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Pacific surf returns B.C. woman’s lost wallet 8 months after it went overboard

Clayoquot Sound ocean reunites Marcie Callewaert with lost wallet on Valentine’s Day
Marcie Callewaert was reunited with her wallet as the ocean washed it ashore as a Valentine’s present eight months after she lost it. (Photo courtesy of Marcie Callewaert)

The ocean brought a welcomed and familiar present to Marcie Callewaert on Valentine’s Day.

Callewaert has found washed up treasures along with unwelcomed debris on the isolated beach in front of her home on an island near Tofino, but her own wallet might have elicited her most excited reaction.

She had lost the wallet about eight months ago, in June 2023, and was delighted to spot it sitting at the tideline on Wednesday, Feb. 14.

“It was just sitting in the middle of the wrack line, so I stopped in my tracks and pulled out my phone to start recording so that I could get my reaction as quick as possible,” Callewaert told the Westerly News Thursday morning.

She posted the video of her reaction to her popular TikTok channel and it’s since racked up about 2.8 million views, nearly 1,200 comments and been shared over 1,000 times.

She told the Westerly the wallet had fallen out of her backpack while she was transferring from her canoe to her boat for a trip to Tofino.

“Where we live, we don’t have a dock and we have to canoe to our anchor buoy where the boat is,” she said. “I had my wallet in an unzipped pocket of my backpack, I had forgotten to zip it. When I went to hop into the boat from the canoe, I heard a splash but I just assumed it was the way the water was splashing and I didn’t think anything of it.”

She discovered the wallet was lost when she arrived at a Tofino restaurant and found the backpack pocket empty, but added that she was lucky to bump into some friends who covered her dinner.

“The next day on the low tide I tried to dive for it myself, just bobbing around in my wetsuit, but was not successful. There was so much eelgrass at that spot,” she said.

She reached out to a local diver in hopes of finding it and avoiding the hassle of having to order new credit cards and ID as well as her VHF marine radio operator certificate, but while the diver searched as hard as he could, the wallet remained out of sight.

“He put in the effort,” she said. “He tried hard and I really appreciated the work he did giving it a shot but, unfortunately, he didn’t find anything.”

She added though that she stayed positive that she would eventually be reunited with it.

“Based on how the wind and waves work here in the winter, I was holding out hope that it would end up washing up. We get so much marine debris drifting across from town that I thought maybe it would come up with those winter storms, and it did,” she said.

“I actually had a really good feeling that I would probably find it. I felt like I had a 90 per cent chance of it washing in with the winter storms. A lot of people have mentioned the power of manifestation and positive thinking, which may have had a role in it. You never know and I’ve been called Moana more times than I can count now.”

She said that while she has since replaced some of the cards she had lost, she was delighted to find stickers that she’ll now cherish as good luck charms.

“I was stoked that a couple stickers I had bought at the Tofino Market just before I lost it are actually in really good condition still. I think they’re still sticky, but I just haven’t found where to put them yet. They’re good luck stickers at this point, so I’m definitely going to be using them,” she said.

She said she walks the beaches around her island community multiple times a day and finds both treasures and trash along the way, including glass balls, constant boat bumpers and floats, crab trap markers from the Oregon crab fishery and “non-stop styrofoam from docks that don’t have closed styrofoam flotation.”

“Sometimes I’ll do it with the purpose of beachcombing, sometimes I’m just out for a walk and sometimes I’m walking the dogs,” she said. “It’s just curiosity of what’s out there, what’s washed in, the beauty of it, the meditation of walking by the water is really important to me.”

She was walking her three dogs—Bruce, a black lab, Leia, a husky and Brianna, a yorkie - Jack Russel cross—when she was reunited with her wallet around 2 p.m. on Feb. 14.

She said she has lived on the island for nearly four years and enjoys sharing her experiences on her popular TikTok channel, which has over 47,000 followers.

“I find TikTok is a really great platform to share a bit of my off-grid lifestyle and give people a glimpse into what it’s like for us to live out here. It’s not all the viral dance videos that people think TikTok is all about, there’s actually a lot of really good content on there,” she said. “Living out here is a different pace of life. It’s been really beneficial to my mental health to live surrounded by nature in this way.”

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@marciecjohn I can NOT believe what washed up on shore. My goof Karma for cleaning up the rope and plastic? #offgrid #salvage #protectwhatyoulove #marinedebris #vancouverisland #tofino ♬ original sound - Marcie C John

Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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