Peter had been kicking a football with his son’s team mates before watching their AFL match. At the end of the third quarter after running the water bottles out to the team on the field he noticed his wedding ring of 17 years was missing. He and some other parents had searched in earnest for the ring before the next match began. During the next game he had googled for help and shortly after I got a call from him late morning. After gleaning the full picture of his movements around and across the field and when he had last seen the ring I asked him to find out when the last match for the day would end and to let me know so I could meet him then to conduct a search for the ring.
We met at the grounds in the late afternoon and he walked me around the various areas he’d been. The kids play on a reduced size field from the adults but even reduced in size it was still as big as a full size rugby field!
I used string lines and tent pegs to grid off the various areas and began a methodical search of the identified areas. Where he and the other parents had been on the sideline in front of the clubhouse had many gold like signals but most were deep, without any obvious ground disturbance so I completed that area with no joy.
The grass was quite short so I was half expecting the ring to be proud on the surface and was searching with both my eye’s and detector figuring that even if it had been trodden on during one of the games or on the sideline that at least a portion of the ring might still be visible.
The second area searched was part of the playing field. As I was working my way back towards the goal posts where he had been kicking the ball with the kids pre-match, a man approached Peter and asked him what we were doing (it always makes me cringe as I hear my client tell them what I am searching for). After finding this out he and his kids who could see me working close lines back and forth across the search area started to do the same within my marked out area. It occured to me to ask them to stop as they could tread the ring into the ground but decided not to as I couldn’t afford to waste time on the inevitable “we were just trying to help” type coversation as I did not have a lot of time before it would be dark, and I still had about 50% of the total area left to search.
Upon finding the ring I had planned to stop searching, walk over to Peter and ask what the ring looked like etc whilst discreetly tossing the ring just behind him, so that when he answered I could point behind him and say, “does it look like that one?” which would give me time to snap a sneaky ‘smile pic’ as he picked it up in disbelief and turned back to me, which would be both a bit of fun and far more memorable for both of us.
Unfortunately the man who had decided to jump ahead of my search soon saw it and stole my thunder! Bugger, bugger, bugger. If you don’t quite understand why I wouldn’t be so happy about that, I’d been methodically searching for a bit over an hour at this stage and it is the anticipation of the feeling you get in ‘the moment of finding’ that is why we are able to keep going for hours on end (sometimes days), and as much as any reward that may be given, is a great part of why we can do it. Anyway despite the anticlimax the ring was found and returned to it’s rightful owner. Of course it was inside the my marked out search area and about 6 more passes back and forth and I would likely have ‘specked’ it!