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Monday 27 Jan 2014
Auckland, New Zealand

Highs and lows

Today was a Public Holiday and Auckland was busy with special events.  James had got me a ticket to sail on the Breeze in the afternoon, but I spent the morning with his housemate Rachel and her friend Christin.  We went up to Mission Bay to a craft fair, set up along the grass overlooking the Waitamata harbour.  There were some beautiful things and I was tempted by quite a few, but I resisted the urge to buy another painting I wouldn’t be able to post home. 

I left the others there and drove into town, getting stuck in the holiday traffic, so by the time I’d parked and legged it down to the Maritime Museum, I didn’t think they’d still let me on the boat.  Fortunately they hadn’t quite set sail and I snuck on board as the Captain was giving his welcome speech.  After the harbour cannon had been fired (it may be small, but it was still loud!) we set sail and I got my breath back.  I chatted to Lauren and Ray, a couple of James’ friends who’d come out sailing for the first time.  The wind was much stronger than my last trip on Breeze – it was almost on the limit for them with passengers on board – so we held on tightly as the deck tilted alarmingly and water crept in over the rails.  James grinned cheerfully and pointed out where the water had come up to when they caught a squall on their trip up to the Bay of Islands at New Year.  It was a lot of fun, but I realised I’d forgotten two key things for a sailing trip: suncream and a hairband.  I got back two hours later with a rosy face and what felt like a birds nest on my head.  Rachel and Christin waved us in as we arrived back in port, so the three of us went off for lunch until James had finished clearing up.  Helpfully, Rachel had been given a free hairband with one of her purchases at the craft fair after I’d left!

That evening, I borrowed Rachel’s laptop to copy some of my photos onto a stack of DVDs I’d picked up earlier.  She’s got a new Windows 8 laptop so I was unfamiliar with the layout, but found what I thought I needed to burn files to disc.  For some reason, it struggled to format the disc properly, so I ejected it a few times and tried again.  Rachel tried too, but was equally unfamiliar with the new software.  We finally got it to work and were rewarded with the ‘Formatting Complete’ message.  Brilliant.  Except, when I clicked on the hard drive icon to get the photos I wanted to copy, I got the worst message possible…


‘You have no files to view’


Noooooo!!!!!!!  Somehow, inconceivably, we hadn’t formatted the DVD, we had formatted the hard drive, effectively wiping 750GB of data.  My entire collection of trip photos so far, movies, TV shows, guidebooks, travel documents and assorted files had all been wiped from existence.  I felt physically sick and shook as I desperately connected the hard drive back to my own laptop in the hopes there had just been a mistake, but no. Nothing.

I was close to tears as I tried to work out what had happened, but had to accept it was gone.  We spent several hours poring over data recovery chat rooms and adverts, trying to find something to tell us how to undo what had happened, but with no luck.  I knew I’d backed up some things at home in the summer, but had to wait until the next day before I could ring Mum to check. Stupid 13-hour time difference.

I drove into Auckland to find one of the data recovery companies I’d found online, but their office had closed down.  I spoke to another couple on the phone but discovered it was going to cost me $400-700 NZD and take up to a week to get the data recovered, if it was possible at all.  Ouch!

Before I committed that much money, I started looking at things rationally.  Mum confirmed I had done a full back up in the summer, so the only things I’d currently lost were the photos from this half of the trip: America, Mexico, Costa Rica and Galápagos.  I had backed up the JPEGs from the first part of my American roadtrip at Bill and Donna’s, so I knew they were safe on CD.  I’d been using iPhoto on my laptop and had JPEGs of almost everything to the end of December there.  The biggest loss was the RAW files of the American pictures, but Verity had taken many of the same pictures (and with a better camera), so I could replace many of those if needed.  I still had Galápagos and Costa Rica pictures on the memory cards and could reload those. 

Although I still couldn’t believe it had happened, the situation began to look less bleak as I realised there was a chance I hadn’t actually lost more than the RAW files, which I could live withouut.  I decided to buy a new hard drive for use now and save the original one to see if someone could recover anything off it when I get back home.


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Zoe's Big World Adventure Part II - #4 New Zealand and Australia

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I had so much fun in New Zealand and Australia that I'm going back around again! This time I'll see more of the North Island and catch up with friends and family in Melbourne

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