Sunday, October 7, 2007

LOB (Lost On Board)

Back in June, I reported my watch as lost. It went missing the day we finished our 4 day crossing from Dry Tortugas to Belize. It didn't plop overboard, but I just sort of lost track of it on the crossing.


a few nights ago...

I was headed for the head at 4:30 am...

and danged if I didn't hear my missing watch a-beepin'

I could hear it very very faintly, only because I was standing right next to the 'dive locker'.

Wow! WOW!!

My favorite watch (really, you have no idea), risen from the dead. When it went missing, I whined to Dave for a week. We spent quite a bit of time in Belize City trying to find another genuine waterproof Timex to replace it. They sell lots of watches on the streets of Belize, but they're all really cheap knowck-off.

My watch was really a pretty cheap Timex Triathlon... sells for about $30 at Walmart. But I have taken that watch down to 100' while diving. It keeps time like a Swiss watch. It has an alarm clock and a timer I use all the time. I just really liked it.

I never did figure out what happened to it. Because we'd been on passage for 4 days, I was a little foggy the day it went missing. When it didn't turn up around the boat after a few days, and I didn't ever hear it beep again (it was set to beep once on the hour every hour), I figured it must have somehow gone over the side the day we reached Belize (I went snorkeling right after we put the anchor down). I had long since given it up, and had daughter Nicki send me a new one in the last mail package.

So, the other night when I heard it, it was like it had risen from the dead. I hung out for another 5 minutes to see if it beeped again. If it WAS really my watch, it would beep again in 5 minutes. Yup, THERE IT WAS!! How exciting. But still so faint I couldn't really tell where was coming from.

When I told Dave later in the morning (Though I wanted to, I couldn't REALLY wake him up at 4:30 in the morning to tell him I heard my watch beeping, could I?) I'm not sure he really believed me.

At a decent hour, I rummaged around in the 'dive locker' to see if I could find it. The 'dive locker' is really a full-sized 'forward head', turned into a It is a huge space, relatively speaking. On Soggy Paws, Dave converted this big shower area into a storage space. To name a few things stored there... the dive compressor, 4 dive tanks, about 3 full sets of dive gear (wetsuits, BC's, regulators, etc), our safety gear (harnesses and abandon ship bag, our luggage, some other stuff). It is jammed full, top to bottom.

So when I suggested we unload it to look for my watch, Dave thought I was nuts. I racked my brain for what we might have done that day it went missing, that it would have ended up in the dive locker. We checked the normal set of dive gear, and our inflatable harnesses that we would have had in the cockpit (twice). no luck.

I promised I'd get up at 4:25 to listen for it again, so we unloaded the top part of the stuff (mostly dive equipment). I set my watch for 4:20, but I was so psyched to find my watch, I actually woke at about 4am. (yeah, I know, that's kind of sick ... it's just a stupid plastic watch).

I did get up, but with little success. I found that it was actually going off at 4:28 instead of 4:30, so I missed the first one. When it went off again at 4:33, I did hear it and did confirm that I could hear it louder if I leaned into the dive locker. I also stuck my head up toward the forward head to try to see if it might be coming from there (a much more likely place for me to have lost my watch).

The next night, I forced Dave to get up and listen with me (4 ears are better than 2). Dave is a guy who likes waking up around 8am. 4:30am just ain't his style. But he's a trouper, so he didn't grumble too much.

On the first time it went off, I had him positioned in the main cabin, on the outside of the dive locker. Maybe it wasn't really in the dive locker? I could barely hear it and he didn't at all (I swear he thought I was hallucinating).

The next time it went off, I was positioned up on deck (we'd been putting the dinghy in the afternoon it went missing), and Dave had his head in the dive locker. Well, at least he finally heard it, faintly. At least he knew I wasn't crazy. But we were no closer to finding it.

During the daytime, we unloaded more of the dive locker, and went over everything more carefully. I kept insisting it was in there and Dave kept suggesting it must be somewhere else (mainly because he could think of no good reason why it would be in there).

On the 3rd night, (we can't actually remember what happened, but I know we were both up listening for the damned thing, and we were no closer to finding it).

The next day, we unloaded MORE of the dive locker. Still didn't find it. I spent literally an hour in the forward head looking through the cabinets. I spent another hour looking through the bags stored up against the bulkhead near the dive locker. It was really starting to bug me.

The 4th night, we put Dave up forward and he heard not a peep. Though we had all the dive gear out of the locker, there was no sound coming from the heap of stuff on the couch. On the second try that night, I unloaded a bunch more (unlikely) stuff out of the locker.

LO AND BEHOLD!! The sound moved from the locker to the couch!! We did finally manage to track it down to a bag full of safety harnesses... one that we hadn't used on the trip. We had searched the other bag, with the inflatable harnesses, 3 times already, but had neglected the one with the old style harnesses. But we found it.

And are we glad! What a relief to finally find it, and NOT to have to get up every morning at 4:30 am to listen to a ghost!!

No comments:

Post a Comment