Monday, April 27, 2009
I'm guessing most people have had an occasion or two where they have felt for a fleeting moment that if things went badly from here, they could be in serious trouble, and by serious trouble, I'm hinting at the word dead, but not wanting to use it in case I sound overly dramatic. For the record, mine are pretty much etched on my memory - swimming alone in the sea on a windy day in England, and suddenly being aware that I had no control over where the current was taking me - being thrown from a horse drawn carriage in Luxor, and dragged along the road with the upturned carriage on my leg - spinning my car 180° on a miraculously deserted motorway after almost falling asleep - falling backwards from an eight foot tall step ladder onto a concrete floor in a studio in London... However, recently I thought I was having another one of these moments, but banished the thought as soon as it arrived - partly because I was wearing a life jacket and crash helmet (and we all know we are perfectly safe when we have these two items of clothing on, right?) and also because, in the back of my mind, I was also worrying about my camera, and you know if you are worried about your worldly goods, you cannot be in any real mortal danger. (I comfort myself with this thought when instructed on the plane to not take my personal belongings if I ever have to do an emergency evacuation. I tell myself that I will probably not be too worried about the cameras in the overhead lockers if the plane is about to explode after crashing into a mountain). The occasion in question was me heading head first into the white water of the Rio Cangrejal, in the Pico Bonito National Park, Honduras. I was working on a speculative story with a writer (Hi Jessica!) about her first white water rafting trip and had my camera packed into a rather neat waterproof case made by EWA-Marine in Germany, and purchased at Cameras Underwater here in London. The camera was fine, and the case took quite a bit of abuse on the that trip. Our boat capsized three times in total, and each time the case did a pretty good job of keeping the camera dry, although after the third battering a small amount of water did get into the case, but it wasn't enough to damage the camera. Under the circumstances it didn't seem as though the case had let me down, as it's really only designed for gentle shallow water diving - not impact sports! I did some of that too on the trip and I'll get around to writing about that soon.