The Difference Down Under

G’day mate and greetings from Australia!

I know I have not posted a blog entry for a long time, so for that I do apologise – it was not a case that I had stopped metal detecting but rather a case of not finding much… at all!

I am presently working in Perth, Australia ( I know I have moved around a lot, I do feel like a gypsy some days) so I will be blogging from here for a while (until the next move that is)!

So where to begin? Well let me start by telling you that metal detecting is pretty big here, I follow some Australian metal detecting sites online and there are many more active detectorists here than in South Africa. It seems to be a much more common and accepted hobby, lots of online and brick and mortar metal detecting stores and quite a common site to see someone detecting on the beaches or hearing stories of someone finding gold nuggets out in the goldfields.

Although I have done mostly night beach hunts here and have had the beach to myself (well, mostly to myself, will get to that later), I am led to believe that you will find a couple of detectorists hitting the beaches early in the mornings pretty much daily which in turn leaves me with less to find. To add to this, every morning a digger loader of sorts will come and scoop away a layer of sand at most beaches. The challenge keeps on getting tougher! So consider yourself lucky that in South Africa, the land and beaches are almost untouched with lots of goodies up for grabs with minimal “competition” out there.

The other problem I am faced with, which is a good problem in a way, is that it seems the Australians don’t litter as much on the beaches. As much as I am not finding any good finds, I am hardly finding much junk either. The problem with this is that it is highly boring swinging your arm off for hours and hardly getting any signals. This has happened all too often.

I must be honest though, I have always gone hunting at the “wrong time”, either the tides have been high and I am faced with dry sand detecting or too much sand out and about so that has not helped my cause either. I have seen some great cuts (which I have not seen in Cape Town) but never had my detector with me or was not a good time for me to be out detecting. Now that winter is approaching however, I am expecting some big cuts to appear and will hopefully get the opportunity to be at the right place at the right time and a future blog post will reveal what the outcome will be.

The little junk I do find though is mostly bottle caps as drinking is allowed on the beaches. This brings me back to my story about being “mostly alone” on the night hunts, as I prefer to hunt when the beaches are quiet, I am often out at night – but so are those that are either cuddling or drinking on the beach. Once I had the beach to myself except for a couple cuddling on their blanket on the beach and as I approached closer they waved at me and so we started talking. They were a little drunk but very friendly and turned out the girl was also a South African (plenty of us here in Perth). They asked the usual questions as to what I was doing / looking for but all in all were extremely friendly and we said our goodbyes and I continued my detecting. On a different ocassion however, I came across two guys who clearly had way too much to drink and they thought it was time to give me a theory lesson on where I should be detecting – apparently Professor Drunk thought I should take my metal stick and go to the Thames and I will be sure to find some dinosaur teeth! To be honest, it was actually quite entertaining at the time but I quickly brushed them off to continue my hunting – which well, produced nothing. Perhaps I would have actually had better luck searching for those dinosaur teeth after all. I have also on a couple of ocassions witnessed some late night skinny dipping from groups of girls and guys – the things you see at the beaches at night!

Pull tabs seem to be a thing of the past for me, don’t get much of them here but instead we have a circular piece of foil (see picture below). These are on all the Energade kind of drink bottles which you peel off before you can drink out the bottle. Damn the signal of these sound just like gold, luckily I am learning on my CTX what numbers to ignore, however if I ignore them, I don’t have much to dig – its all pretty bittersweet.