Durban - A north West couple now settled in Durban have taken up hunting for treasure and coins along Durban’s golden beaches.
Zelda Roux, 40, a former secretary and Fanie Roux, 49, a former driver and sales representative of a meat market, both left Brits in February to settle in Durban. They rented a flat and at one stage, lived in their car.
Zelda lost her mother, Betsie Theron, in July last year and decided she could not live with the memories and the loss.
In Durban, they made friends with Louis Fourie, aka Stompie, who has been scanning Durban’s beaches for coins as a hobby for 17 years.
“We were curious at what he was doing. One day on a beach walk we approached him and he taught us. I purchased a battery operated metal detector for R6 000. After a day or two I bought another one for Zelda,” Fanie said.
Zelda admits that searching for coins or valuables has become addictive. They work when the tide is out, usually between 7am and midday. They then relax at home with music and have lunch. They continue between 6pm and 10pm, daily. They have earphones attached to the detectors so they can hear the metal sounds.
“I dream about it at night. We have the sun, sea, sand and all the exercise walking on the beach. I love the different sounds the coins make when detected. We find rings and watches as well. We use a small spade to dig our treasure. We have a brush to clean the sand off the equipment after use,” Zelda said.
When the couple first started, they made R40 a day. Now they find between R100 and R200 worth of coins a day. Two weeks ago, they found a wedding ring in the sand.
Zelda was rewarded by the ring’s owner with a bottle of wine, two apples and R100 in cash. The woman had been on the beach searching for her ring.
At night they use a head light and also have to watch out for thieves. Choosing a beach, said Zelda was easy.
“Sometimes you get a gut feeling on which beach to start. It almost feels like the sea is calling you,” she said.
In August, they decided to take a road trip to explore other beaches on the coastline. They stopped at every beach between Durban and East London. But they missed Durban, so they returned after three months.
“Durban beaches are the busiest and more alive with people. I think we rushed too much on our road trip. You have to walk slowly and double check.” Fanie said.
The couple have found coins dating back to 1932. on Monday, Zelda found a 6 dime coin dated 1942 with a picture of King George V. Now they are focusing on fishing off the piers in their spare time.
Zelda said all her life she had lived on a farm where they raised sheep and grew cabbage, but had made a quick adjustments to city life.
The couple are still learning the many techniques to beach metal detecting both in dry and wet sand.
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