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Jonahan Hare's Diary

Day 12: Auto Panning System

Not feeling very positive about today. Wearing two pairs of trousers, two T-shirts, 2 fleeces and a pair of waterproof trousers and still cold!! We decide to set up the waterwheel and cradle in yesterday's location as we have little time and need to get cracking and we could easily use it all up trying to get everything to work perfectly.

The waterwheel spun round slowly today, so we set up some wooden sheets in the water to direct the water into the blades of the waterwheel. This helped a lot but again used up time. When it was connected up to the cradle it rocked it like a dream!

All of us were tired and so we tried our best to load up the machine but it was hard work. The best gold digging area for the mud was some way from the best place for the sluice, and so we had to dig and carry buckets to the machine - very hard work! Kathy seemed to have energy and she spurred us on. We spent about 2 hours feeding the cradle with sand and rocks from the river. All the while the machine rocked and we poured on water.

Photo: Group at the end of challenge 2I was very sceptical that we would catch anything in such a short time. We decided to go on till about 12 and then take it all apart very carefully, collect as much of the wood, punga and silt from the machine and then pan that to see how much we had got. When we panned the result I was amazed at how much we had got. Within a few mins the main bulk of the lighter stuff had been thrown away and in about 10 mins we had a pan of lovely gold flakes!!

In just 2 hours of using the machine properly we had got about 0.6g of gold - not bad. I was really pleased. What I had thought would be a bit of a disaster turned out to be a really nice project.

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Photo: Jonathan Hare
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