Stranded on a Boat? There’s an App for That…
There is nothing quite like a vacation. Just taking time out to get away from it all. Recently, I got a chance to enjoy an extended weekend away with friends. Funny thing is, we didn’t get away from it all. Not really. We enjoyed a weekend full of friends, boating and beaches, for sure — but as most people in the digital age — everyone had their gadgets of choice with them at all times. Be it an iPhone, BlackBerry, digital camera, Wii, or Kindle, it proved to be a weekend full of tech and fun. Some gadgets made it, while others succumbed to the wrath of the sea.
I’m sure it’s the same for most people these days, you go on vacation — but you make sure to have your tech goodies with you. There’s nothing wrong with that. No, sir. No interventions needed whatsoever. So, when my wife and I met up with friends for an extended weekend at the beach — sure enough — it quickly turned into a trade show of what gadgets each person adored — and what apps they used.
We would use location-based applications, like Poynt or Garmin Mobile, to find the closest grocery store. We’d use Shazam to get the info on the song someone was playing; listen to someone’s playlist, or pull up Pandora. I won’t lie, at least one person had a “fart app” running on their iPhone.
Tech would go to the beach as well. When kicking back in the sand for relaxation, some would be reading a novel on their Kindle while others relaxed to some music piped to an outdoor speaker from their iPod. While boating, everyone was sure to have their digital cameras, mobile phones, and video cameras so that moments like this — where you get up close and personal with dolphins — could be captured.
Then there was the rain. Well, a thunderstorm. OK, the remnants of a tropical storm. Luckily, we missed that part of the excursion; but our friends got to experience that not-so-fun part. See, electronic gadgets do not like rain (or water of any kind, to be exact). Most of the people on the boat during the rainstorm were able to put their iPhones, cameras, etc. into ziploc bags — if they didn’t have the proper accessory needed for the job, like this aquapac that our well-prepared host had on hand for his iPhone. Some weren’t so lucky, as at least one iPod and one (brand new) digital camera was lost to the sea
Not to worry, though. The very next day we — and by “we” I mean those of us who didn’t get to fully experience the fun of boating in a thunderstorm the previous day — hopped back on a boat for another full day’s adventure. The skies were blue, the water inviting, and all was well. Right up to the point when we decided to check out a lighthouse surrounded by beds of razor sharp oyster shells.
Funny thing is this is the same spot our friends went when things, well, took a turn to the worst and they got stuck in that thunderstorm. Lucky for us, the weather was looking great when we got in. We all went to explore the lighthouse, take photos, and enjoy the scenery. We just made one mistake — coming in too close right before low tide; and getting stranded. This lighthouse will now be avoided on future trips
Once getting back to the boat and seeing the situation, there was nothing to do but wait for high tide so that we could push the boat out. It was only 3-4 hour wait. Good times. So, what do you do in the hours of waiting? Well, our friend Diana posted our predicament as the status on her Facebook page. We exchanged emails, texts, and Facebook comments with the rest of our friends who were trying to figure out how to work a margarita machine (ahh, another handy piece of technology!) — and we discovered, a bit too late, that there is an app that shows times for low and high tide. Oops.
Once we were finally able to push the boat out and get going, it did start raining(Yay!). Since I didn’t bring any aquapacs, I simply used my SCOTTeVESTr to keep my camera, BlackBerry, etc. nice and dry for the long ride back to the dock.
As soon as we returned to dry land, we all settled in and enjoyed each other’s company, dried out electronic gear (sadly, the oven method did not work for our friend Mike’s iPod or Digital Camera) and tried, as best we could, to unplug for the remainder of the vacation. It was a great weekend getting together with friends — and hopefully it will become an annual tradition (minus the boating incidents). As a testament to how we are all connected by — and avid users of — technology, once we returned home our friend Mike had sent a link out to each of us to a video he compiled of the weekend’s festivities…
… And for all the extra weight and hassle of taking electronics, chargers, lenses, etc. It’s going to be the photos and videos taken with all that gear that we’ll have to hold us over until next summer