Treasure Hunting and Reaching Valuables Just Over Head Deep with Hookah and Scuba Rigs
Over the years, I have probably recovered more treasure in the form of old coins and gold jewelry in the water’s that were just over the heads of other hunters. I’m not talking about diving to depths of 50 feet+, but rather getting out to the ropes in a swimming area or under the float which is usually in 10 feet of water or less!
Out of 100 treasure hunters that search swimming sites for lost valuables, less than 5 will be divers. What this means to you is that if you are willing to put in the effort to search these areas, you will be eliminating virtually all of your competition. Two years ago I went to an old beach in upstate New York hoping to do fairly well wading in the swimming area. Well, after three hours it was readily apparent that others had already cleaned it out on me. Pulling my hookah out of the truck, I thought I would give it one last try before I left. Surprisingly, the deeper areas had not been worked and in two hours, I recovered nine gold rings and a pouch full of coins with some dating back to the 1920′s. As you cam see, diving saved what could have been a totally wasted day.
The one aspect of shallow water diving that keeps most hunters out of it is the total lack of visibility even in lakes or other bodies of water that are fairly clear to start with. Once you reach the bottom and start stirring up the silt, you could just as well be hunting with your eyes closed. If these conditions bother you, then shallow water diving might not be for you. Keep in mind that when hunting around floats or platforms, there will often be ropes of chains anchoring it to the bottom and you can find yourself tangled up in it. You need to keep a “cool head” in order to avoid a potentially life-threatening situation from ending badly.
But before you decide to stay in the shallow water and give up on the idea of diving, it is something that you can master and enjoy. Also, since you are in extremely shallow water, you will be able to stay down for hours and not worry about the need to decompress as divers that explore wrecks or deeper sites have to. At many sites, I have been able to stand up and have my head just break the surface. Remember, shallow water hunters can’t get out much past 5 1/2 to 6 feet and many valuables are lost just past that point.
Scuba gear or a Hookah rig for treasure diving?
There are two ways you can get equipped for this activity – Scuba gear or a Hookah rig. Each of these has it’s pro’s and con’s; however, for shallow work, the hookah excels for many reasons. First, while the cost of a hookah as compared to two sets of scuba gear (a hookah supports two divers at the same time) is about equal, the operating cost for a hookah is a fraction of what scuba costs. As a matter of fact, you can recover the entire cost of the hookah in a single season based on how inexpensive a hookah is to operate as compared to two sets of scuba gear.
Second, many of the sites you will be working are located miles from the nearest dive shop where you would need to have your tanks refilled. A hookah will run all-day on a few gallons of gasoline – making it much easier to stay in a productive area recovering valuables.
And finally, the overall weight and size of a hookah rig is much less when compared to two sets of scuba gear. This is important when you consider that you may need to transport your gear a considerable distance, especially if the site is abandoned and you can’t drive right to the water.
While you can purchase a hookah system directly from one of the manufacturers currently producing them, you can save a considerable amount of money by building one yourself. There are many sites that provide a detailed parts list, recommended sources to obtain the required parts at the lowest prices, assembly instructions, and examples of how one can profit from the use of a hookah system.
If you already own your scuba gear or want to go that route, many shallow water divers use tanks and do extremely well with them. You will probably want to buy at least 2 or 3 extra tanks so that you will not be limited to an hour or two before you have to get a tank refilled. Check with your local dive shops to see if they have rental tanks that they may be interested in selling – often you can get an great deal at the end of the season on equipment that is in excellent condition.
Again, shallow water diving in limited visibility is not for everyone – if you don’t think you will be comfortable in these conditions – DON’T TRY IT! It’s not worth putting yourself in a situation that could threaten you life just for a few coins or a ring. There are plenty of items in shallow water where you can wade.