Another Enoree River trip with a potential tale of Woe

I was looking forward to Friday. It was special for several reason. First among them I would be enjoying the company of 3 of my favorite paddlers. Second was the perfect weather forecast and the local fall colors on display. Third I was excited about using my new splashproof Lumix FZ300.

Kevin and I transferred my solo canoe to his rack next to his solo canoe. We then left my car at the takeout with the trailer. All 4 of us with our 4 boats and gear would use it to shuttle back to the cars at the put-in. Lisa and Rusty would meet us at the put-in to begin the trip.

When we got to Brazzlemans Bridge the DOT dump trucks were lined up dumping loads of large granite riprap over the side of the bridge to shore up the pilings that held up the bridge. The road was closed with Lisa on the other side of the river. The workers were good to us, and let her pass after they dumped 3 loads that were already on the bridge.

The day was everything we hoped it would be with a high of 70F blue skies and sunny. Water temp got up to 58F. There were lots of log jams and down trees which because of low water meant we had to work our way through, and /or portage. I had a dry bag I kept the camera in when required. We worked our way through a difficult log jam, were I stopped and took some photos. Kevin portaged because he didn’t want to risk a capsize with his dog in the canoe. I stayed back to get a few shots of him portaging his boat and was drifting backwards. The flow was about 200 cfs and not a big problem. I had the camera around my neck when the backward drifting canoe was flipped by an unseen log the boat went up on. The camera was still on when I climbed out onto a log after being fully dunked in deep water. Straddling the log in the river I turned the soaking wet camera off, and managed to get most of the water out of the boat. We pulled out on a sand bar and ate lunch while I pulled the battery out of the camera dried it and wrapped it in a towel. I was wearing fast drying cloths and sat in the sun. I never did get cold like I expected, I did have a dry change and jacket in my kit, but only changed into a dry shirt. My pants dried out while paddling.

I managed to put the episode behind me and enjoy the rest of the trip. I have destroyed gear in the past due to stupidity, and it’s a waste of time and life to get upset about it. That’s not to say I didn’t regret letting the boat drift with my back turned to the river and probably loosing my new camera. When I got home I put it on a heating pad. I could see moisture condensed on the inside of the lens and viewfinder. The camera could be turned on only to have the display jittering the image and the motor making gosh-awful sounds, so I quickly turned it off.

This morning it looked like all the moisture had vaporized overnight so I turned it on again to hear and see the same result as before, and turned it off. I put it back on the hot pad resigned to it being a lost cause. Around 1 pm I tried again and was surprised to have a fully functioning camera. No noise or jitters! I am amazed it survived. It was only underwater for a matter of a few seconds, but did have water get inside.

My biggest regret now is the camera wasn’t operational at lunch when a gust of wind caused a swirling rain of yellow fall leaves fluttering down onto the river’s surface and floating down stream. It was a beautiful quintessential fall scene I would have loved to captured it. C’est la vie!

If asked I would highly recommend the FZ300 considering what I put it though. Oh, and it takes a fine photograph too. Thank you to those that suggested this camera on the wildlife photo thread.

Example of a closeup

Here are some of the photos I took before practicing swimming and canoe recovery.

This next one I took just before swimming lessons.

These two photos Lisa took. They give a good idea of the log jams and down trees.


Karma required that dunking. Let me know when you want to paddle the Saluda.

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Really nice pictures with your new camera. I love the fall (the season, not the dunk). You guys (i.e. relatively south) are so fortunate to have such an extended paddling season.

With my dry suit I do paddle year round. Here is a handheld shot of the moon last night, I took with the camera.


You know… The water gods get their due. If we enjoy playing on the water, we just have to pay our dues at some point.

With me, I also lost one of the earlier Lumix. That was relatively inexpensive compared to a GoPro 5, a custom titanium knife and two pairs of Ti frame Silhouette progressive eyeglasses. These days, I don’t wear eyeglasses on the water, opting for blurry vision instead. But, I am sure I’ll have to pay future dues with other items.

PS. Better to lose things and be painlessly reminded of the need for caution than the other way around. :slight_smile:



So True! I was lucky with this camera. Getting wet was a good reminder of the water will win if you let it, and even if you try your best it can still have the upper hand.

Wait, I can see water on the moon! Nah, must be just residual condensation on your sensor. :slight_smile:

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Ooooooo!!! :scream: That made me go check on it… I am sorry to report you need new glasses. :wink:

Off to go sailing. I hope I can keep it dry.

I wanted to get an FZ300 because of the water resistance - of course I am mostly in saltwater but I’ll take what I can get. Unfortunately it was backordered for months and I finally had to switch to an FZ80 since I wanted the camera for a hiking trip out west this past September. I’ll have to stick with using my phone while paddling!

Glad the camera survived its swim - nice photos!

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Looks like a nice day on a lovely river. I like the pic of the kayaker using a single blade paddle to maneuver around the downfall, that seems wise.


It was a really fine day. Rusty took this photo. It captures the feel of the day very well.


I had an opportunity to test sail a Scamp a young man at the club is selling. Like the boat, and first time sailing a balanced lug sail. It handled and rowed well, but I have a wayfarer already. I’m undecided about the Scamp. If only I had a money tree.


Awesome! A real HDR kind of day.

Exactly how I feel. And holy moly! I’m so glad and impressed that your camera is okay.


Quite possibly my next build…

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I did like the Scamp’s handling and rowing. I found the seat was low for me and a bit uncomfortable for my legs. I wanted to sit up on the side deck but the boat design doesn’t allow for that. Not that I couldn’t sail it, and perhaps with more familiarity work out a more comfortable position in the boat.

My Wayfarer fills the same slot as the Scamp would for me, and is more comfortable. I have daydreams of sailing the Everglades challenge, and either boat would be suitable for that. The Wayfarer is 100 pounds lighter.

This is the one I would build if I where to build one.
15’ Micro cruiser | Bedard Yacht Design


Holy Molly holds a place in my heart. It was what our youngest said out of the blue when she caught sight of the mountains for the first time. “Holly Molly look at the mountains!” You had to be there.

I too am impressed that the camera survived.

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That’s really sweet, and far more acceptable than the “holy [4 letter explicative]” that first popped into my head when I read your post. :innocent:

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I too have an FX300 but for time in my yak I use my Olympus Tough TG-4 (I think Oly is up to the TG-6 now). Waterproof to 50’, shock proof to 6’ drop, freeze proof to 0 degrees, crush proof, and dust proof. The close up function (Macro) is AMAZING! It only has 4X zoom but I hang it off a lanyard around my neck with an Ultrapod to use as a pistol grip and it was made for yakking. If I dunk I just have to dry off the lens and I’m good to go. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Looks like a good waterproof camera. I already have an older Nikon COOLPIX 200 for kayaking. it stays in my pfd ready for a shot. I would consider a Olympus TG-6 if I upgrade, but what I would really like is a waterproof with at least a 10x capacity. So the FZ300 will probably have a waterproof case in the near future.