Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Dunking and diving.

I don't know if its me, but nowadays I always empty my pockets whenever I am doing something on the boat. Especially if it requires lifting or bending or places me at increased risk of falling in! It's as a result of learning the hard way. Now, I have done some really crazy things over the years. Like bending over, just in time to observe my glasses fall off my nose and into the cut. I have even watched as my wrist watch strap broke and the watch went over the side. I have even fallen in with a mobile phone in my pocket.

However, I was out almost as quick as I went in. I then removed phone from wet pocket and removed the battery as quickly as possible. I placed the phone in a warm area for a few days to let it dry out. Its surprising how often electronic stuff will continue to work if you remove the battery soon after immersion. I think that there is a two minuet window before the water seeps into an area where it can create an electrical short and damage the device. Removing the battery is the only real option as turning the device off does not stop the risk of a short circuit. last year I managed to drop my rechargeable lantern into the cut. It was one of those million candle power type. I could see the light shining on the bottom of the cut. But as it was dark, I decided not to risk it. The following morning, with a bit of wangling with the boat pole I managed to retrieve the lantern. I dried it out and recharged the battery. It was only then that I noticed the overnight immersion in the water had caused the silvering to come off the reflector. It had also corroded the battery terminals. The water at the end of the new cut must be quite acidic!

I have tried placing my all singing ad dancing smart phone in one of those supposedly self sealing bags. Its just that its a complete pain to use the touch screen through the extra plastic membrane. So yes it will help to save your phone from a quick dunking but its not an easy thing to get used to. There is the Series 9 'boil in a bag' phone protector Click Here but at £23 quid a pop, its not a cheap option either.

I know someone who managed to drop his smart phone into the toilet just as he pulled the flush. Luckily the phone did not flush round the bend and the removal of the battery and a few days left in the airing cupboard worked. But is not only phones but expensive cameras that are also on Murphy's list of items for boaters to drop overboard or spill liquids into. Last year, Poppy one of our boating dogs knocked a cup of coffee into my old laptop. However, this time removing the battery did not save the device. But it sold on ebay for spares. Its the same with car keys with a wireless press button to open the car. I had a set of keys with a cork ball attached. The problem was there were more keys than there was buoyancy provided by the cork ball. However, once again I did manage to salvage the keys with a sea searcher magnet. However, maybe its not so bad.  I remember watching one boater swimming around in the canal using his feet to feel around in the mud before diving down to recover a lost propeller.

Now its possible to buy a digital camera that is waterproof down to 30 feet or so. Laptops that can detect when they are falling and protect themselves. Most wrist watches are generally waterproof. I know that there are Sony, Samsung and Motorola waterproof smart phones available. There is also the alternative of insurance or having a cheap phone to use on the boat without all the whiz bang options you probably don't use on your smartphone anyway.

How did we ever manage before the digital age?



  1. I dropped my wallet in within five minutes of arriving at the boat on Friday night.

    Luckily I have a Liam to go in and retrieve it and its contents for me!

    1. Hello Rachel.

      I have thought about going over the side to rescue items. Then I think about 'Wiels disease' and changed my mind. I seem to get enough dunking anyway without doing deliberate extras.


  2. He didnt really have much choice but to go in. The wallet had the weekends money and all of the bank cards in it!!!


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