Day 12: Auto Panning
BEAUTIFUL sunny day. Crisp and cold at the river in the morning. Took
a long time before the sun started to thaw us out. Began with some debates
- do we move whole shebang to a place in a better flow or try direct more
water into it?
We managed to find
a spot that eventually worked really well (in fact - Kate suggested it!)
We directed water into it too and it shooshed around delightfully. We
connected it up to the cradle, and the whole thing worked delightfully
too. What a joy! The sun came up and the waterwheel and cradle glowed
golden, merrily shooshing around.
So, Mike L and Jonathan
began shovelling rocks and sand into buckets, while I tipped rocks and
sand onto the cradle, then ran water down it. Had to tip rocks: tip water,
hand-shuffle the rocks in the top container without losing rocks; shuffle
some more, cold water, etc, etc.
were all shattered after a few hours. We weren't sure how long it
would take to wash everything all down and get down to the gold, so we
left lots of time. In the end we only really did 2-3 hours before we were
dismantling the whole cradle. Seems a shame! But we got what seemed like
a lot of gold out of it! Amazing - in such a short time. By 1 pm we were
all tired and ravenous. Venison burgers and pumpkin soup. Just fantastic.
But kind of wished they'd kept on going a lot longer … If
we got ‘quite a lot' in 2 hours, what could we have got with
in just a bit more time? Went back to sawmill, and once we'd dried
out the gold we didn't really have much to do. We got the balance
prepared … and waited for the end of the day
Altogether, with the
gold from Mike and Ellen's punga, we got 1.2 g. So that makes 1.7
g total, after 2 challenges. (Value is £3 - £4 … cost
of filming the 2 challenges … I dread to think!) But it is new,
exciting and makes you realise how you might easily get addicted to the
gold mining thing!