Luckless Beach Attempts

I know this is a long overdue post as I have been meaning to update this blog… and I dont really even have an excuse since I find myself now in the smallest town in the world with absolutely nothing to do!

So I tried my E-trac at the beach near our family holiday home in Scarborough near Cape Town. Lets just say, I found nothing but did receive many stares from beach go-ers who had probably never seen anyone with a metal detector before, or thats what it felt like anyways! This was my first time out in public and I admit it did feel a little awkward at first knowing there were gawkers staring at my every move. It was almost embarrassing to dig up sand and come up empty handed as I think everyone at the beach was expecting me to come up with a find of some sort. Needless to say the embarrassment vanished quickly and I got very used to working my way around the beach…

I did struggle though, I kept getting signals over a sweep yet when I tried to find the signal again to isolate the target, it was gone. When I found the signal, tried to pinpoint and nothing OR I get a pinpoint, dig and come up empty. Clearly my settings or the even more likely answer must have been my inexperience at detecting on the beach. I did however find a much better signal later on during the search, dug and found some tin foil. As unexciting as this sounds, I was more than happy to have actually found a proper signal, dug and eventually come up with something!

Scarborough is not the busiest beach in the world (think retirement village) so perhaps that had something to do with my lack of finds. They do say if there is nothing there, you not going to find anything… so perhaps it was just a case of there really was not much there.

One thing I learnt quickly is the E-trac is HEAVY. It might not seem so initially but after an hour or two you really start to feel the weight of the machine. Now if I kept on digging gold I wont mind the weight at all but alas when you digging up nothing, it is a bit of a drain.

After I returned home from my luckless attempt I read that my settings I was using may not have been the best for the beach. I was supposedly meant to use manual sensitivity as automatic is not preferred at the beach… noted for the next time.

In the meantime I received a 3 month work contract to lecture and instruct at an air school in Port Alfred. Coming from Cape Town and even more recently Dubai, this place is what I call ‘microscopic’. It really is a tiny town but the best definition would be courtesy of my cousin and in his exact words “A one horse town… but the horse has died”. A beautiful retirement spot I suppose, with a great stretch of coastline that goes on for miles on end including a blue flag beach called Kelly’s Beach. The beach is about the only thing to do here except for a few bars and one small shopping mall. Thats it! Apparently the beach is packed during holiday season as this is definitely a holiday town but certainly not many people live here outside of holiday season as everywhere I visit is empty – including the beach.

Luckily I brought my detector along to keep me occupied. I tried the beach (my now second attempt at a beach) and changed the sensitivity setting to manual so i was determined I would find something. They had major flooding recently where the tides washed up almost completely covering where the sand usually is, so I figured something must have washed up and waiting to be found under the sand. Alas again, I was having the same issues as before and yet again struggled to find anything. This time I didnt even find tin foil making it even a worse attempt than my first. Given it was a real quiet spot on the beach where not many ever go but I thought I would attempt it anyways. I am still not convinced about my detector settings and instead of using beach mode I am going to completely open up the discrimination and just dig whatever I can on my next beach attempt – hopefully I have better success stories on my next blog update.

Eti - March 4, 2013 - 11:41 am

Well done, I have a x-call2 and a garret, also feel strange on the beach, I need to get out again been too long, also cape town,

admin - March 7, 2013 - 6:46 pm

We should go together for a beach hunt when I am back in Cape Town!

Michael Bernzweig - May 3, 2013 - 12:17 am

Hi! Nice blog! My name is Michael. I was wondering if you’d be interested in publishing a guest post about the top five places to go metal detecting. If you’re interested, just shoot me an e-mail and I’ll send the article to you as an attachment. Hope to hear from you soon!


Ana - April 2, 2014 - 5:21 pm

I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog.

I was such a great treasure hunter at the coast when I was a child.I’d dig for hours on end and always came home with a ring or some sort of jewellery ( I guess back in the 80’s ladies went to the beach with their jewelery)

I’m a mom now and when we do go to the beach – I’m at it again and my boys in tow,I’ve always wanted a metal detector and thanks to your blog and adventures (even the back yard ones) you’ve inspired me to add a detector to my birthday list.

By the way:My husband has been watching Alaska Gold Diggers and this little man on the show takes his detector and just walks around the grounds and detected Gold.How come this hasn’t become a trend in the City of Gold…Jhb?

I’ll be digging up my backyard in no time lol!

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