Simon and a bunch of mates from Perth, had headed 3 hours south to Dunsborough for a boys weekend. They had rented a holiday house set in the bush and had been having a good old time when someone suggested a game of volleyball on the sand court in the backyard.
Now volleyball and jewellery are not the best of mates, let me tell you. As you can probably guess, Simon was spiking the volleyball when he
Sifting for gold! In hindsight I reckon the owner (far right, shirt off) is standing on top of it!
felt a tug at his neck. When his feet hit the ground he instinctively felt for his precious gold pendant and sure enough the pendant was missing.
The match ended there as all the boys pitched in to rake their hands through the sand in search of Simons pendant. Someone had the bright idea to try sifting for it but unfortunately that didn’t work either, probably because I reckon Simon (shirt off on the right of the photo) is standing right on top of it! When this approach had failed one of his friends tried googling for a metal detecting service and shortly after I got a call from Simon to explain what had happened.
They only had the house for one more day so I said I could head down straight away and see if I could reunite him with it asap.
After meeting the crew, who by mid-afternoon were a rather cheerful bunch of characters, Simon and his twin brother Alex showed me out the back to the scene of the loss.
The rest of the crew arrived shortly after to watch the show so as I would have an audience I wondered if I should go straight to the area of the court where he’d thought he’d lost it (i.e where they are all standing in the photo) or work my way from the back of the court up to the area. As much as one side of my brain liked the first option I resisted the temptation and decided on the latter as I felt sure there would be coins and potentially other jewellery lost in the sand court. I was partly right as I dug 5c first , then 10c, then 20c and 50c in that order. I also quickly found that there were buried pipes around the edges of the court which didn’t help on the detecting side of things. I just had to hope the pendant wasn’t sitting on top or beside one of the pipes which it could be as I’d had Simon show me what he was doing at the time of the loss and he was more side on to the net when it had occured so I figured I would find it close to the right edge of the court or past it when I thought through the possible physics involved in the loss.
The boy’s got a bit excited each time I stopped, knelt and turned on my pinpointer but each time it was a coin or something else so their
Made in Italy.
excitement had ebbed away after 5 or six of these false alarms! As I got to the volleyball net for the second time I heard a soft edged, loud signal in my headphones and thought “please be it”. It was just the sort of tone I’d been listening for and a quick glance at the
Simon’s precious returned along with his smile!
target I.D on my AT-PRO detector told me this time it was not a coin and was about what I’d expect for a flat gold pendant. I swung the detector across it from different angles and felt even more sure as there was some variation in signal length and i.d indicating an iregular shape or angle. Most objects lost in sand end up laying flat before too long Kneeling once more I poked my pinpointer in the sand to locate the target and then felt for the object. Pulling it from the sand there was a glint of gold and then the whole pendant appeared in my hand as the sand fell away.
“Found it” I yelled. The boys excitement returned real quick and so did Simon’s smile. He certainly looked very relieved.
After a bit of whooping and high fiving I was treated to a few beers (cheers guys) as I got asked to recount a few stories of past recoveries which seemed to keep them well entertained for an hour or so.
Before I’d had too many beers to drive I bid the lads farewell and headed off on the three hour return trip back to Perth, feeling rather pleased I’d been able to reunite Simon with his sentimental momento from Italy on the same day he’d lost it..
Gotta say I never get tired of that feeling and can’t wait till I’m needed again.. bye for now.