Rocky Meets the Lord of the Rings
By Mike Gawley
I’ve been in Rockhampton for more than three years now and I’ve been metal detecting on weekends most of that time. It was awesome at first as the parks were full of modern change and it didn’t look like anyone had ever detected here or in nearby Yeppoon. The only downside though, was that there was no-one to share the hobby with. Although it's a pretty solitary game, it’s a real pleasure to share the experience with a fellow detectorist once in a while.
I started with a used Minelab Excalibur 800 and while it served me well on land and at the beach, I was keen to get hold of a lighter machine with a few more features, primarily for land use. I joined a forum called Australian Metal Detecting and Relic Hunting and found heaps of guys and gals that shared the same interest and traded tips, tricks and other secrets of this wonderful hobby.
I eventually bought a second-hand Minelab Explorer II from a fellow forum member and after a bit more research decided to try some other useful tools. I bought a Garrett Pro Pointer and a Lesche digging tool and both items turned out to very helpful in making quick work and a clean recovery of most coins and jewellery. I never would have come across this stuff if it wasn’t for the forum.
As time went by I noticed there were only a few decent sand scoops available for beach recovery and that several forum members had made their own with pretty good results. I have 20-plus years experience in metal fabrication so I decided to have a go at it myself. I posted queries on the forum and other members commented on what they did and didn’t like about the scoops that were currently available. I posted pics of the design as it progressed and several members offered their 3D modelling services to assist in making the scoop a reality. Eventually I built five of them and sold all five to members of the forum.