Bobbing for Apples (or the Great Camera Retrieval Adventure)

WATAGANS NP – 17 November 2020
After last Thursday’s Great Adventure, my very expensive camera was at the bottom of a mini-canyon.  I decided it was worth mounting a trip to try retrieving the camera from the bottom of the slot.  Jai and Trish agreed to join me.

We needed Jai and his height (given that Trish and I are vertically challenged), and there was the bonus that he could use goggles and a snorkel, Trish didn’t own either and I have a “thing” about snorkeling – never ever will you see me anywhere snorkeling.

I wasn’t sure how long we would be in the creek, but as Jai had to go to work at noon, we started relatively early at 9.00 from the car park.

I had everything I thought I would need, two long (unbreakable) sticks, scissors to use on electrical tape to tape them together (so they weren’t so bendy), a couple of big hooks and a small one, a stick “picker” (you know the thing you can use to pick up garbage), a 40m rope and some tube tape.  Jai thoughtfully brought along an underwater torch.

Jai (in spring suit) ready to deploy the rope after anchoring to a convenient tree.  Good thing Jai had on a spring suit because the water was really cold.

Trish getting ready, waterproofing all her gear … and then we decided to leave packs up at the top (well, except for mine with the first aid kit in it).

We abseiled into the little canyon (only 5m or so) – Jai sussing out where the camera might be.

Trish at the other end of the canyon, working to open up the eflux to “drain the swamp” if we need the water level to be lower.

Jai discovered that there were in fact two holes that the camera potentially fell down.

Fortunately it dropped into the shallower of the two holes, we’d never have gotten it back if it had fallen in the larger one. It only took 5 minutes of diving before Jai appeared with it! I think the torch might have helped, plus the fact that the camera’s bright red.

This is the pool immediately after the small one we were in, it’s about 4m deep, but we’d stirred up a lot of sediment in the canyon, so we couldn’t see the “sweet spot” to jump, so we decided it was safer to leave it for another day, and we’d climb out using the hand line.

Trish starting the climb.

Jai climbing up. The climb wasn’t as easy as it looked, I actually attached myself with prussic loops. The interesting thing though, I’d looked at this as a way to get out last Thursday … no way would I be able to climb out without a handline!

The camera is now at home, haven’t turned it on or opened it up.  It’s sitting in a plastic box with bag of DampRid, will leave it in the box for a few days and then test it.  Fingers crossed!

Thanks Jai and Trish for coming with me on this adventure, great outcome, and we were back at the cars and on the road by 11am – very productive morning!

UPDATE:  after a night in DampRid, camera started up just fine, removed card and all pics are there still (bonus), and the one of me sliding down the log is now the header for the Blog, thank you Trish.  Giving the camera another night with the DampRid, this time with all the ports open.


This entry was posted in Bushwalking, Canyoning. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Bobbing for Apples (or the Great Camera Retrieval Adventure)

  1. Braf says:

    Great news

  2. Louise Keyte says:

    Awesome!! Well done Jai!! Excellent news xx

    • marilyn says:

      Yes, Jai was a legend, and the surprising thing is the camera wasn’t where I thought it was, so pleased to get it back and seems to be working just fine!

  3. Shirley H says:

    I’d write to the camera manufacturer if I were you – surely worth them paying you for their next big advertising campaign!!

  4. Shiva says:

    Nice work Jai. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.