Geraldine had been enjoying some time with her family on Rottnest Island when sitting in the
sand she had lost her sentimental watch given to her by her husband Keith. On the phone she explained they would shortly be returning to Perth so I organised to meet them at their home so they could show me on google earth where they thought they had been on the beach and their movement routes to and from their accomodation as Geraldine was unsure just where she may have lost it.
After quizing Keith and Geraldine about the loss I booked the first ferry to Rottnest for the next day and set off home to prepare.
Up bright and early I drove the 45 mins to Fremantle and boarded the ferry to Rottnest Island. An hour or so later I arrived at the accomodation area where Geraldine and Keith had been staying. I found their chalet no. and walked down the beach access track they had used to and from the beach. When I got to the beach I found that someone was laying right on the spot I’d pre-determined as the most likely area for the watch to be. I had a little chuckle to myself and wondered if I would find it there after the person laying on top of it moved!
The situation now required a change of plan so I decided to search either side of the lady sunbaking and work to a respectable distance from her. Not long after starting man approached me and gave me a card explaining that a woman had lost her watch here yesterday and if I found it could I call him to get it back to her. He thought it was just a coincidence that I was metal detecting. He was quite shocked when I said that was why I was here as she’d only lost it the prior afternoon. He wished me luck and I resumed with the search.
Despite working around the lady on the beach I felt a little bit funny about it, thinking she must be thinking what is this bloke doing, there’s a whole beach with no one on it, why does he have to do that right here etc.. Luckily she rolled over and asked what I was doing which gave me the chance to explain… she laughed when I told her I thought the watch was probably under her bum! She promptly stood up, shook her towel and invited me to search where she had been sitting. Sweep, sweep, sweep.. nothing. “Oh well” I said, “it’s not there but it can’t be too far away.” I continued another five or six meters untill I got to an area I had already done then turned to make another pass.
The lady had just sat back down when I got a nice fat signal about 4 m from her. Knealing down I pushed my pin pointer into the sand untill it began to beep indicating my target close by. I pushed my hand into the dry sand pretty confident it was the watch. As I felt it in the sand and knowing the lady was watching I paused a moment or two, and then as I looked up at her I slowly withdrew my hand and the watch from the sand! She didn’t say a word. Her jaw just dropped open and stayed there awhile as I felt a smile start beaming from ear to ear!
As usual on the island my phone had died so I took the chance before the next ferry left to report the find to the Island Police. After getting some charge into my phone on the ferry I called Geraldine to inform her that I was regretably on my way back…. with her watch! Rottnest Island is one of those beautiful places no one wants to leave, hence the regret.
A little while later I was able to return the much loved watch to a rather teary Geraldine.
During the reunion (over a few beers) I learned that Keith was the one to loose something precious on their only other trip to Rottnest Island some 6 years prior.. his wedding ring! He had been snorkling when he lost it and when he described where and how he had lost it I knew there was a good chance that it is still there and I just might be able to find it as well, now that would be a story and a half wouldn’t it. The ring in the photo on the left is the replacement. Hopefully I get a chance soon to look for the original but for now I’ll have to add it to my oustanding rings file..