9hr Search For 10th Century Viking Ring, Lost While Kitesurfing! Perth, Western Australia.
Standing in of all places ‘The Prospectors Patch’ metal detecting supplies store I was called by Curt to ask if I could find his 10th century viking wedding ring, which he’d become separated from during a kitesurfing whoopsee in the Swan River at Applecross. I organised to meet Curt at the loss site when he’d finished work.
After meeting Curt and hearing the loss story in full detail, I asked him to take a milk bottle float and a weight out and put it where he believed he’d lost his ring. My initial thoughts were “mmm in our first conversation on the phone you’d said you were about 25m out, that floats about 40m out, oooohkeydokey.”
I took some warratahs (marker poles) out to the chest deep area and formed a search grid around the float about 20m squared and began to search the area, by the time I completed it the conditions had changed and meant I could not be 100% confident I had not missed anywhere in it. More on that later.
It was now nearing dark and was none too comfortable by this stage so I called it a day and agreed to resume the search in a few days time when the weather had improved.
Three days later the weather was looking great for resuming the search for Curt’s ring. I began by extended the search area to the north where amongst various other junk I did find a ring , though it was not Curt’s but a tarnished old silver wedding band. I then ‘detected’ to the west and south along the back edge of the first two search areas, zip. My feeling about the quality of my detecting in the first search area was nagging me so although it would take another hour I searched it again, recovering only two items I had missed the first time and still no ring. At least I could definately eliminate the area as not holding any gold! It was also comforting to know that despite my feeling I had covered the area very well misssing only two targets in 20 square meters whilst being bullied around by the weather.
I spoke with Curt afterwards and he felt I should now try further south, and added that he’d been having trouble sleeping going over events and could I “just find the bloody thing would ya”. The next day I did search to the south and still no ring.
I thought my way through the puzzle again from start to finish and remembered my feeling that perhaps Curt had not been as far out as he remembered and that the ring was closer to shore. I tried detecting another 1m slice along the front edge of the searched areas and a few sweeps of the coil after turning at the end of this I heard a lovely full tone in my ears which could easily be a gold ring! Sometimes you think mmm that could be a gold ring and sometimes you just know. Now was one of the latter and all of a sudden my heart was racing.
Pulling seagrass and gooey debri from my scoop I suddenly saw a flash of gold amongst the weed. When I turned the ring over I could see the snakes diamond eye and after 9 hours spread over 3 days of searching knew I’d finally found “the bloody thing”. When I’d washed it off I could see the diamond eyed snake Curt had described to me and yelled a big yehaa and felt the weight of frustration that had been steadily building, disolve in the water around me. Sweet Success! Now to tell Curt..
As you can see Curt was pretty darn chuffed to get his ring back and I can tell you I was pretty chuffed as well. It’s always nice to find rings fairly easily but there is a special warmth I get when I can return a ring that doesn’t want it that way!
All the best Curt and please, leave “the bloody thing” at home when kitesurfing!