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Author Topic: looks like I just missed the cold spell  (Read 4234 times)

mangomick

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looks like I just missed the cold spell
« on: June 30, 2014, 09:26:04 PM »
Looks like I just missed the cold snap out at Tommahawk creek  brrr. Went out for a fortnight and spent the time out at Featherbed run. Most of the nights were pretty mild and days fairly warm. Got about 10mls of rain on the second day but otherwise the weather gods were kind. Picked up a few  stones. The place was pretty quiet as far as campers/fossickers were concerned. Ran into ALFer  DigIn aka Brett from mackay who was out there for a reccy. He's heading back out for school holidays but not too sure he was too impressed with featherbed run. Hang in there Brett.  if you do go back out to Featherbed Brett, there is a hole just across from where we were camped that i picked up 3 nice stones in only four buckets of wash or if you turn right just near where you were camped (where we were heading) and follow the track along the edge of the  gully till you get to near the end of the gully you'll come to the hole we got a fair few of the rest out of.
The few people we were talking to out there had mixed success.
The 3 biggest stones in the attached photo went 11.05cts, 9.65cts, 7.9cts and the stone one the top right went 4.5cts.
Cheers

MALACHI

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Re: looks like I just missed the cold spell
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 06:55:55 AM »
A nice mix of stones Mangomick, I particularly like the green one in the top right  corner.

Malachi  beers

Dig-in

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Re: looks like I just missed the cold spell
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2014, 06:41:09 AM »
Thanks Mick, good to see you did OK. We`are heading back out today for a week. We will be heading to the same spot & may have to have a little look at the area you have described. It looks as though it might be just a little cooler now (FREEZING) so we have plenty of warm gear . It should be perfect during the day though . Thanks for the directions to the waterhole we went & had a look & there is plenty of good water. I hope I will have something nice to post a picture of when we get back. Cheers

Jamo

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Re: looks like I just missed the cold spell
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2014, 01:39:51 PM »
A nice number of stones. There seems to be a lot of greens. Are they more prevalent than blue from this location?
Baaa humbug, not enough fossicking time!

mangomick

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Re: looks like I just missed the cold spell
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2014, 08:31:13 PM »
Yeah Jamo
The Greens seem to be the more predominate colour found in the featherbed run area of the field. The greens vary a bit from a light green to more of a kind of bluey/green azure colour, which is very pretty.

Lefty

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Re: looks like I just missed the cold spell
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2014, 05:29:04 PM »
Nice little haul there Mick. :) I've only been into Tomahawk once - so much billy on the ground that it was almost hard to walk in some spots. Not all like that I guess?

You guys back home yet? I was supposed to lead some of the club members on a field trip up to that Carnelian spot on the Fitzroy this Sunday but I don't think I'll actually get round to catching up with anybody - club won't be open tomorrow night because of Origin I suppose, and I'll be away Friday so will miss lapidary club again! :P

mangomick

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Re: looks like I just missed the cold spell
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2014, 10:10:23 AM »
G'Day Lefty
We were home then made a last minute decision to go back out for another week so just got home last night.
Think some of the Club took a run out to the Fitzroy a couple of Sundays ago. Mrs didn't go and we havent been home to hear how they went.
How did you go out at Washpool? find any biggies???
Not all the billy out at Tomahawk is on the top of the ground.  hotthirsty. But a fair bit of the shallow,easy pickings has been worked over pretty well.

Lefty

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Re: looks like I just missed the cold spell
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2014, 12:44:18 PM »
Gday Mick. You made a last minute decision I wish I could make - I'm sitting here in the staff room at work, wishing I was back out there on the field :'( I love it out there, beautiful and quiet at the back of the Washpool. Only have a couple of neighbours, finally met one when we were there the other week.

When I find that huge retirement stone ;D, I'll throw the job in and spend as much time out there as I please. Well, I can dream anyway.

I didn't do great but I didn't do terrible either. For some silly reason, I had this knee-jerk reaction to post that I had only found a single stone - actually got a few more than that. Everyone out there seems to deliberately understate how they are doing, especially if you're looking for a spot to peg a claim yourself. You'll be told a lot of "nah mate, there's not much stone in this spot. Oh, we get a few every now and then but it's not really worth your while". I think that a lot of people out there are more concerned about their peace and solitude being disturbed more so than claim jumpers, which is fair enough.

Got a bunch of little chips, black spinels and some small bombs - but also got these....

A 7 carat zircon, orange in the sunlight but pinkish in artificial light.






A green about 12 carats. Unfortunately, the bit of rubbish that's in it run through on an angle so that good crystal is a long, narrow wedge shape. Will still cut a small stone.




Mate from Adelaide got this one about 9 carats. It looks like a good clean stone and should cut a nice, small stone.




He also got one about 14 carats, jet black (no photo). There's definately a star in it but it looks a bit busted up to me. Maybe will cut.

Everything we got came out of a fairly small pocket of ground on the last day, only a few chips before that (3 days). The wash at the Washpool seems distributed in a funny way, sort of in pockets and patches scattered about the place. But there definately is stone in it at least. I'm crossing all fingers, toes and everything else that we might just have received final approval by the time we head out at the last week in September - with jackhammer, trommel and pulsator I can more quite a bit more dirt quite a bit faster than with pick and crowbar.

Cheers

mangomick

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Re: looks like I just missed the cold spell
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2014, 03:56:06 PM »
Staff room at work. Bugga. That's where I'll be tomorrow.
That last one looks a beauty.I had a quick look to see if you posted any report but I must have missed it.
Is your claim out at washpool shallow or underground ? The only time I have been out to washpool it was all shallow wash with pretty big billies everywhere. From memory we got zilch at washpool . Went out with another couple from Gladstone who had a few contacts out there.

Lefty

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Re: looks like I just missed the cold spell
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2014, 05:30:52 PM »
She's surface wash Mick - often shallower than 12 inches underneath a powdery brown soil. The wash is in a thin band 8-10 inches thick, waterworn gravel through a powdery grey soil with little clay actually in it, easy sieving. It rests on a bottom of hard, red clay about a foot thick.

Strip back the red clay and underneath is a thick bed of alluvial gravel more than a metre deep. It looks good - but so far it seems devoid of stone. I'll be giving it a good go when I can use the machines but I tend to think this stuff pre-dated the volcanic event.

So it looks to be all in the thin surface layer, which as I mentioned is distributed about the place in patches and pockets. A bit more digging has revealed that my first claim appears to have bugger all wash on it - it doesn't look to go far beyond where I first dug. The wash on the second claim appears more extensive. I'm thinking of keeping the second claim but cancelling the first claim and re-pegging elsewhere in the Washpool. Grit my teeth and front that bloated sack at the mines office who will surely take great delight in giving me as hard a time as possible - but he does that to everybody. He's  getting on - maybe he's even retired by now?

One thing I did notice - while there is definately stone in this wash, including some ok sized ones (father -in-law got a 25 carat zircon from it, unfortunately too shattered to cut), there was a small but noticable difference in the stuff that all those stones fell out of on the last day. It became more gravelly, more tightly-packed with less of the powdery grey dirt in it.

Hmmmmm......

mangomick

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Re: looks like I just missed the cold spell
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2014, 05:48:02 PM »
Yeah,it's a gamble alright.Tthe young bloke and myself have toyed with the idea of buying/pegging a claim but don't know if it's worth all the pain.Although it would be good to just have a base where everything can get stored and some where to while away the winter months in my "twilight years" ;D
The stone I got this last week while not great was really different to the previous lot as a lot seemed to be covered in a dark stain on the outside. damn nearly threw a few away and just spotted a flash of gem at the last moment. i'll be interested in cutting a few windows and having a good look at whats inside. quite a lot look as if they have had a hard life as they have a lot of external pitting but inside looks clear enough.
We didnt quite miss the cold spell as we thought. It caught up with us on a couple of nights. froze the water dish we had out for the birds and potteroos.
Got the stones shown in the photo and quite a few smaller bits that will probably get sent over to Thailand just so they can get packed away and not lie in a zip locked bag for years.
Cheers
mick

mangomick

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Re: looks like I just missed the cold spell
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2014, 05:49:42 PM »
Photo of stones we got in the last week out there.

Lefty

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Re: looks like I just missed the cold spell
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2014, 06:28:18 PM »
Looks like you scored yourself a few cutters there Mick beers It's all worth the hard, dusty work - just being out there in the bush with good tucker and good beer is a worthwhile experience :)

All of my memories of chasing sapphires as a kid are of dad's old claims at Russian gully. Uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents would go together and we would all cram into the old tin shack dad and grandad had built. I remember the old tin bathtub with bathwater heated in a huge copper on the fire outside, grandma cooking meals in the old cast iron wood stove, the sometimes rowdy nights as the adults slurped slivovitz and other such rocket fuel concoctions ;D with the European immigrants who lived at their claims on the hill above the gully - then the near dead silence of the bush when the generator was turned off at night. Good times.

I suppose that's one of the reasons I decided to peg claims when I returned to my old interest after being absent many years, that's what all my memories of sapphire digging are.. It also makes a good base camp on which you can put a temporary residence, water tanks, storage shed etc (though I wouldn't be leaving my machines there, just old picks and shovels).

The real biggie though is that it gives you the right to use certain light machinery - the amount of dirt you can process with a jackhammer, trommel and pulsator absolutely blows away the amount you can move by pick and shovel. And the more dirt you can move, the better your chances are - assuming the stones are there where you are digging.

Cheers

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