And then, it blew into the ocean!

| April 18, 2012

When A recent note into support from one of our customers in the UK started like this;

“I have just got a new StreetWalker to replace one which was blown over a cliff in a gale”

We had to know the rest of the story!

“The rucksack was lost on the afternoon of 3 March 2012. It was lost on the east side of the Rubha Hunish peninsula at the north end of Trotternish, Isle of Skye. The grid reference was NG413763. The rucksack had been blown like a wheel across grass then over a cliff into the sea. It happened so quickly that although I stood up and started to run towards the rucksack, I had no chance of reaching it before it went over the cliff.

I received an email on the evening of 26/3/2012 from a man who told me that he had found my rucksack when walking on the beach between Tulm Island and Tulm Bay. The grid reference he gave was NG41051 75413. The rucksack had journeyed round a rocky and stormy peninsula. It had travelled a minimum of 1 km north along the east side of the Rubha Hunish peninsula, round the northern tip of the peninsula, then more than 1.5 km south down the west side of the peninsula. Its total journey in the sea was a minimum of at least 2.5 km.

I do not know how waterlogged the bag was when it was retrieved from the beach, but it must have been saturated during its journey. It certainly took a pounding as light plastic battery cases were broken. However the rucksack was pretty unscathed apart from a little superficial tarnishing of some metal parts and staining of plastic as a consequence of corrosion of batteries and some other metal parts.

The most expensive loss was of my collection of Lee filters. Although the rucksack was closed when on the beach, it was not zipped up and the filters fell out during the voyage. In the bag were also spare batteries and chargers. They were all badly corroded. A digital padlock attached but not in use was also badly corroded. A pair of Spyder ski gloves attached to the sack with a karabiner had parted company with the sack. Fortunately I had removed my Zeiss lenses that morning and I was holding my camera when this incident occurred.

I met the man at Spean Bridge on 31/03/2012 when he returned the rucksack to me. Although he insisted that no reward was necessary, I gave him a bottle of 15 year old Dalwhinnie single malt. It was good to be reunited with the rucksack which had already travelled between the UK and Australia a couple of times, with many other trips in between.”

John is from Scotland, and I’ve toured those coastlines – my favourite area being around┬áJohn O’ Groats – right up the top – and I’ve experience winds like no other!! (I was nearly blown off the edge) So I understood when I got hold of his email!

Here’s a little run down on a couple of the images below, from John;

It was a stormy day and I decided not to take my Zeiss lenses or tripod. The 2 shots from the day are hand-held. One shows plumes of sea spray driven by the wind and the other shows us having a break shortly before the rucksack, seen in the background, was blown like a wheel.

Sea spray coming up off the sea… (Yes, a little windy)

A Relaxing break, a flying bag in the background!

And this is what it looked like when it was finally retrieved about three weeks later.

John has a new Streetwalker now and I’ve toyed with sending him a set of tent pegs and some strong rope for next time he heads off along that walking path!

Thanks John!!

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Based in Melbourne, Australia, Simon manages social media for You can find out more about Simon here -
  • That right there is why I only trust Thinktank with my camera gear. I cant believe the bag survived that intact!!!