So today is my birthday. It’s a funny thing really, the older I get (48 now) the years seems to whisk right by. I remember as a kid a year eemed to last forever, especially the summer holidays. You know what I mean? School would end in June and then we had all of July and August off and didn’t have to return until after Labour Day. The time just ticked ever so slowly and we had not a care in the world. Of course, I was always the lucky one, my birthday falling on July 23rd. I never had to go to school on my birthday.
Now as an adult of course, I have to go to work (well kinda, sorta, maybe), when my birthday arrives. Unless I choose to use some vacation time or better yet decide that the day shall be a work from home day (thank goodness for the age we live in!), those childhood memories of having the summer off have become just that when my birthday hits, a distant memory. Today however, I decided to get up early, do some work, keep my blackberry close and well stay home. Ok, I didn’t stay at home the entire day. We decided to take a little jaunt just east of us, to visit the Elora Gorge. A little hiking, a bit of picture-taking and some tubing down the rapids of the gorge was the plan for the day.
I had good intentions to snap a whole pile of pictures today and as the day started we did just that. I took with me, two of my cameras. My main one of course, the Nikon and I decided I would only take my standard 18-55mm lens and then of course my water proof camera which was a Olympus. Please note I said ‘was’. Did you read the title of my post today?
All was well when we started. The Nikon was safely locked in the SUV. We went up to the registration desk, got our helmets, tubes and life jackets. We geared up. Vanda and I, her sister Christie and John, Christie’s husband. The Olympus was safely strapped to my wrist and of course tied to my life jacket. We snapped some shots of all of us with our gear on and then proceeded to the launching area. It was a good 15 minute walk down the gorge into the water and I took some shots along the way. The river was moving fast and just beyond the launch area was a rapid with a whirlpool in the middle. A bit tricky to say the least. The other three, headed off in front of me. I snapped away, taking pictures of them all as they went through the first rapid. John lost his tube (which he quickly snapped up), Christie and Vanda made it safely down. Now it was my turn. I cruised into the rapid, next thing I knew I was stuck in the whirlpool, spinning not moving anywhere, water crashing all sides of my tube and then it happened. My tube flipped and I was sent flying, I managed to grab my tube, the life jacket keeping me above the water, while the current took me down the river. I was trying to get toward the shallow water so I could reset myself into the tube. I finally made it. The water in the shallow area continued to rush around me and then it happened. My Olympus underwater camera slipped from my wrist and the strap snapped off the life jacket and I watched it disappear into the water and down the stream…. gone…
I tried to catch it but the water was rushing so fast, it was out of my reach within seconds. I couldn’t let go of my tube as I wasn’t about to try to hit the next set of rapids (which where right in front of me) with just the life jacket. So somewhere trapped in the rapids or down stream on the Grand River is a blue Olympus underwater camera. Will someone find it? Who knows, We would tube down the river for the next hour or so. Photo opportunities everywhere. After we were done, we drove back up to the starting point and looked along the shore but to no avail. My camera and my digital card were gone. There were about 10 shots from the day on it and probably over a hundred others from different trips of the past (however, I had already downloaded all of them Phew..). Stranger things have happened so maybe I will find the camera again. It’s the first time I have ever lost a camera.
Vanda and I had often talked about getting a floating strap for that camera but we never did. If we had, I wouldn’t be writing this story today. The camera would have floated to the top and I would have been able to track it….lesson has been learned… the next one will have it for sure. I am also going to take a shot of my contact information and place it on the first shot of digital cards as well, just in case.
A sad story for the birthday boy huh? But not to worry. If you have really read this whole thing (and I hope you have) then you will recall I also had my Nikon with me. I managed to get some great shots of the quarry at the gorge, a great swimming site with a nice sandy beach, and many cliffs to jump off. Here are a couple of shots from the quarry. In the first one, some kid was doing flips off the cliff into the quarry and the second is a shot of the quarry.
Cheers everyone! 🙂