Twice now I have lost all my photos from a cruising season, or part of a cruising season. And the scary thing is, I thought I had them backed up adequately both times. But no. I’m looking for what others do with their photos because while I think my system should be OK, obviously it’s not! So if you have a good idea on backing up photos, please leave a comment in the comment box below — if you’re reading this post on commuterCRUISER’s home page, there’s only a tiny text link at the end of the post, but it will still take you to the comment box.
The first time I lost all the photos from our first cruising season … the year we left the USA to go cruising. As everyone knows, the first of anything is always special and the photos to commemorate it were some of my all time favorites. Luckily, I started the website and had posted several of the photos online … in very small versions, but those are the only surviving photos. I thought I was being very careful, I bought a external hard drive back up and backed up all my files and photos. Unfortunately, the external hard drive died and all the computer geniuses in the world couldn’t restore those photos.
After that I started backing up photos two ways – one with the external hard drive and second with CD/DVD and later a USB stick.
The 2nd year we were cruising, we added some inland adventures to our cruise. We visited Tikal and Flores in the far upper reaches of Guatemala. The scenery and photos were fabulous – with such dramatic Mayan ruins literally still engulfed in the jungle with it’s amazing bio-diversity, how could they not be? Shortly after that we left the Rio Dulce to go to the Bay Islands for our winter’s cruising season. I hadn’t backed up the photos yet in all the excitement. Sure enough, that was the year, anchored in Utila that we were robbed and my laptop was gone. Read the story in the post “Robbed in Utila“. All the photos of Tikal, along with the best closeup exotic butterfly photo I’d ever taken … gone.
These days I have 2 external hard drives, one on the boat and one at the house. I back up with Apple’s Time Machine, which not only backs up files and photos but also my entire hard drive. In addition, I back up all my photos to USB sticks so that there are two copies of every photo somewhere other than on my laptop. When we leave for the winter, we put the external hard drive from the house in our safety deposit box.
I think the double system should be adequate, but I have visions of the USB sticks failing or another external hard drive failing. What good is an external hard drive anyway if it’s going to fail????? And that was the one at the house, not subjected to humid, tropical salt air at all! GGGggggrrrrr!!!!
If you have a system you think is more secure, PLEASE leave a comment and share! THX! Jan