As boaters we have all experienced the dreaded sound of “Bloop”. You know that sound that sometimes is preceded by bounce, bing, bong and then followed by the dreaded blooping noise. It could be a one off screw, nut, bolt, favorite tool or something more irreplaceable like a ring or other item that is now bequeathed to Neptune. Yep, perhaps even your favorite pocket knife.
As it happens, it was a nice day and one of the warmest days here in Whangarei in a while at 21° C. I had just finished putting down some non-slip pads under the cabin rugs below and decided to grab a beer and have a sit out back in the king’s seat at the stern of Dazzler. My special lady saw it as an opportunity to join me and take in the warmth of the day by joining me on Dazzler’s stern seat.
We were enjoying the moment when we both heard the sound of a big bloop! Jilly asked me if something had fallen out of my pocket. I looked down and observed that my pocket knife, that used to be clipped to my right pocket, was missing. The only thing visible were a few bubbles and pond rings increasing in size away from the sound of the bloop on the surface of the water just below my butt. Well that can’t be good.
I wasn’t too concerned about the knife because I already had a plan to attempt recovery. I got up and grabbed my 3”x 3” magnet and started tying lines to it to lower it into the water. Jilly kind of laughed a little and I’m sure she was thinking that I was silly for even thinking I would be able to retrieve my knife. She then stepped it up a bit by saying that she would kiss my hairy white butt before God and everyone if I recovered my knife. I’m sure she fully expected that she had a sure bet. You know, that’s not something you get told everyday. The odds of retrieval would be astronomical if we were at anchor. But, being tied to the dock was in my favor. I started fishing with the magnet lowering it down to the bottom which consisted of some nasty mud. I spent about five minutes from Dazzler’s stern seat over the area where the knife had fallen into the water with no positive results. I decided to get serious and move to the dock where I could make incremental patterns of retrieval through the water and across the muddy bottom.
Jilly decided this was a photo opportunity and went down below to get her camera. Just as she was sitting down on the stern seat I made my first cast from the dock into the water near the stern of Dazzler’s keel. Once the magnet was on the bottom I started to move it slowly across the bottom. Once the line and magnet were perpendicular to the edge of the dock I started to pull up the magnet to check it before making another cast.
As the magnet approached the surface I observed something stuck to its bottom. “Hey! That’s my knife.” Jilly responded with, “No Way!” The look of amazement and shock on her face said it all. “Oh no!” You could even see her brain clicking on her face as she was struggling to find a way to redact her words from earlier. I reminded her of what she had said, “I’ll kiss your hairy white butt in front of God and everyone.” With those words echoing in my head. I calmly marched over to the water faucet to rinse off my knife with fresh water. As I walked along the dock back toward her, I had that spring in my step with my chest poking out like a proud peacock. She noticed my posture and commented again about her disbelief that I could retrieve my knife from the clutches of Poseidon.
I positioned myself in the cockpit directly in front of her, turned around and dropped my shorts right there in broad daylight in front of the entire world and I collected the debt owed me. Jilly said she’ll never make that promise again.
Having a proper retrieval magnet onboard is definitely beneficial for the recovery of ferrous objects. This wasn’t the first time that I have successfully retrieved an object that blooped into the water. It won’t work on stainless steel or other non-metallic materials of course. A magnet should be one that is strong enough to lift a heavy tool and it should have a proper attachment point, otherwise you may just be waisting your time. I suggest when you use a magnet for object recovery that you develop a systematic pattern that overlaps for the best success rate.
My knife re-clipped into my pocket, a fresh beer in my hand and lipstick marks on my left butt cheek. Ahhhhhhhh! Does life get any better? Nope!
Until next bloop or project take care and remember to not promise something unless you are planning to go through with it….whatever the level of embarrassment there might be.
P.S. Sorry folks…there will be no photos of the butt kissing!