Friday, September 23, 2005

Saying Goodbye to my Sony P-100

It may seem a bit excessive that I’ve already worn out two digital cameras within the span of three years and now contemplating on buying another one of the latest model. Sadly this time it cannot be helped, when I first got my Sony P-100 I was expecting to have it for a very long time indeed since I’ve invested so much into it, maybe for a span of 3 to 5 years. Sadly this will never come about due to a fateful occurrence while on a sampling trip to Banggi.

A week ago I was leading a sampling trip for the undergraduates to Pulau Banggi, as usual I had all my equipment and necessities with me wherever I go. I’m often careful especially concerning electronics and since I am dealing mainly in the marine realm, this requires extreme care since both electronics and saline water are anathema towards each other. I don’t really have to describe what a few minutes of immersion in salt water will do to circuitry.

Yet this time I must be slacking off, whereas I usually double bag my belongings, this time I only brought along a single plastic bag, and even so another cardinal sin I committed was to strap my camera to my belt instead of bagging it. This might not have cause any problems, but things went horribly wrong as I attempted to ascend the jetty after the first day sampling session ended. It was low tide due to the full moon and the distance between the boat to the nearest jetty platform was about 2 meters. Thus this necessitated a little maneuvering by clambering over the woodworks while avoiding the boat which constantly sways towards the pier.

Mr. Bujang, who was the resident marine expert hurled out his hand and asked me to grab it for leverage even though I didn’t like the prospect of having to depend on that single support alone. I should have aborted it or at the very least stow away my things before the attempt to climb but maybe it was due to the tiring session out at sea that made me forget such basic precautions and thus I had everything with me as I tried to make my way up. I caught his arm though I wasn’t too comfortable with the grip and slowly tried to get some leverage with my leg on the wood bar but it was high up. My other leg was still inside the boat and in a split second which seems like eternity events took a life of their own.

Weird that accident always seems to slow down in time when you’re in the midst of it. All I recalled was my hand loosening the grip, my leg slipping from the diagonal wood bar and the boat moving away from the pier while my leg was still inside it. Thus in this most awkward position I fell whole body into the ocean. Normally when I’m in the water the first thought would be to panic since I’m not too comfortable with swimming more so without a life vest of not being able to plant my foot down on solid ground. Ask anyone and they’ll say one of my phobias is drowning. Yet the funny thing this time is the very first thought was not the impending doom of me sinking to the bottom but ‘”Shit my camera is still on me and my wallet is in the bag I’m holding”. So much so I didn’t even realize that I was swimming and keeping myself afloat all the while shouting, “Grab my camera, grab my camera, don’t worry about me”.

In the end it was no use, I managed to drag myself up the boat but my entire belongings were soaked, my camera was flooded with sea water and was not functioning at all, my spare batteries and memory stick was with me as well when I fell (later I checked and all were proven dead) and my wallet too wasn’t spared. I was quite in the despondent mood and kept on uttering “shit! shit!”, wondering what if I did something different and my RM2k camera wouldn’t be in this mess now. It was the pits walking all wet from the jetty back to the seaweed project office.

Oh well after moping for a day or two, I resigned myself to fate and accepted what has happened has already happened and there was nothing to do about it to change things. Guess it’s off to shopping for another camera which is plunging my heart and a huge chunk of my wallet in very deep hole. So here’s to camera number three, when and if I can afford it. No photo taking for a while, sob.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear... that was terrible. I am sorry to hear that. I love taking photos, so I understand how it feels if you lose your babe.. Anyway, I am glad that you were safe and can take more beautiful pictures of Sabah. BTW, have a nice holiday.

- Smoke Head,

Kervin said...

Yeah thanks still painful with all the money i've put in but it served me well, guess I'm without camera until I can generate the amount to get a new one.

Wuching said...

look on the bright side; now u hv an excuse to get a new one!

michaelooi said...

a chance for you to get a dSLR ler ...