It was with great excitement that we cajoled and argued for the purchase of a GoPro video camera for the Sentinel’s online team. Cool device, cool company, it’s perfect for our community filled with performers and free spirits of all kinds, it’s very Digital First.
It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our GoPro camera, which is now at the bottom of Monterey Bay. Reporter Kimberly White took it out on a scuba adventure this weekend, likely got some incredible video of the world below the Santa Cruz Wharf, but the camera and Kim’s dive partner got knocked around. No major injuries, although there was some blood, but the camera went to a watery grave, despite Kim’s partner’s insistence on going back in to search for it.
So, we’re crowd-sourcing the rescue of the camera. We’ll provide some reward if you come across it. We always wanted to attach it to a humpback whale, so perhaps that’s in the works.
Here’s Kim’s account of the final minutes of the GoPro:
“We did a beach dive at Cowell’s Beach, entering the water around 1:30. As we were gearing up on the beach, Chris (my dive buddy) and I were trying to decide who should wear the camera. Since I haven’t been in the water much in recent years, he offered to wear it so I had one less thing to worry about.
We’d been down for about 20 minutes and encountered a lot of surge as we neared the pilings at the dock, and the visibility was less than two feet. We lost sight of each other, and as I was turning in circles to try to find him, I felt something bashing up against my legs and fins (probably a sea lion), all while trying to stay buoyant in heavy surge.
I wasn’t able to find Chris, so I surfaced. I heard a shout and saw him about 10 feet away, so swam up to him and saw he had a huge gash across his forehead. He said as soon as he realized how violent the surge was, he pushed me out of the way so I wouldn’t get caught up in it, then got thrown against a barnacle-covered piling (hence the gash).
We swam back toward shore and as soon as we got back onto the beach, I started asking him questions to make sure he hadn’t gotten a concussion or something. I was so focused on that that I didn’t notice the camera was missing until he yelled that it was gone.
He was determined to go back and try to find it, and I told him not to because it was too dangerous with all the surge and waves. But he said he had to at least try, so he said to call for help if he didn’t surface within 10 minutes. Long story short, he wasn’t able to find the camera. We also wandered among the pilings, hoping it’d washed ashore, but there was no sign of it.
When we got back to the car, I immediately When I went back to the dive shop to return my tanks, I mentioned what happened to one of the employees. He said he spearfishes and can look for it when he’s over there next week (but I’m not holding my breath).”
We learned a little bit from the camera. We put it on a roller derby ref. We took it surfing and snowboarding. We planned to give it a motorcycle ride on the Tour of California rout. We wanted to make it part of the Santa Cruz Community Media Lab, to loan it out to anyone having unique first-person experiences or good ideas. It was scheduled to take a few laps at the opening day of the Ocean Speedway in Watsonville this month.
We were just getting warmed up. We also learned that we should have put some kind of QR code sticker on it, in case it got lost, or a GPS chip, or that we should have used the right floaty attachment. We’ll get another one, “not right away,” said our publisher.
It was a glorious few months, with a few videos (snowboard adventure video will be released posthumously). Below, you’ll find an emotional look back at some of the places our GoPro went during its time with us. We miss it already.
If you find our camera, please get in touch. It’s likely an A1 story, good karma, and there’s a reward for rescuing our waterlogged friend.