Last week I was fortunate enough to fish around Key West for tarpon with some friends. Unfortunately I dropped a fairly expensive Spyderco folding knife overboard. To a mountain boy like me, I see the ocean and it looks like a giant lake. I figure it’s pretty still, relatively speaking. At home, rivers are flowing and move quite fast. If you drop something in while on a raft or dory you had better move pretty darn quick if you even want a chance of retrieving it.
Apparently the same goes for the ocean. When I dropped my knife, which was bright yellow and in only about five feet of water, I calmly took off my hat, glasses, Buff and jumped off the boat to retrieve it. I dove and re-dove to no avail. My guide and friend on the boat was laughing hysterically. He knew from the moment he watched me slowly take off my hat and glasses I wasn’t going to find my knife. Unbeknownst to me the tide was flowing pretty fast, even though it didn’t look like it (at least to me), and by the time I made my mind up to dive we were 15 to 20 feet from where I dropped the knife.
So, lesson be learned if you drop something of value overboard on a flats skiff in shallow water and want it back. Do yourself a favor and: a. follow its decent; b. make sure Jaws is not swimming nearby; and c. act as fast as you can to jump in the water and retrieve your object. If you hesitate for even a couple of seconds, say goodbye to whatever you might have dropped as you’ll be quite a good distance away without ever realizing it.