Down and Under and Into the Deep End

Submitted 5 months ago
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Digging and diving for treasure in Thetford's Union Village dam area

My first find of the afternoon was a brass cap to an old inner tube flotation device. (Darla Sterett and Allan Stein photos)

Flanked on opposite sides by granite cliffs forged during the last ice age, the turbulent waters of the Ompompanoosac River in the Union Village dam area of Thetford run fast and deep.

Throughout the millennia the river's carving action has formed a natural swimming hole perfect for cooling off or basking in the summer sun.

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Above this miraculous scene I stood just a little too close to the edge of a granite escarpment, looking down and thinking, "There's got to be treasure down there." 

There had to be. After all, people dive into the swimming hole year in and year out and lose things. Jewelry breaks off. Rings drop off fingers made thin by the water. Stuff falls out of pockets, like loose change.

It stands to reason.

For this particular treasure hunt I had my Garrett Ace 250 and my new gadget, the Scuba Tector underwater metal detector. I also had my Triborg Easybreath snorkel mask and wore my "shorty" wet suit and water shoes to keep me warm and protected in the chilly Ompompanoosac.

Searching up and down the banks of the river was fun and productive picking up trash -- not!

My first find was a brass cap to an inner tube that was probably some child's flotation device. Searching even further along the river's edge turned up even more garbage: old iron shards, pieces of aluminum soda cans and foil, and old nails.

It slowly began to dawn on me that maybe this place had been picked clean long ago. 

Just as I was about to throw in the beach towel, the day's "big" find suddenly appeared, stuck inside the craggy face of an underwater cliff.

Silver! I think

It took me multiple dives to retrieve the object — a bent link (most likely silver) to a broken chain or bracelet.

In this hobby even the smallest of finds is like a celebration when it involves precious metal. 

No, it's not Sasquatch:-)


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