The entire summer and fall I was out of the water recovering from a left ear problem that developed because of frequent business flying. Not diving... flying. Several ENT specialists and months later, I was ready to dive and headed back to Costa Rica during the winter holidays. I was psyched up. I planned 7 dives and was charged up to take as many photos as I could with my new camera. All my dive equipment was carefully packed for travel and ready so I could jump in first day to visit some prime areas near Playa Flamingo in Guanacaste. The first dive was a 2 tank boat dive at Sombrero, a great site with life covered rock walls and a fun swim through notch around an island that looks like its name.
Day of the dive, everything seemed to be perfect, until the battery in my camera died on deck before the first dive. I knew I took the camera out of it protective case and had left the camera recharging the night before. Then early in the morning, I put the camera into its dive enclosure with a dry pack and put it into my dive bag. I had used the camera for the first time in Nassau in early March and it had performed flawlessly then. I had cleaned it and put it away when I got home and thought I put everything went back into the equipment case. I also thought I had learned enough about the camera during the Nassau trip not to have re-read the users manual before leaving the U.S. the next time. Not only did I guess wrong, I was stung by the "misremembering" bug that seems to haunt so many politicians these days.
When I went back into my gear bag, I could not find the protective case that contained my spare battery, so I left the camera on deck and enjoyed the dive and the second tank dive that followed. When I returned to the house where we were staying, I could not find the case or the spare battery. So I had discovered that my camera would not self charge the battery I had and I could not find the spare battery.
A quick look at the camera makers website allowed me to read the manual, but there was no reference to charging save for one paragraph about using a tray charger. There had not been one in the camera system case when I packed, but it became pretty obvious that I was supposed to use one rather than to charge the battery in the camera like my previous camera had been able to do. I had no memory of that! I searched my luggage for the protective case to no avail. I was skunked and I had a 3 dive adventure ahead of me that included 2 dives fishing and bug hunting for Christmas eve dinner and a night dive near the sea turtle conservation area at Playa Ostional. Just before we left to drive to Ostional, I found the protective case trapped between a pullout suitcase handle and a utility pocket on the back of my carry on bag! Now I had a spare battery with unknown charge level and a dead one... maybe I would have enough of a charge for the night dive.
Our hunting dives went famously, we caught a bag full of lobster and two really nice fish and had a great time. We took a long surface interval and began the night dive just as the sun was setting. It was gorgeous and the camera seemed to be functioning well. The charge indicator showed the battery to have a reasonable charge so there was hope. As soon as we got down on the rock reef area, I tried a couple of test shots to adjust the flash and try out the video light. The flash was misfiring so I wasted several shots, then finally got the partially illuminated shot you see above. I was ready to go and found a couple of lobster and fish together in the rocks to take a picture of and the camera battery decided it had seen enough work for the day. The camera was now only good for its buoyancy.
The expression, "eat a toad first thing in the morning and the rest of the day will seem perfect" often applies to situations like this. Nothing else could go wrong. I still had a couple of great dives scheduled and was willing to enjoy them and just leave bubbles and take memories. My last two dives went beautifully, lots of micro and macro life to see. During ascent from the very last dive and with no warning, I suffered reverse block in the right ear and wound up with a perforation and chronic congestion. So I am back to where I started my story, beached and waiting for my ear to heal so I can try again... seven dives, one terrible photo, and a toad later.