The Fifty Grand Thud

Hamilton Island, QLD (Mar 2011)

Have you ever had one of those moments when you feel that time slows down so much that each second seems like a minute, well I have had yet another one, I had walked out before dawn, in the dark several hundred meters from the Hamilton Island beach sand into Cat’s Eye Bay at low tide to photograph the mornings sunrise, as the tide goes out it exposes a semi-muddy sandy flat that is easy enough to walk on, so off I go with camera & tripod in hand out to where the tide had receded too, which would have been several hundred meters, once I had got to the point where the water was, I set-up my camera & tripod and waited for the pending twilight & sunrise.

Well as it does every other day up came the sun and I was busily capturing as many variations of the event that I could, during this period however mother nature was slowly & quietly encircling me with the ocean, whilst I was aware of this happening, I just continued to photograph the sunrise for a while thinking that that’s OK, I can walk through that water no problems, anyway eventually I decided to pick my gear and leave.

As the camera was still mounted on the tripod, whilst turned looking behind me I did my normal check to tighten the clamps on my tripod to ensure that they were all tight, I then picked up my camera bag (a pelican case, full of other lenses etc), callapsed the tripod, threw it over my shoulder and headed off back to the beach, as I said earlier, I was surrounded by water at this stage, so I had to travel through about half a meter (20″) of sea water, then just as I got about 2-3 meters out of the water back onto the muddy-sandy flats that were rapidly being flooded, I heard a flat “THUD”, I remember just stopping, not looking around, just thinking to myself, “I hope that wasn’t what I think it was!”, sure enough when I turned around there it was, my brand new, one week old Phase One (extremely expensive) camera laying in the mud, upside down !!!.

My heart stopped, I remember thinking what do I put down first to rescue the camera, anyway, I dropped the case, it was waterproof, lay the tripod on the case and picked up the camera, frantically tying to dry it, stop the seawater penetrating it anymore than it had already, I hurriedly walked back to the beach, when I got there, I dismantle the camera, the Phase One have a separate back, body & lens, so pulled it all apart and cleaned it as best as I could.

The end result, was that the lens & back were OK, just needed cleaning, but the camera was a right-off!!.

Just as well for me I was insured, but unbeknown to me, I had under insured the camera body big time, so this created a bit a problem, however my various suppliers PPIB (The Insurance Company) & L&P Digital (The Australian Camera Distributer) & Phase One (The Camera Manufacturer) combined their efforts to put things right, I truly  appreciated their combined efforts, thanks.

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