Two Rings Lost in Angry Surf – Night Search, Found!
Ann-Maree was holidaying at Tauranga Bay Camp near Whangaroa and decided to brave the dumping surf and go for a wade. She underestimated the power of the surges up the beach and was forced to put her hands down into the sand to maintain her balance as the water rushed past her.
She gave up the idea due to the ferocity of the water and returned to the dry sand, that’s when she noticed her two gold rings were missing, one a very sentimental engagement diamond ring from two generations ago.
She asked at the camp office if she could hire a metal detector, they didn’t have one and instead they gave her my contact details – along with a really positive summary of my previous success stories there.
Ann-Maree phoned me at work and explained the situation. Knowing this beach changes with each tide, it eats rings so I headed home to get my kit and was soon on site – Staring at a 2.5m dumping surf break on a very steep beach. Haven’t seen it like that for many years !
The sand was really deep and mobile, but there was no way I was going to risk going into the surf until the tide was further out and it had calmed down a little. I started by gridding the shallows, intending to follow the tide down. Within 10 minutes I had been caught by a sweep and my shorts were soaked…So gave up staying dry after that.
I ran two opposing grids on the 11″ coil, then switched to the 15″ and ran another two, real hard work with the surges grabbing the coil and only netted a token for the camp showers and a few odds and ends of scrap.
The 15″ was taking it’s toll, so with the tide further out, I reverted to the 11″ and wound the settings up so ‘hot’ it would probably pick up the earths core. And started a new set of grids.
After 4Hrs, it was now dark and I was right down on nearly low tide mark now. I got a deep, clean tone. Battling the water and the almost fluid shelly sand, I heaved scoopfuls out of the hole until I had it, pinpointed it with the coil in the diggings, and rapidly placed my foot on it as another surge came past. In with the pinpointer and my fingers found the shape of a ring in the dark.
I marked the spot and headed up to Ann-Marees camper to confirm – Yes! It was one of them, but not the treasured heirloom.
But, I now had a pin in the map! I knew that if I didn’t find the second ring this time around, it would be lost to the beach with the heavy surf. The beach contour had already changed significantly in the time I had been there.
I headed back and started a focussed search in the area. Another brass screw, bit of wire, odd scraps of metal… then deep and quiet, there was something. I wound the volume right up in the headphones to try and hear it over the surf. Has to be it.
Several hasty scoops later and I had the second ring.
Ann-Maree had given hem up for lost.
I refused to.
Needle in a Haystack – Lost Hearing Aid Found in Paddock!
Pete was ushering some skittish cattle around a paddock yesterday, and was moving under a line of trees to get around them. As he emerged from the low branches under the tree line he realised that his valuable hearing aid was no longer where it should be. Not the cheapest of items and subsequent efforts to comb through the grass were fruitless.
This morning, I got a message from his daughter in law asking if I would be able to assist.
Hearing aids are notoriously difficult to detect as the largest piece of metal in them is the battery – about half the size of a pea, and even then the metal is only the skin surrounding the battery chemical pastes.
I said I’d give it a go, being a very recent loss.
On arrival, I asked Pete to drop his spare earpiece on the ground so I could tune in and hopefully get a tone off it.
Instantly I heard the pops and whistles of electric fence interference – Easily sorted, and he wandered away to turn the fence off. Now I was able to only just hear the sound of the hearing aid, I had the machine running so hot in order to pick up the tiny flecks of metal in the hearing aid that I was now getting interference from the neighbours fence. Have to put up with that…
Pete had marked the area where he thought they had parted company, and I gave it a quick scan although with the background interference and a ‘million’ ancient fence staples and rusting wire fragments it was mentally exhausting work analysing everything the machine was telling me.
I retraced his path back under the line of trees before circling around to where he had emerged for a real intensive scan of the likely area, on hands and knees working the coil hard into the grass to ensure I would squeeze every last bit of signal out of the aid, should the coil pass over it.
A little over an hour after I had started searching and many false alerts, I got a small but repeatable target.
I carefully picked through the grass and saw a sliver of clear silicone tubing… A big grin crossed Petes face as I held the wayward hearing aid out to him.
The proverbial Needle in a Haystack!