Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Beauty of Having A System

This piece of our story is two-fold.

Part One, there's pretty pictures.

Part Two: Making sure they come home with you.

Part One:

If I can tell you anything about Cook Islands, it's to stay here more than one day.  You will be tempted to stay in Rarotonga, book the eight hour day trip flight/snorkel cruise, and head back to Raro.   Do Not make this mistake - you will regret it.  I mean, c'mon, leave this?

Just like Rarotonga, Aitutaki has kayaks galore if you stay at a resort.  All you usually have to do is ask at the front desk for the paddle.  This kayaking is a piece of cake.  I mean, c'mon, I can do it and I have no upper arm strength.  There is no wave to get outside of so you don't start out exhausted.

This is a wee-bit of what you will see:

The dark shadow in the foreground are not cloud shadows.  That is the coral directly under the surface of the water.

If you thought snorkeling was good in Rarotonga (or Hawaii or the Caribbean or Central America, all of which I've been too) it is NOTHING compared to Aitutaki.  We were there during the shoulder month of March/April so it was the South Pacific fall season and the water was crystal clear.  You could see forever in front of you without any cloudiness.   The fish were all right there and not afraid of you (don't try to get really close to the eel - he's cranky).

So bring an underwater camera and plan on at least three days on Aitutaki.

Now for Part Two.

See that picture of the purple coral up there?  The smaller picture?  Purple coral was in abundance in Aitutaki.  Everywhere.  This one is a baby one compared to what we saw in some of our other excursions.  But see how it has a tiny blurry spot on the left corner.  That's not my finger.

That's the underwater camera doing a death spiral.

To back up a bit, we took five cameras on this trip.  Three Nikon D-SLR's and two Olympus underwater cameras that have been around the world with us for several years.  I know it sounds overkill, but you pack shoes, I pack cameras (I had one pair of flip flops for 14 days).

We also packed a laptop, several thumb drives and a back up external hard drive.  Again, overkill, but hear me out.

With all these images, I needed a back up System, so here it was. (I would do this every night or every time we had down time at the resort).

  • Dump the camera card to the laptop
  • At the same time, back up images to the external hard drive
  • Label the location the images were shot at (you think you'll remember when you get home? you won't)
  • Save the images to the thumbdrive
  • Delete memory card and reinsert into camera

That's it.  I took a little time to do this, all the while mumbling that I was being redundant.

Until we lost a camera during high tide at the beach.

Yup, left it there one afternoon, went back the next morning and it was gone.  The good part (puleeze, I need a good part):  Every image up to that date (which was Day Seven of our trip) was on a computer, external hard drive and thumb drive.  Had I not backed stuff up, seven days of images would not be on my computer right now.  GONE.

Part Two of Part Two:  The blurry-fingery looking thing on the coral photo was water coming into the camera.  When I realized the waterproofing had stopped working (probably from being left in a puddle of salt water in the kayak - my bad) I quick took the memory card out, dumped it and saved 12 days worth of images.  

While you don't need five cameras (I mean, who does, sheesh...), take some sort of back up.  Laptop.  USB External Hard drive.  Multi Media Photo Viewer.  Stand Alone Data Storage.  You've worked hard to get photos of your travels.  You don't want to lose them.

This is one of the images we would have lost had we not had a system.

All images can be found on our website:  JC Imagery

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