Ring Finder – Ring Recovery Specialist…Lost ring? Lost necklace? Lost keys?… Metal Detector Service – Call ASAP 021 401626
I got a call yesterday evening from Laura, who was camping on Urupukapuka Island.
Her husband had just lost his wedding ring in the grass. He took it off and put it in his lap, and forgot it was there until it was too late.
After a bit of to and fro organising logisitics that evening, they booked a fast ferry ticket for me. The following morning I was heading to the outer edge of the Bay of Islands with my gear.
Urupukapuka is both the largest and outermost of the islands in the Bay of Islands, and due to the sterling work done by Project Island Song, it is pest-free. This allows several endangered species to safely call the island home.
Waiting for the ferry, I had a short chat to one of the team who was taking a couple of trained dogs out to Urupukapuka as part of the pest-eradication program. These particular dogs are trained to find rats, which can apparently swim up to 1500m, thus able to island-hop to even the outer islands. The patrols around the islands have to be relentless to maintain this pest-free status.
The 45 minute trip was very pleasant over a flat sea and I soon joined the queue of people making their way down the jetty onto the island.
Some immediately established their ‘spot’ in the shade for a day at the beach, others dispersed in order to meander along the various tracks that lead around the island.
One, with detector slung over his shoulder, made a bee-line up the steep hill out of Otehei Bay bound for the campsite. I was booked on the midday return ferry so was on the clock…
It should be noted here, that metal detecting is illegal on Department of Conservation land and historical reserves. I hold a permit from DoC, with very strict conditions, for the purposes of ring recoveries only. This has to carried with me at all times when detecting on DoC estate.
I duly arrived at the campsite and went through the backstory, looking for clues, verifying actions, movements and timelines. These would influence how I conducted the search, and maximise the chances of getting this ring back on the finger where it belonged.
This lovely couple are from Argentina, and to the best of my ability I was going to ensure their ring went home with them!
A principal search area was marked out with towels, hats etc and I got to work, two hours before I had to hike back to the ferry.
I cleared the initial marked area, and started to extend. Assume Nothing, Believe No-one, Check Everything.
The tent had been pitched after the loss, “You know what I’m going to ask, don’t you?” I grinned to them.
A new tent location was verified ring-free, and they started to empty the tent and pull the pegs.
I jokingly mentioned that I would find the ring elsewhere as soon as they had gone to the trouble of moving their camp.
They had handfuls of tent pegs and a partially relocated tent when I heard a soft tone in some long grass under a tree.
I parted the grass and underneath the thatch was a bright gold ring.
Job done, I had time enough to head back to Otehei Bay and sit in the shade with a freshly brewed coffee from the cafe as I waited for the ride home.
Halfway back to Paihia on the ferry, the phone rang, “Are you the ringfinder?”
That story has yet to unfold…