Rio History: Picking a Site

Treasure hunting tips

Special to the PRESS

Lesson number one: Wherever people gather to play, pay or pray, there will be treasure.

One of my favorite spots is the stretch of beach near the jetties in Isla Blanca Park. Most weekends, and almost every day during the summer, this beach is crowded with vacationers, sunbathers, surfers, fishermen and lovers; all enjoying the sweet smell of salt air. As a locksmith (Almost Always Available Locksmith) I get numerous calls from unfortunates who have lost their car keys in the surf or somewhere along the water’s edge. It just stands to reason to expect some of these folks to have also lost pendants, watches, necklaces, rings, coins and other adornments in the hot shifting sands.

Laying out a grid is the best way to hunt a site, but that is not always possible at a crowded beach. I will usually select a garbage can or other semi-permanent fixture as a starting point. By traversing a pre-planned path, I will always be near a place where I can dump any pull tabs, broken glass and other flotsam that I find. From there, I study the lay of the land, choosing distances and the most easily traveled route. Remember, the detectors’ coil must pass over an object before you can locate it, so choose a path that allows for you to swing the detector in as wide an arc as is possible. Pay particular attention to the area around playground equipment. It is here that the whole family plays.

A mother pushing a swing can lose an earring. The boys playing touch football or volley ball are prime candidates for losing a class ring. The area surrounding swing sets, gym equipment or walkways across the dunes are also excellent spots to hunt. Then there’s the spot where dad lays on a blanket, sipping a beer or soda. He moves around a little, perhaps adjusting for the sun’s rays, or admiring one of the multitudes of beautiful women that seem to congregate on the Island’s beaches. Only the gulls hear the clinking sound of loose change falling from his pockets. A child steps upon the coins and as if by magic, they are seen no more. The Island has claimed her toll and it’s up to you, the treasure hunter, to wrest this fortune away from nature.

Good hunting!

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