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|E helping me mix buckets of mud|
The campsite is well appointed - Bob, the caretaker lives in the campground, and is friendly and happy to help, and the campground is supplied with a camp kitchen, drinking water, hot shower, and long-drop toilet.
- It begins with taking a few shovel-fulls of dirt from a mound Peter has provided. That dirt is then put in a bucket, and covered with water to soak in to the clay.
- The mud mixture is then tipped through two sieves (one coarse, the other fine) which are stacked together.
- The two sieves are then placed in a drum of water and agitated to wash the clay away.
- The contents of the coarse sieve are then quickly inspected to locate any huge sapphires before being discarded.
- The fine sieve is then re-rinsed, and agitated in an up-and-down motion to bring the heavier sapphires and zircon to the bottom and centre of the sieve.
- The sieve is then quickly inverted on a Hessian bag which allows for sapphires to be quickly located in the sunlight.
|X was an absolute champion at spotting sapphires!|
The demonstration from Peter consisted of clear instructions on how to correctly use the supplied equipment, and I particularly appreciated that he took the time to explain at each step not only what he was doing, but why he was doing it.
I quickly found that posture is important when sloshing around a few kilograms of rocks and mud in a drum of water.
Persistence and patience are also very important. We found gems every few sieve loads of rocks, and X and E have keen eyes for spotting sparkly stones.
|One of our sapphires.|
We found a few small sapphires as well as some other interesting rocks.
For me, this is the best part of our holiday to date. A very simple activity in which the whole family participated, relatively cheap at $20pp for fossicking (compared to the hundreds for dreamworld or a zoo), and it's punctuated by shared moments of joy and amazement when we find little blue stones.
We really enjoyed ourselves - I never thought I'd have such a rewarding time playing with mud!
I shall definitely be back!