Hi again! I received an email from Desmond on friday explaining he had lost his ‘Cartier’ gold wedding band somewhere on ‘Sunflowers Farmstay’ in Margret River, about 3 hrs drive south of Perth. Des had been on holiday there with friends and family and would be flying home to Singapore on tuesday evening, so he was obviously distressed that he would now be returning without it.
I asked Des to send me a google earth file showing the areas on the farm where he had been and together we were able to narrow down the time frame and the search area by checking photographs taken on the day that showed the ring both on his finger and not. This still left a lot of ground to cover around the farm buildings (plus the 45 min tractor ride he’d taken across the paddocks!) The farm’s history began in the 1920’s so there was a lot of rubbish metal to deal with. On top of these difficulties there had also been a lot of rain in the area which meant lots of mud! I called the owner of the farm and after explaining the situation, gained permission to search the farm for Des’s ring.
On Monday I set sail with a bit of camping gear (in preperation for a long and difficult search that I knew could take days!) and on arrival I met with Debbie and went over my search plan with her.
As the moon was rising and not knowing how long the weather would hold I decided to start searching as soon as possible. As the ring was a heavier mens gold ring I lowered the sensitivity on my detector to avoid hearing any small or deep signals and ran it on full iron discrimination with appropriate notch discrimination after testing a similar ring and estimating the target i.d range for Des’s Ring.
I detected around the buildings that evening, covering about 650 squares over three hours and after not finding it. determined the next most likely area to search was the barbecue area he’d visited on the 45 min tractor ride around the farm.
Debbie allowed me to camp at the bbq area overnight so I could resume the search at first light.
Unfortunately about 2hrs before sunup a rather nasty storm set in which quickly flooded my camp making for a rather unpleasant start to my day! Unable to detect effectively in the driving rain and concerned about becoming bogged in my ute, I headed back to the farmhouse and rang Des to tell him the bad news regarding the weather and asked a few more questions of him. It was then that I discovered I had missed an area around the farm buildings so between showers I proceeded to search this new area of interest.
Now heres a funny thing… I was nearly finished when two women and their children approached me on their way to feed some kangaroos at the end of the track I was searching when one of the women said “you wont find any gold here”, to which I replied “actually thats exactly what I’m looking for…” Well bugger me the next thing I found was a gold Singaporean dollar coin! This lifted my spirits a bit and I figured it a good sign that the ring might be nearby. Alas, I completed the search of this area without finding it.
The weather was still coming in waves and I joked with the farm staff that I should put my wetsuit on before searching the paddocks!
Luckily the rain started to ease so I headed back to search the bbq area which also failed to turn up the ring. My worst fears were now a reality knowing it was highly likely the ring was somewhere in the paddocks and that an even bigger storm wasn’t far away! I remember thinking well I’m cold and wet but I’m 3 hrs from home and I really dont want to go home without the ring as well, so I began to search the track leading back to the farmhouses. I sure am glad I started at the right end (the wrong end would have meant another days searching!) as I’d only gone about 40 m when I heard a loud, clear signal and looking down, saw what could only be Des’s ring, glowing brightly amongst the grass. I could hardly believe it for a moment and as there was no one around I did a fair bit of dancing, yelling and screaming. 8.5 hrs mostly in the rain, and finally success, yehaaa!!!!