Underwater metal detecting is a bit of a unique activity on it’s own. Being able to do this in almost any condition, up to 180′ makes it even more specialized. The price that is paid sometimes, is travel. Between Vancouver and Kamloops there is only a handful of us that specialize in this type of metal detecting. There is even fewer people that target very small items like rings and earrings. That being said, I got a call from Chris Turner, the CEO of TheRingFinders.com, asking me if I was interested in a little trip.
Chris received a call from Ryan in Vancouver about a wedding band he had lost in the ocean. The ring was lost while visiting the Sunshine Coast on the weekend with is wife. Only 25′ down, sandy bottom, 10′ from a fixed dock, sounded pretty easy to me. I quite like ocean dives, especially BC coast ones because of all the colours and the abundance of life all around you underwater. I was once told that Jacques-Yves Cousteau regarded Vancouver Island as the number two dive site in the world. That being said, I packed up my gear for the voyage. Six and a half hours later and a trip on the Langdale ferry from Horseshoe bay, I arrived at Sechelt, along the Sunshine Coast. Once we arrived at the location we brought all the equipment down to the dock area and prepared for the dive.
The first decent reviled the truth about the dive site conditions, which by the pictures you can see is a little hard to tell from the surface. No flat surface, no sandy bottom, and massive amounts of seaweed. It was more like a cliff face underwater. From the dock it was only 15′ down, 6′ out it was 50′ down. Another thing I didn’t anticipate was the fact that this dock was a new build and so there was construction debris all over the area where the ring was lost. This made my primary detector useless as I couldn’t get a proper reading on Ryan’s ring. I had to resort to using a Pulse Induction probe to search around the huge boulders and seaweed. This made for a very slow and tedious search as my detection field is only 3′ radius at best with the probe. Searching a cliff face is no easy task either, and at one point i disturbed an octopus taking an afternoon nap in a boulder crevasse. Nature channels don’t do it justice when you see it live!
It was not until the forth dive that day, and a few test drops, did I get a strong signal farther away from the dock than I thought it would be. I initially thought it was another bottle cap or deck screw, but my finger went right through it, so I know i had something. Before I surfaced with any excitement, I put the ring right up to my mask and read the inscription inside. It read “With Love, Now and Forever”, definitely the one I was looking for!
I calmly surfaced and started handing my equipment to Ryan. He was looking a little sad as I was handing him my gear… until I reached for his help to get out of the water. You see, I had his ring on my pinky finger. Ryan didn’t notice it right away, but when he did, the only sounds from him where “wa, waaa, Wahhhh Ohh aaahhh”. And from that moment on, until we left the location, Ryan didn’t take his eyes off his ring. You see, this ring has been on Ryan’s hand for five years since the day that he was married. Not knowing, and having it lost at sea, made him feel as if something was missing from him. He even told me he had a difficult time sleeping at night without it. At one point his wife told him to just replace it, but Ryan was determined to find the original and that is where we came in. Ryan’s ring now has a great story with a happy ending, with a little help from “TheRingFinders.com”. It’s a great feeling finding something treasured and an even better feeling when you can give it back!
PS. Does all this equipment make me look fat?