Metal Detecting, Nov. '13, Lori Wilson Park, Cocoa Beach, FL.
Saturday - November 2, 2013 - Lori Wilson Park, Cocoa Beach, FL.
Metal detecting in Cocoa Beach at Lori Wilson Park during the National Dog Surfing Finals. Could it get any more unusual? Planning, planning, and more planning only to discover the day before, that the park was reserved for the 2013 National Dog Surfing Competition. A wonderful companion to our members metal detecting fun.
Any day at the beach is a good one, and this was no exception. Lori Wilson Park is fairly large, and the chapter had no trouble using a small beachside pavilion far from the main festivities of the day. For us, our days events didn't need too much area, and there is miles and miles of beach to the south to detect to our hearts content.
Now, What was that saying about a red sky in the morning ?
At least we had a sunny start. Looking towards the beach from the pavilion.
A fairly humid morning in the low 80's with a stiff breeze out of the south at this time of the year means a cold front is approaching. With the weather changing rapidly, and everyone here, the days events started about 10:30am.
The GPAA is here.
Members waiting for the fun to begin.
Members prepping their gear.
This year, was a bit different from other years, as Bob planed several contests for members to enjoy, besides a Main Hunt. As Bob was setting up the challenge events, everyone was hoping that this cold front would be a bit late, but the skies were telling a different story. Events were planned for Pinpointing, Guess the Item, Number of targets, determining depth, plus a main hunt. The winners for each event received a prize, and the member that faired best overall for the day would be taking home a nice trophy supplied by KellyCo .
Now it's fair to say that members were free to use any and all abilities they had in order to determine their answers, except each other. Metal detectors of all types, with and without, digital readouts, depth indicators, item identifiers, etc., etc. were on hand, and bob knew this would be the case when he was planning this.
For the Guess the Item event, there was a series of 5 Boxes, each 2.5"H x 3"W x 10"L inches that contains 1 to 3 of like items. Members were instructed to pick from a list of known items to identify the contents, then to name the metal, and number of items in the box. No duplicate choices. This was thought to be the easiest one as almost everyone attending had detectors that actually told them loads of information besides just a bit of noise. Up to three points were awarded per box. One each for getting the Item, quantity or metal correct.
For the Pinpointing contest, members attempted to locate the tip of a small iron nail hidden below, but touching a 1/8 thick sheet of construction board. They marked the location on a piece of paper with a pen. The nail was magnetic, so afterwards the actual location could be shown by sprinkling a bit of Black sand on top. Again, this is a fairly easy contest, as everyone can hear the target. Some say it's luck, but it's really not. Measurements to the MM were calculated between the two marked points. The smallest distance wins. Special thanks to Doug helping out running this contest for everyone after he finished.
The Guess the Depth, and number of items was a combined event. Each target was a block of wood that had ( or not ) an item embedded with in it, as a certain depth, from 1/2 to 5 inches deep. Members could choose from a list of known depths, but each depth could be used only once. Added to this list was an entry for No Target, and Target too deep. At the end there were 2 extra block, where members were asked just if an item was there or not. So in effect, members picked depths for targets they could hear, and the rest were deemed as none-targets, so a total number of targets could be determined. By far this was the most difficult, as the types and sizes of items buried were different for each target, and some were difficult targets even for the best of metal detectors. The total difference in distance to the target was calculated, and the lowest was the winner. The member that determined the correct number of targets was the winner.
For the overall winner, places were assigned to each contestant in each contest, and the combined lowest score was the overall winner. First being 1, Second a 2, and so on. If there were ties, they shared the same value. Let the fun begin.... or was that Agony... :)
Bob lead each contestant through the Guess the depth, and number section and afterwards, Doug did the pinpoint contest with them. After everyone finished these two, Bob explained the Guess the Item contest, and members were free to take all the time in the world to finish this one.
Ah, Guess the Depth... Well the first one, ok I'll say its... Ah #2. What it's the same. #3. Holy crap I just barely hear that one. etc. etc. for each target. A tough on it was. Detectors that would indicate depth pretty much all lost it, as once the size of an items changes it changes the signal strength, and it didn't seem to matter if one was actually 1 inch away, or 4 inches away. They all seemed to be saying 4-6 inches away for almost every target. This event turned into more of a guessing game for everyone.
Ah, The pinpoint contest... Lol. well at least it was the same for everyone, but so much for the small nail target, as the magnet underneath the nail making it magnetic made it a much larger target...
Well at least the boxed should be ok... Hmmmmm...
After about an hour everyone was finished up with these, and the cold front had arrived. With a drizzle beginning to fall, the temperature dropping, everyone headed back to the pavilion for a break. With the prospects of rain for the next hour or so at the least, we decide to skip the main hunt. It was decided that Bob would tally the results, and report them at the next meeting, but here and now, the targets they were detecting were shown. From pennies, nickels, bottle caps, silver half dollars, 14k gold earrings, a crushed aluminum can, etc., etc. members learned what was and was not there. This was the time for a few Ooos and Ahhhs and a time to realize the capabilities of their detector, as some heard them all, and some did not. A time to figure out why they missed a target. Was it the mode, to low of an adjustment, or too high. Too much info, not enough...
And the Winners are...
After all was said and done, it was good to see members could determine what was contained in the boxes, at least the quantity was real easy, and for some, they could figure it out exactly. Bruce won this contest.
The Pinpoint contest was won by Michael with a measurement of only 7mm off center.
For the Number of targets, both Marty and Warren were able ot hear all eight targets, and tied for first.
For the Guess the Depth with all the agonies it seemed to entail, it did in the end have some very similar results. Almost everyone said the same for the first target and the same for the very faint target. Ah, but the others... Here Doug ended up with the lowest combined distance.
As for the Overall winner, for the day, it's Doug, with a first, and three second place finishes for a total of 7 points. Warren had an overall score of 11 and Bruce finished with 14. Congratulations.