The mystery of the lost doll: Child's beloved toy turns up on Gulf Island beach
VANCOUVER -- A young child’s doll that was lost at Stearman Beach in West Vancouver in January turned up across the Strait of Georgia on the western shore of tiny Wise Island.
Emily Meyers says her young daughter Violet set her beloved doll down on a small foot bridge over a creek and when she returned to pick it up, it was gone.
An exhaustive search of the area failed to turn up the doll which Violet calls Florence.
"She was obviously upset. And I was kind of dumbfounded,” said Myers. “I don’t understand how it could just disappear like that. And that was that. I just said you know, we’re probably never going to see her again.”
The jacket the doll was wearing had a label with Violet’s name and her mother’s phone number, but the family had long since lost hope the doll would ever turn up.
And then out of the blue a few days ago, five months after the doll was lost, Myers got a text message and a picture of the doll saying it had been found on Wise Island.
“I was thinking, what is Wise Island? Is that a toy store in West Van or something?” said Myers. “Then I realized she had travelled somewhere really far and we started freaking out.”
A woman named Nancy Woodham says her dog found the doll while out for a walk along the beach.
At first, she thought it might belong to somebody on the island so she placed it prominently on a rock, but a few days later when it still hadn’t been claimed Woodham took a closer look and found the phone number.
Once contact had been made, she asked her husband Bob to transport the precious cargo back to the mainland on his next trip.
"To see the smile on the child's face when she saw the doll, that made it worth it,” Bob Woodham said after handing the doll back to Violet on the porch of his house in Vancouver.
So, exactly how did the toy make the journey from the West Vancouver beach, all the way across the Strait of Georgia, and come to rest on the west side of Wise Island?
Well, it turns out Violet’s dad is in a unique position to help answer that question.
“I’ve worked on the B.C. coast as a mariner for about 20 years now and I’ve been a captain for about 13 years,” said Andrew McNichol on a video call with CTV News from the bridge of a ship he’s working on near Bella Bella.
McNichol has put together a map showing different possible ways the tides and currents could have carried the doll to the island and he plans to share it with his daughter when he gets home.
“She’s going to love it. She’s going to want to look over the map and think about all the possibilities and imagine what she was doing out there in the Strait of Georgia for those long winter months,” he said.
The story has one last sentimental twist – in addition to being Violet’s favourite toy, the doll was also wearing a jacket that had been part of an outfit for a doll that Myers owned when she was a small child.
“This torn, dirty jacket was one of my Barbie doll jackets from the eighties,” she said.
A little faded and worn from the salt water and the sun, the doll and jacket are both back with the family where they belong.