First I must state that I think that there are angels among us that guide us to witness, and sometimes to perform little miracles. This is a story of one. I know that 99% of the people that start reading this will not read it to the end, but I do this for one “angel” as this has been the most amazing and inspiring recovery that I have had in over 14 years of finding lost items. More on this angel later, but I do hope that you will read it to the end as I think you too will become inspired.
This all takes place on a private island in the Bahamas owned by Holland American Cruise Lines, but also used by Carnival Cruise Line ships when Holland American is not in port. This island does not have any permanent residents, but there are just over 20 employees of Holland American that stay on the island to feed that animals and maintain the island when the ships leave. The island has miles of walking trails, beautiful tropical plants and scenery and is just one wonderful place to spend the day when the ship is in port. The biggest attraction is the beach. It is I guess, one mile long with anywhere from 50’ to 80’ of dry sand with thousands of lounge chairs for the guests to use. In the water it is all sand with no rocks out as far as you can walk which is anywhere from 200’ to 400’. So this is one massive beach to find a ring – so the miracle starts to come into view.
My wife and I love to cruise during the winter and we love Holland American. I bring my metal detector on all cruises and love searching the islands we visit in the Caribbean but usually I don’t find anything on this island. You see all the ships have safes in the state rooms and all guests are encouraged to keep all valuables in these safes, plus there is no reason to “bling up” on this island. Also, I find very little trash on this island as the men who stay on this island clean the beach after each ship and there is no need for cash when on this island as with all cruise ships you charge everything with your room key card. Therefore very few coins are found on the beach. Sometimes I don’t bring my detector ashore on the tender as there is very little to find ashore, but I did on this trip. – The miracle takes another step forward.
It’s Monday, February 13th and it was just one of those great days to be alive. A soft breeze, lots of sun, a beautiful beach and no snow. Remember we live just north of Syracuse, New York and we left snow to come here. We took one of the first tenders over to the island, picked out a couple of lounge chairs and my wife settled in to read a book. I fired up my detector and started searching. As more and more tenders arrived the beach began to fill up with our fellow cruisers. Although I enjoy “visiting” with people, I try to stay away from other beachgoers so they can enjoy themselves. Therefore, I just wander around the beach in a haphazard way, not setting up a grid to do a complete search as I would do if searching for a lost ring. Wandering around the beach in a haphazard way is no way to do a search as I would be missing many areas where people congregate and would lose a ring. So I spent most of my time in the more nonproductive areas of the beach. I searched up to around noon when we decided to go to the BBQ which Holland has on the island for the cruisers. After eating we returned back to our chairs and I agreed with my wife that I would only search until 1:30 and we would return to the ship. I wandered around and at the agreed time I took a straight line back to our chairs to meet my wife to return to the ship, but on that way back to her I got a great “hit” on the detector. I dug, and up came a ring. Although the ring was dirty and filled with sand I could see that it was a semi-precious memorial ring. It was a good find, and the most valuable find of the day. I think I had found a few coins up until then and a half a dozen pull tabs and bottle caps all morning.
– The miracle has happened at this point, but I did not know it yet. –
We returned to the ship, took showers and spent the rest of the afternoon just sitting back and enjoying the day. After supper I decided to look at the “finds” for the day so I took out my brushes and cleaning compound and started cleaning the coins and the ring. Much to my surprise the ring cleaned up very well and I could see that the ring was a memorial ring, possibly sold by the American Cancer Society as on the right hand side of the ring was the white American Cancer Society “White Ribbon”. Just above the ribbon molded into the metal was the word “Grandpa”. On the left side of the ring was the word “Kayla”. See the pictures attached to see the left and right side of the ring. Engraved into the inner side of the band was the full name of obviously the owner. I wouldn’t publish her name here.
“Angels” are around us all the time and I think an angel was there with me today and directed me to this lost ring on this massive beach.
– The miracle was starting, – as I think Grandpa was the “angel” and I think he lead me to his granddaughters lost ring. But the miracle continues.
Now finding a person with only a name is not impossible, but very hard and is likely to fail. But as I stated at the beginning of this story, this island is un-inhabited with only some 20 or so workers on it. Also there are only two cruise lines that use it so it was a possibility that I could find the owner. But that would take two very big corporations to get behind me and help to find the owner. In today’s world most people working for a corporation would put any request of this type in the “trash”.
The first person we contacted was a clerk at the front office of the ship we were on. She listened to our story about the ring and then asked us to stand by as she asked the Hotel Director if they should try to locate the owner of the ring. Much to my surprise the Hotel Director, Mike Mahn, was very interested, invited us into his office, listened to the story and then stated that he would contact the head office of Holland American to check the passenger manifests to see if she (Kayla) had been on any Holland ship recently. Both of these two persons took the extra time to help someone that they didn’t know, went above and beyond their normal job duties. I thank them both for this extra effort. – Another part of the miracle, corporation employees that go above and beyond their job description.
Mike said that he would get in contact with us if he was successful in the search. Some two days later we were summoned to his office where he stated that they had found the owner. – But the miracle is still moving on.
Sidney Leonor at Holland American’s head office in Seattle Washington was unable to locate anyone with that name that had sailed with Holland, so she took the extra effort to contact a Richard Brown at Carnival Cruise Line in Miami Florida, and Richard did find out that Kayla had sailed on a Carnival ship that had visited the island in July, 2016. – Again, employees that are going above and beyond. Thank you.
I don’t know which cruise line contacted the family, but an e-mail was sent out to them and then a couple of days later we were summoned again to Mike’s office for an update. He stated that Kayla’s father had answered the e-mail and was very happy that his daughters ring had been found. Mike then made arrangements for the ring to be polished, boxed up in a ring box on the ship and then paid and made arrangements for the ring to be shipped back to Kayla at her home address.
As of this writing I don’t know if Karla has received her ring. I hope so. If I get any updates on this saga, I will post it to this board. Here hoping.
UPDATE ——– SEPTEMBER 2017
My wife and myself took another cruise this summer, and we just happened to be on the same ship. The Hotel Director, Mike Mahn was still on-board. I finally got to speak to Mike about this ring and asked him if indeed Kayla did get her ring back and also did he, or anyone else get a “thank you” from her, as I never got any correspondence from anyone involved. Mike stated that to the best of his knowledge no one had received any acknowledgment or thank you, but Carnival had shipped the ring NEXT DAY AIR, SIGNATURE REQUIRED and someone had signed for the ring. Therefore, the ring was delivered.
Kids now-a-days just don’t have any social graces.