a heavy pocketful of change, and then proceeded to a cut on the beach, again finding more and more coins. However, the tide started coming in and forced me to go farther inland.
As the water lapped in front of me, I noticed a glimmer of gold! Running my detector over the area, I got a ring reading. Sure enough, it was a gold ring with a small diamond. What a great day, and what a terrific way to start my vacation here in Florida.
I left the beach and drove to an RV park between Daytona and Cocoa Beach, where we would stay until the middle of March, thus evading the snow and cold of Michigan.
After setting up camp in a rural area called Christmas, we left our motor home and headed for Cocoa Beach. I zigzagged a search pattern along the water until I found a line of coins. I was very busy digging one after another. Like Daytona Beach, Cocoa was offering a line of treasure for me to find.
I got a ring reading and pulled a man's gold ring from the wet sand. Unfortunately, I broke the handle on my scoop, so I had to dig using just the scoop. Despite this disadvantage, at the end of the day I had found 143 coins and three rings. Could it possibly get any better than this?
I went home eager to return, and the next day I immediately started finding coins, and rings too. The day was sunny, it was 82°, I was in a T-shirt and shorts, and best of all, I was digging treasure at a very busy pace. At the end of the day my tally was more than 100 coins and a couple of rings.
Not only was I having fantastic luck, but I met some other detectorists who were really terrific people. We all stopped and swapped stories and compared our finds. It was truly a dream come true for me. I could not wait to hit the beach again.
The old saying, "All good things must come to an end," certainly rang true when I returned the following day. An evil tide had covered up the coins and rings. In fact, I hardly recognized the beach at all. Everything had changed, and my detector stayed relatively quiet for most of the day.
Even so, the sun was shining, it was 80°, and I was enjoying my hobby. Best of all, I had time to appreciate the ocean's rhythm, the pounding waves, the birds, and the beautiful shells beneath those amazing palm trees. After teaching for 32 years in West Branch, Michigan, and retiring, I found these days wonderful, whether I was finding treasure or just enjoying the aesthetics.
I continued detecting for the next three weeks, and I found over 1,000 coins, 18 rings- three of them gold, and four silver. I also found numerous earrings and other jewelry. The actual total was 188 quarters, 245 dimes, 131 nickels, and 571 pennies... $84.21. I found a few coins from the 1920s, too. My wife Sherry and I also spent a week with our grandkids, and yes, we did take them metal detecting a couple of days on the world-famous beaches here in Florida.