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Kathy Sykes' Diary

Day 12: Auto Panning System

Photo: Kathy down at the river with the cradleAnother 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.

Photo: Kathy's goldWe 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!

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Photo: Kathy Sykes
Metal Detector Interactive