4 year swim to O'ahu

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4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby mark302 » January 6th, 2018, 7:12 am

Back in 2013, we lost one of the best in our tribe (Rick Hadley). Around that same time, my buddy was at SCI and shot a slug YT on the E end. While swimming the YT back to the boat and prior to handing it to his father-in-law who was piloting the boat, my buddy got hit hard by the big bull sea lion ("Knothead") that has given divers so many problems over the past years. The fish was ripped from his grasp with such force he actually injured his ribs while trying to fight off the pick pocket and was sore for about a month afterwards. My buddy got wrapped at one point and dunked a few times and by the end of it all he was happy just to get back on the boat with his life, shaft/tip but unfortunately, his gun (60" Wong) had floated off during the battle. My buddies gun was black and it was getting dark, so needless to say, the search for it at last light was futile and unsuccessful. After getting back from the trip he called Daryl and ordered up the same model gun w/ Mahi paint this time and was back in action.

Fast forward to Dec 12, 2017, he gets an e-mail out of the blue from Daryl wishing him happy holidays and asking him if he still dives. My buddy thought it was kind of strange and due to having a whirlwind of severe medical problems with two of his family members, got back to Daryl 2 weeks later and informed him that he is still diving, Happy Holidays, etc. Daryl then e-mails him back and stated that he was refinishing an old gun that had his (My buddies) name on it for a guy in Oahu that supposedly either found it himself or a buddy did and gave it to him (Don't have the details on the find in Hawaii yet). Guess the gun was really weathered, had barnacles on it, etc. Amazingly, it sounds like this thing made its way west over the past 4 years or so and was located offshore O'ahu.

My buddy got added to the e-mail stream and has the guys e-mail who owns it now and it looks like Daryl refinished it for the guy, replaced the old rusted loading tab, added real inserts and a reel. It's too bad the guy who found this gun didn't try to find out the circumstances on its disappearance through Daryl prior to the gun getting refinished, etc. My buddy would have paid a pretty penny to get this gun back, as it was found, as a display piece with an impressive story. I'm actually a lil disappointed that Daryl didn't try to do the same with my buddy prior to working on the gun, but it sounds like he forgot all about the story my buddy told him and the fact that he bought his 3rd gun from him to replace the lost one back in 2013. Daryl said he figured he sold the gun and didn't want to embarrass him by contacting him directly to update the guns status. Daryl is a great guy and I'm not trying to say he purposely refinished this gun knowing that my buddy lost this thing 4 years ago, just in case this thread turns into a weird board blast on me.

I just think its amazing that this gun floated for 4 years and landed 3,500 miles west on the shores of O'ahu and at least will be killing fish once again.
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby Bill McIntyre » January 6th, 2018, 3:48 pm

That's an incredible story Mark. What are the chances that a gun could drift across the Pacific, be found, and then taken to Daryl for refinishing? It boggles the mind.
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby Bamz » January 6th, 2018, 4:41 pm

It must of been made with that rare "Homing Wood", kind of like a boomerang. Throw it and it comes back!
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby Bill McIntyre » January 6th, 2018, 4:48 pm

I lost a 60" Wong several years ago off the west end of Cat but the next day was that annual white sea bass tournament. I'm afraid that the gun found a new home before it got a chance to drift to Hawaii.
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby apneanaut » January 6th, 2018, 5:44 pm

That's nuts. The odds of this seem almost impossibly small.
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby mark302 » January 7th, 2018, 11:16 am

Update on the gun. My buddy got a hold of the guy in O'ahu and the details have been ironed out. I'll just quote the e-mails they sent to each other yesterday.....

From the finder- "Aloha, That is incredible! It was recovered around summer of 2014 (So, only one year after floating off) by a dear friend of mine who was an avid kayaker. He was kayaking, I believe from Kailua to Kaneohe when he discovered the gun in the Moku Manu/Marine base area. As he was not a spear fisherman, he passed the gun on to me. I was shocked to say the least to have a chance to use a Daryl Wong!! Seems like about a year from your account. The amount of growth on it would be about right as it was not heavily encrusted I cleaned it up, got a shaft, put new bands on it and have been diving with it ever since. However, as it didn't have a reel, I wanted to get a reel put on it for sometime. I contacted Daryl just recently to see if he could help me with that. As you can see from the photos, he did a spectacular job. The gun definitely holds sentimental value for me at this point. My friend that found it passed away of cancer last year. He was only 47 years old and we have been colleagues and dear friends for more than 20 years. His death was shattering...When I use the gun, I think of him. Let me know if you're in Hawaii and you can take your old gun for a spin."

From my buddy- " Thank you for the details and I still can't believe it. It is almost more incredible that it only took one year to travel all that way. I am sorry to hear about your very good friend passing away at such a young age. I must say that based on the circumstances, I am very happy that you ended up with the gun, especially in light of the very sentimental connection. Ironically, the year I lost the gun 2013, a good friend of Daryl's passed away at the age of 53 or 54. We discussed Rick Hadley's passing the same week that I took possession of my new Wong gun with the mahi pattern. I am attaching the photos of the gun you have in 2006, 3 years after I got it, as well as photos of the new one I purchased in 2013 to replace the black one. I will certainly contact you the next time I am in O'ahu and it would be great to meet you in person and do some diving together, Aloha and Happy New Year!

Finder- " There is no doubt that is the gun! Well it certainly had a long swim to Hawaii before it found my friend Dan. Nice fish! Thanks for your blessing. I will do my best to keep it safe but who knows, maybe it will swim back to you someday... Best wishes for the new year and good luck in the water!!

A while later he e-mailed my buddy one more time..... "I've been thinking. The gun is really yours... If you want it returned I'd be happy to send it back to you. I've had it a couple good years and it came to me at zero cost. I'm sure you would take excellent care of it! We could save it another transpacific swim...... LMK"

As much as my buddy would love his gun back, seeing it's been refinished, used for a couple years and has sentimental value with its new owner, my buddy declined his gracious offer and now has a good dive story that I'm sure he'll break out to new comers on the boat that haven't heard it.
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby chris oak » January 7th, 2018, 12:12 pm

That is one of the most amazing stories I've ever heard!! You guys should have Daryl publish that up on his website, I cannot believe how it all worked out, flat out amazing!!
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby coreyf » January 8th, 2018, 9:36 am

It swam from a yellowtail spot all the way over to a wahoo spot. Amazing story.
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby dam » January 8th, 2018, 10:20 am

Your buddy is a great sport. I wonder how much fish saw that gun as a temporary home before it went to shore.
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby mikeme » January 8th, 2018, 1:18 pm

What a great story. Two great guys who worked it out the best way possible.
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby tannercortes » January 13th, 2018, 7:41 am

Unbelievable. Great ending. Has all the right plots for a movie..
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby jwhit88 » January 13th, 2018, 10:24 am

Wow, that is incredible!
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby CATriton » January 14th, 2018, 10:14 am

Crazy.

2 years ago I lost a 67 Sea Sniper Custom in Baja in raging whitewater current while fighting a Pargo. The gun has my name engraved in it. Hoping for a story like this one day!!

If that Wong gun could talk, I am sure it saw its fair share of visitors while on that drift.

Pretty amazing

Thanks for sharing.
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby dctrjayyy » January 16th, 2018, 9:33 am

awesome. esp. the kindness of both divers.
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby chris oak » January 16th, 2018, 2:29 pm

Mark if you could get pix before and after of the gun it would make an amazing magazine article.
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby scott diego » January 17th, 2018, 4:33 pm

Wow, that is a crazy story. I am absolutely shocked it made landfall in hawaii (which is just a SPECK in the expanse of the pacific ocean). As I was reading I figured someone from SCI found it (and didnt tell the truth to the rest of the people in the chain). But then again stranger things have happened. One day a few seasons ago a couple friends and I were way offshore, my buddy throws a half eaten sandwich overboard. We drive all around, for 5-6 hours, probably 100 miles, then head back around the morning area, and we somehow literally run over the dang sandwich again. (needle in a haystack). One thing I always think of, when waay offshore, is how bleak and large the pacific ocean is. To find anything in it is a blessing. :obscene-drinkingcheers:
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby woody » January 17th, 2018, 6:06 pm

Thumbs up to both of these spear Os What a great story .
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby SpearoIvan » January 17th, 2018, 10:15 pm

cool story mark
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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby Donzi Paul » January 18th, 2018, 6:14 pm

Love the story, thanks. :obscene-drinkingcheers:

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Re: 4 year swim to O'ahu

Postby John Hughes » January 18th, 2018, 9:05 pm

scott diego wrote:Wow, that is a crazy story. I am absolutely shocked it made landfall in hawaii (which is just a SPECK in the expanse of the pacific ocean). As I was reading I figured someone from SCI found it (and didnt tell the truth to the rest of the people in the chain). But then again stranger things have happened. One day a few seasons ago a couple friends and I were way offshore, my buddy throws a half eaten sandwich overboard. We drive all around, for 5-6 hours, probably 100 miles, then head back around the morning area, and we somehow literally run over the dang sandwich again. (needle in a haystack). One thing I always think of, when waay offshore, is how bleak and large the pacific ocean is. To find anything in it is a blessing. :obscene-drinkingcheers:


if that sandwich was still floating 5-6 hours later I'd hate to see what it would have done to your buddy's stomach :bowrofl:

Great story Mark!
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