I received a phone call Saturday night from Sandi. She explained that her husband Brock and son were swimming in the ocean just before sunset and that he lost his wedding band in 4 feet of water. I told Sandi that I would research the tides and call her back. Looking at the tide chart told me another one of those “It was Lost in 4 feet of water at Low Tide” searches. Beach hunters hate these kind of searches, as they are the most difficult hunts to work in pounding surf. I called Sandi back and told her and Brock to meet me at the beach Sunday morning at 7:00.
Meeting the family at the beach the next morning was a chilly 63 degrees, but the water temperature was still holding around 80. We walked down the beach to the approximate area they were swimming the night before. “Right about here” Brock told me. I stripped down to my swim suit and T-shirt, leaving the warmth of pants and a hoodie on the sand. I had all of them rub their left earlobe for homage to The Ring Gods, and the family watched from the beach as I headed out to chest deep water. I was pleased to see that the surf was not a washing machine however, the waves were big. When you are standing in 4 feet of water a 3 foot wave is daunting enough, but the occasional 4 or 5 footer can be devastating. Many times while working a 50 yard area parallel to the beach I was forced to hold my earphones on my head and duck and cover from being smashed. It was difficult to stay on targets and actually dig them by feel between the waves in the crunch zone. Every time I ducked under a wave I would right myself, dump the water out of my earphones, and start again. On a couple of waves I would look up toward the beach. I swear I saw Sandi praying. I wasn’t sure if it was for my safety, or the wedding band. Maybe a little of both. An hour and twenty minutes into the search I got a crisp signal on the Excalibur II. Sending the sand scoop to the target I was relieved that I got it on the first try. Sifting the sand from the scoop revealed a beautiful 8mm, 14kt, gold wedding band. YESSSS! I placed the ring on my little finger and headed for the beach. When I got to where they were sitting I asked them if they really thought I was in a good area. As Brock and son Ben were discussing sunsets and angles I was holding the ring out in my hand. Brock finally noticed the ring first and with a great big smile took it from my hand. Sandi broke into tears (The Ring Dance) and gave me the biggest hardest hug I have had in a long time. She cried on my shoulder while telling me how life had been kicking them around a bit the last year. They had just moved to the beach area from Indiana just two days earlier. After losing the ring they were starting to wonder if life was still kicking them in their new found home. After finding the wedding band all seemed right with the world. I told Brock, Sandi and Ben “Welcome to the neighborhood, and that it was the a positive start to their new home. After some celebrating we took some pictures and parted ways. As they walked back up the beach they were hand in hand. I watched Ben pat his dad on the back several times. The wedding band of 22 years gets to continue it’s story, and I have some new neighbors and new friends. I started humming “It’s a Great Day to be Alive”