The request came in about 7:30 a.m. Sunday. I was already up and working on a project but pushed that aside to search for a smart phone that was lost in the sand on an East side beach. Time is always a prime concern on a search but it can be much more critical with an electronic device lost out in the elements. A successful search for a phone that’s already destroyed doesn’t help anyone. A phone may not be as “sexy” as a piece of fine jewelry or have the intrinsic monetary value but in this day and age they can have just as much personal and sentimental value attached, finding the phone was my single goal. I met the owner at the spot and was searching the area by 8 a.m. The possible location of the item encompassed several areas so I had to prioritize. I knew a new swell was filling in and the tide was rising so I searched the area most in jeopardy from the advancing ocean first. Since a cell phone is a huge object compared to a ring I was able to adjust my search speed up higher and cover ground more efficiently. This was critical as I was racing the ocean as well as the crowds of people and dogs filling in on a bright, beautiful Fall Sunday morning. After gridding out from my central point for an hour and a half I had covered all the likely spots for the phone to be in on the open beach, that left just the corridor leading from the most likely area back to the stairway leading off the beach. IF the phone was lost here that was the last area it could be in. I started searching the area, working my way toward the stairs and rocks that bordered that corner of the beach. After 45 minutes I was running out of room and I knew the search would soon be ending . . I was mentally preparing to make that hard phone call. I was literally on my last swath of sand to search, probably no more than 20 square feet left to search when I got an overload signal on my machine in a little cubby among the rocks, possibly the least likely area for the phone to be in. That was the signal I was looking for but it’s the same signal that most of the 14 bottle caps I had already dug up had also given me. I swiped at the sand with my hand and instead of bottlecap # 15 there lay the phone, 2″ down in the sand, no worse for the wear and going home. It’s always darkest before the Dawn and this was going to be a beautiful day !