I finally arrived back in South Africa on 26 December and what a pleasure it is to be back home but before I had left Dubai I sent off unaccompanied air freight which should have been delivered 5 days ago to South Africa but due to a lot of unexplained excuses it only arrived today. The one thing I realise is that having a big “FRAGILE, HANDLE WITH CARE” statement on the box clearly means “THROW ME AROUND AS MUCH AS YOU WANT” as the box certainly looked a lot worse off than when I had sent it off on its epic journey. I was pedantic in packing the items, bubble wrapped everything securely then bubble wrapped it some more so everything actually did arrive in one piece I am happy to report.
So I put my bags containing all my clothes and photography equipment to one side and hauled out the the one thing that I had been waiting for so patiently – the Etrac… Although Christmas is over, this felt like Christmas, opening a present I so badly wanted.
Surprisingly the battery pack still contained a charge so impatiently I headed straight off to the garden. I am staying with the folks at the moment who have a big enough garden for me to search or should I rather say, destroy? You see before I left Dubai, I had gone on to e-bay and ordered one of those Lesche Diggers which looked so incredibly handy but when the item arrived at my New York shop and ship address who usually forward on to me in Dubai, they had decided that the item was a knife and that it could not be forwarded to Dubai. In the end I was forced to either pay to return the item to the seller (which I had problems with too but that is another story for another time) or for them to discard the item. So discard it was, $40 down the drain and still a Lesche digger short.
I had done a bit of research on the ferrous and conductive values of the etrac so I had some very basic knowledge of what I thought would be good numbers to dig and recover. I was surprised with the amount of metal that was being detected under the garden – remember this is after all my first time I have ever used a metal detector. I found a spot where the numbers looked good to be a coin of some sort, pin pointed the position and was just about to start digging. Just then I had remembered I had left the Garret pin pointer in the house but my dad was quite amused at this whole setup so was outside with me watching at the time, so he kept the spot while I ran back to fetch the pin pointer.
The etrac tells you how deep the item is but still being being new at this, I thought it was a lot deeper than it actually was. After one spade scoop (was in a sandy part of the garden), the Garrett quickly located the object and it was indeed a coin. My first find ever and it was a coin… super excited even though it was only 2 cents. This spurred me on for the rest of the hunts in the garden.
Since I had the setting on all metal at this stage, I decided I will actually dig up a target that is usually considered not worthwhile to dig just to see what it is. Turns out it was a rusty nail so at least I know the FE and CU values does actually correspond to what I have read up previously about the good and bad numbers and what not to dig for.
Next I found a target that was pretty deep down, so dig I did and eventually could see something shiny and silver. This wasnt small either – excitement levels went through the roof at this point. Was it a silver? Well no, turned out to be one of those old tuna or sardine cans. Had a good chuckle and tried to cover up all my mess I had made digging up. I have watched numerous youtube clips on plugging neatly and this is certainly something I am not doing – certainly trying but not getting it right which I put down to not having the right equipment aka The Lesche Digger. I am using a cheap handheld spade with a rugged edge on one side sort of like the Lesche but no where near the same quality. I also put it down to lack of experience in digging but luckily its the parents house and they dont mind me making a bit of a mess – or so they claim. Give it another day or two and I am sure I will be banned from detecting in the garden. This is something I need to get right before heading out to public places.
Further more I found tin foil, a fishing weight, a door hindge and lastly another 2 cent coin. This hobby certainly gives you a bit of a workout, the etrac is actually quite heavy and all the digging is a workout in itself but so far I am loving it and hey, its already paying for itself – 4 cents worth.