Saturday, April 30, 2016

Disaster!

Milford Sound, New Zealand (Jun 3, 2008)

How many memory cards do you have for your camera while traveling?


...



We went on the boat tour with some friends that were also traveling in New Zealand and happened to be directed to Milford Sound the same day as us (ok, it was not by chance, we exchanged a couple of text messages to make that happen). Despite being very cold, we decided to do the tour on the open deck of the boat, because the sun was so bright that it would have been a shame to stay inside. Besides, I came all the way to New Zealand to take pictures, right?



So we were, the four of us, on the bow of the vessel navigating the placid waters of the sound. The sound (which is quite deep) is protected by the strong currents of the Tasman sea by a shallower entrance, corresponding to the terminal moraine left by the glacier that 10,000 years ago created the fiord. The entrance to the sound is in fact so narrow that captain Cook missed it, when in 1769 he circumnavigated New Zealand during its first voyage. The scenery is so beautiful that I kept shooting non stop from the deck of the boat, and by the time we arrived at the entrance of the sound I had filled my memory card and was time to change it with a new one.


Tasmanian Sea
As I was kneeling to my backpack to get the new card, I half heard the captain saying to hold tight because we were about to enter the Tasman sea, famous for its currents. I guess at that point he advised everybody to get back inside because the sea was going to get rough. Well, as soon as he finished talking, while I was still with the old card in my mouth, the new one in one hand and the camera in the other, a gigantic wave hit the boat. I was launched towards the sky (fortunately I fell back in the boat) while the wave washed the deck through the hole of the anchor, drenching everybody still on the deck. As you can imagine I was a little startled, but seeing some photo opportunities (see photo on the left) I just put the card in the camera, deleted whatever old images were on it, and prepared to shoot again. Well... here is the problem. In the confusion I put back the card I had just filled with all the photos of Route 94 and Milford sound, and then deleted all of them. All 100 photos of the day: gone.

That’s why I asked how many cards do you bring along with you. I usually prefer more smaller cards, so that if anything happens to one of them, I still have the others. Still that can lead to accidents like this one if you are not very careful (or if you are distracted by almost getting thrown overboard). So, there I was, wet, without photos, kind of upset... tempted to launch the damn card overboard once for all... and I would have probably done that if Mayli hadn’t forced me to calm down and hand her over the card for safe-keeping.


When we went back to the Motel, we managed to get internet to see if anything could be done. After a quick search with Google, find out that Lexar (the manufacturer of my cards) sells a program, Image Rescue, capable to recover photos that have been accidentally deleted, as long as they are not overwritten by new ones. Apparently I am not the only bozo deleting photos by mistake. The program really worked well, and I was able to recover 95 of the 100 photos I thought were irrecoverably lost. Definitely $30 well spent. Now I keep a copy of the software on each of my memory cards (in the directory that is not cleared when the photos are deleted)... just in case...

Milford Sound, New Zealand (Jun 3, 2008)

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