I still can’t believe what an idiot I was!
And with that one sentence a myriad of images flooded your mind about what I could possibly have done? Well, it’s this you see …
It’s sometimes easier to do the impossible than to do the embarrassing. Ashleigh Brilliant
Shortly after arriving in Canuckistan I took my camera and two lenses for a swim: my two not-at-all-waterproof lenses and only-slightly-splashproof camera.
I have climbed into and out of canoes more than I’ve had hot breakfasts, but this time I wasn’t thinking straight; I rushed into the green craft too quickly, my camera swung, throwing me off-balance and I toppled in. My wide-angle lens was in my pants’ pocket (the obvious place for it to be) while my camera with 50mm lens attached was slung around my neck. Obviously none were in waterproof bags. After all, I’d climbed into and out of canoes without falling in more times than I’ve had hot breakfasts.
Two friends who were watching the whole comedic affair remained rooted to the spot on the bank. Although, now that I think about it, one may have fallen off his lawn chair, so vulgarly boisterous was his laughter. My wide-angle hit the water first, and stayed submerged for an eternity. My camera I grabbed as I tumbled in, mostly keeping it out of the water’s clutches. It did get a little moist but not like the wide-angle, which literally had water pouring out of it, once I’d squeezed it from my pocket.
I stumbled up and out of the water, stammering that everything was fine, while secretly wishing I could have hidden my sodden self under the dock until the witnesses had left.
I was at a church camp at the time, and within no time news about my idiotic act had spread through the group. But that’s probably all my doing – what with my bald self bursting into the meeting hall begging for a hair dryer. Need I say more?
Only after spending hours blow-drying the three precious pieces of equipment, inadvertently fogging up their innards, did I read that the worst thing possible is to use a hair dryer. Eventually a couple of colleagues suggested that I use silica gel sachets (those things one gets in medicine bottles). Several of them generously raided their medicine cabinets and I stuffed the sachets into every nook and cranny of the camera body and lenses, praying fervently all the while.
The final step in my attempt to resurrect my photographic equipment was to put the pieces into porous bags and to plunge them into cheap rice for several days. After over a week of treatment (and being forced to shoot with my phone) the rice, combined with the silica, seemed to do the trick for the camera and wide-angle. Unfortunately the 50mm never did recover. The camera itself still has occasional tics and twitches, where it refuses to focus or kills the battery too quickly, but in general she’s back to her old self.
And the moral of the story? I don’t know.
You tell me.