So, there I was, knee-deep in the bay, with water soaking into my camera gear. I returned to that point in time repeatedly over the next day or two. I could go back, without wanting to, and relive the experience, complete with the smell.
I was not a happy camper about this. Up until that point, it had been an amazing photo stroll with my photo buddy Ursula (that's her over there, double-fisting cameras). She loves abandoned ruins even more than I do and also appreciates it when you take pictures of her that make her look attractive. And it was the first time we had met in person, after random yabbering online for quite some time. And once we had gotten ourselves out of our little mess and went to have a pint or two of Guinness that would serve as both dinner and brain-relaxant, my urge to be a bumbling but gracious host kicked in and I got worried that this would ruin Ursula's fun birthday jaunt up the California coast.
Let me tell you, I had NIGHTMARES all night long. I was not a very effective little worker bee that Monday at work.
But, on the bright side, almost all of the gear was covered by insurance. So my film gear is off to the tender mercies of Kamera Korner in San Jose, where they prefer to view themselves as an oasis of old skool in the middle of Silicon Valley and will probably forever remember me the same way that the fictional mechanics in Risky Business did when the main character comes in with his Porsche that had just landed in the lake. At least they don't call me the "U-Boat Captain" to my face. The big problem was the Mamiya-Sekkor 50mm 4.5 C lens that I had just purchased and hadn't added to the insurance yet.
They also were nice enough to dash off a quick note for my insurance that my Canon A95 was officially beyond economical repair. While there's some sentimental value there, there are also still some good cameras with good features in the same form factor that can replace it.
Did I mention that we were about 2-3 miles from my car when the disaster happened?
You know how 35mm film comes in plastic cases? Use them. One of the rolls got wet. And that was the roll with Ursula in a fishnet bodysuit. On expired film that I picked up for half-price and saved for something special. And I'm still trying to figure out what to do with it. I put 120 film back loosely in the foil envelope just as a litter-reduction matter and that seems to have saved them from any major damage. The memory card from the A95 was just fine, even though the camera was toast.
I'm really glad that I had an insurance plan specifically for my camera gear. This was because I thought I'd lost the A95 a year or two ago, and that sucked. I would have been 100 times more upset if I didn't already know that everything was OK with my hardware.
The other thing that kind of sucked is that, at the same time as my camera gear was broken, my desktop computer decided to start acting up, which turned out to be that the motherboard was broken. So I was not a happy camper for a while...