Delaney took her engagement ring off before playing volleyball (a wise move) and handed it her friend Haley to put it in Delany’s bag for safe keeping. Haley dutifully place the ring inside the bag on top of Delaney’s jacket. Later in the day, Delaney grabbed her bag and hurried off to meet some friends down the beach. Once she met up with her friends, she remembered the ring and searched through her bag, but, the ring was gone. What to do? Well, she called friends for help and searched the web. I got the call, listened to a few particulars, and headed out to see about getting that 5 month old engagement ring back on her finger. Parking is always “fun” down by Mission Beach this time of year. Nothing close to where they were, so, I had to park in a lot a ways to the north. As I was walking to the location, a guy rides up from behind on his bike and asks of I’m there to find a ring. I tell him that hopefully I am, and then I notice that he has a detector too! He got the word also about the lost ring. We both see Delaney waving to us and we head over to meet her. Turns out they had a metal detector too and someone else in her group was also searching the sand! Okay, 3 people looking for this ring in the dry sand, that shouldn’t take long. Wrong! All three of us gridded the area where the bag was sitting when the ring was placed inside. We expanded out in all directions and made a few passes down the beach in the direction Delaney ran to meet her friends. Problem was, that exact location could not be determined. I could be anywhere from a few hundred feet away to several hundred yards, and maybe in the dry sand, maybe in the wet. That made that search area HUGE! We’re talking many football sized areas.
After a couple of hours without success, it started to get dark, windy and cold. Without knowing the exact area where she searched her bag, it was anyone’s guess at to where to search. We called it a night and I took a bit more info to mull over, and told Delaney I would keep the info and a photo on file should the ring turn up. She said they were going to return in the morning to continue the search and try to determine where she had been. I wished her good luck and to let me know if she discovered a new area we hadn’t covered. The next morning, I thought about going back down there and contacted Delaney to see if she had any new information. She said she thought maybe she was closer to the water and it might be in the wet sand now. They had already searched, but, came up empty. I decided to go ahead and give it another try. Delaney was already heading north on the road back home, so, she couldn’t meet me. No problem, I know the search area, and so just went on my own. I re-searched the first area by the volleyball court without success, and then headed the direction toward the supposed second area. Oh, I forgot to mention that since the night before, the beach grooming machine had gone through the area and sifted a 100 foot wide swath between the two search areas. Wonderful…., the ring could have been scooped up or moved hundreds of yards before falling out of the machine. I figured that would be the last area to search and I would concentrate on the slope and wet sand where the sifter didn’t go. 3 hours and many 300 yard long passes later, I was thinking about calling it. It was mind-numbingly quiet with virtually no targets of any sort, making it more of a walk on the beach than finding treasure. The good news is that you can cover a lot of ground when you don’t have to stop for anything. I finally, decided that this was going to be my last pass and head back south toward the 1st location. I got maybe a 1/4 of the way there when I got a nice solid 12 on my Equinox 800. Earlier I had found several of those sounds/readings, and they were all pull tabs or wadded up bits of foil. I took a healthy scoop of wet sand and thought I saw a flash of yellow gold as the sand sifted out. Sure enough, once the sand was gone a beautiful yellow gold engagement ring was looking up at me. Yes! Since I already had a photo of the ring, I knew it was Delaney’s. I texted her a photo and a subsequent phone call confirmed it was her ring and that she was on the road heading home. She arranged for her friends, that were still here in town, to meet up with me, so, they could pick up the ring and return it to her on their way home. They met me a short time later, took possession of the ring, and added their thanks to Delaney’s. A pleasure to meet you all, and thank you for the generous reward. My best wishes on your upcoming marriage Delaney.