Got a message from Krista
” Lost my ring at Taupo Bay today”.
After delving deeper, it transpired she might have lost her treasured heirloom rose gold ring at one of several locations: Washing the car, washing the dog, Potting/manuring some plants, swimming with the dog at one end of Taupo Bay, or when a boogie board was taken from her at the other end… HUGE potential area and with no start point. This is where experience takes precedence over ‘brute force’ (eg trying to cover every square centimeter). I met Krista at her home, quickly eliminating the car/dog washing areas and the freshly manured garden plants as I waited for her to get ready to head down to the beach, although I already had a hunch where the lost ring would be found… I then followed her to the beach.
There were two locations of interest here, where she went into the water with her dog, and where a boogie board was taken off her. I chose to clear the latter first as it was at highest risk of being picked up by a casual holidaying metal detectorist as it was in the dry sand zone above the high tide mark and this time of year, coils are prevalent…
I cleared the highest probability area of the dry sand and with the tide about to turn shifted my focus to where she had taken the dog into the sea. I could return to complete the dry sand with a high intensity search if necessary.
At the swim spot at the other end of the bay, I asked Krista to retrace her movements and interactions from when she parked the truck. I mentally marked out the highest probability area on the sands as she retold her activities that afternoon and I settled in for a long search into the evening… I typically allow a minimum of four hours which, from experience, is sufficient to recover 90% of items. If the item is at a high risk of being lost to other detectorists, casual passers-by or a dynamic environment, eg surf, I often extend the hours to try and secure the lost item in the initial search phase.
After several circuits of the search pattern, I hit a nice solid tone at the waters edge – 3 inches under the surface lay her heirloom signet ring. It was outside the area she thought it would be [Trust No-one, Assume Nothing, Check everything] but the important thing was – It had been found.
I held it up and started to walk back towards her, a big grin on my face, a grin matched only by hers once she realised it was actually her lost ring and not someones elses.
All done, I packed up and headed home to get ready for my day job.