Since starting metal detecting when I was in my late teens I have been without a doubt totally immersed in the hobby in most aspects of it from land detecting to beach detecting in the UK and abroad. I run weekly digs in Scotland so I am always surrounded with metal detecting and I will admit it does take a lot now to give me a buzz when out with my mates or digs, it is usually if a potential hoard comes up but I do go out most days for a laugh and wind up with mates or if I am at a dig seeing someone else make finds makes me happy.
About 4 years ago for reasons unknown to me I got an urge to take up Scuba diving and I genuinly mean it never crossed my mind that I was going to be linking this with metal detecting. Fast forward a few years and I am now a Padi Scuba Diving Instructor (Master Scuba Diver Trainer ) rating. I run my own company teaching Scuba Diving as well as my digs. To say Scuba diving has got a grip on me like detecting would be very true as I love being in the water but what has got my blood pumping with enthusiasm again is detecting underwater. For a year now I have been researching sites and doing test dives and when I come out I am utterly buzzing the way I was my first twenty years detecting. I was asked by Dan at this magazine if I fancied testing the new Scubatector out and I was delighted to do so. How could I not as it combined my two passions diving and detecting!
I detect with a very experienced detectorist who has been a dedicated detectorist since the 1970s and has done most things the hobby can offer but he is not a diver but a keen beach detectorist. He has many tales of finds and situations he has experienced over the years and loves to tell us about them (A few times) Bobby told us of the day he was at a loch and he had researched that it was popular in Victorian times as a wading and swimming area so him and his pals at the time headed to this site. He also sold one of his mates his Fisher 1266 detector as he did not have one. The area they where going to search was a strip of beach about 100 meters long and 4 meters wide. Bobby informed me that they where getting a lot of Victorian silver and his pal Patrick got two Gold Sovereigns with Bobby’s old detector so he was well sick!! As I have found to my dismay over the years that when you get a good site on land or sea you always lose it or it gets poached by other detectorists circling like vultures at the smell of a good find …lol TIP: to beginners If you make good finds always keep your find locations to yourself and local museum, it protects the farm and stops the farmer getting pestered…Sorry for going off track but it is important and part of this story.
The good site they had was to go the same way and they where to lose it. This was due to the loch getting flooded to raise the level and so Bobby & co losing the little beach they had. Bobby informed me they used to put waders on and detect it but it was too hard to retrieve the finds due to the depth, cold and stoney bottom. Fast forward twenty years and now I am going to this site the same site our mate Rab thinks Bobby exaggerated..lol
I picked Bobby up and headed to the lost beach with my Scuba gear packed and the Scubatector. I was not sure what to expect from it but excited at the thought and if it was no good I would get a dive anyway. I suited up and had a bit of a climb in to the loch but managed no problem. I always get a good buzz going onto a new field and get the same excitement when going into a new dive site especially to detect, I am dying to get back out as I type! In I went and got settled in and it was not long until I seen the hard packed stones Bobby mentioned and old bottles (but not too old) lying about.
I will also say I put the probe in diving mode which is explained in the box with the instructions, I am not one for reciting the whole manual when doing a test but would rather focus on the performance and build quality while posting any tips I found while I used it.
It was not ling before I was hitting targets which included iron, big bolts, nuts, batteries so I headed out a little and things quietened down a bit and I was soon to hit my first old penny result! Yes I told you I had felt like I had just started detecting again and if it was on a field I would throw it in the bag unless it was in the condition these where. Also if I am getting coins going back to the 1900s there is a chance that the rings will go back to that date also. I was settled in and felt comfortable and relaxed with the Scubatector silent with no chatter etc I felt confident in it’s ability to find stuff. Every couple of sweeps I found coins and other ferrous and non ferrous items and after an hour I had only used 100 bar half my tank so it was time for tea and a sandwich.
After my break I headed back into the water and this time only concentrated my efforts on small signals, by this I mean if you place the head of the detector to the left and slowly pass it over the target to the right in a normal sweep until the beep stops and it takes roughly 5 seconds counting and the same top to bottom you know it is a coin/ring size object. Larger items take a lot longer to stop beeping so over time you will get a good idea of the size before you detect it. You won’t need a scoop you just need to wave your hand to move the top stones or sand, I also carried a small screw driver to lift stones that where stuck.
It is important as a diver to keep an eye on your air and be a certified solo diver if diving alone but it is always better to detect with a diving can be dangerous if you do not respect the rules that is why it is best to dive with a Buddy and always plan your dive and emergency procedures. Make sure you are not diving in an area that has a lot of boat activity because you are so shallow you are nearer propellers so please only do this if you are properly trained by a professional.
I had used up my one tank quota for that day and also my battery died after nearly two hours of busy use so a good experimental dive on “Bobby’s Cove” .