Preserving a family’s history

Punchline: I’m looking for a good Samaritan / karma seeker who can retouch a photo.

Here’s the backstory.

Our first day anchored off Panapompom, Toby paddled up to Totem in his outrigger. He was hoping we had some powdered milk to trade, because his wife wanted to make a special bread for a feast on the weekend. In his bag were passion fruit, papayas, limes, and green beans from his garden. We had just arrived a few hours previously, so after our trading was finished, sat in the cockpit and shared some biscuits and a cool drink and learned from Toby about the island he calls home.

Before he left into the fading evening light, he made a special request. Could we help him save a photo? The oldest photograph of a member of his family, taken of his great uncle in the 1960s, was deteriorating. We were happy to try what we could. The next day, he paddled back out with this photo carefully tucked into a ziploc bag.

Toby's Photo

We have a basic printer/scanner on board. It typically does duty for providing copies of documents for clearance into a country- I think this is the first time it’s been called into service to scan someone’s photo. I spent some time retouching it as best I could, and then printed off a few copies onto our plain paper.

We have Toby’s mailing address. I would love to send him an improved copy of this photo, printed onto quality paper (whenever we reach a place that can do this- probably Bali, which is still some  months away). I don’t think it’s a big job for someone with Photoshop skills- something we don’t have.

If you or someone you know can help, add a note in the comments or email me! The photo can be downloaded from our Flickr account. Click through the image, then on the Flickr page, select “show all sizes” from under the ‘actions’ menu above the photo. An option on the page that takes you too is to download the original file.

11 Responses

  1. When you give or trade say rice or flour, what sort of containers do you use? and how small a quantity do you give? Typically rice on a boat would be stored in very containers, so do you use zip lock bags, or maybe some cheap plastic containers you have for this purpose?

    1. Catherine, I saved all of our glass jars from tomato sauce etc for the couple of months before we left but those go fast. I hate using plastic but ziploc did come in handy. One sandwich baggie holds about 500 gr of rice (or whatever) really well. I’ve got more posts coming up on trading, stay tuned! How much we gave varied a lot and depended on what they wanted- no hard & fast rules- but something like 500gr of flour and 500gr of rice for a basket full of limes comes to mind. People really prefer getting the glass jars, just as I prefer giving them, because they can be reused longer!

  2. An idea — When you get the good one and get it printed, you might think about laminating one copy for him. That might help preserve it . . . and give him a copy on a CD maybe?

    Wish I had the skills to help!

    1. Laminating is an excellent idea, and something I’ll definitely try to do! But resources here are… well, they are rustic at best. We’ll see. CD copy is something to save but where he lives, there isn’t a power grid- and there’s definitely not a computer. It’s a different world.

  3. Hello Behan,

    I’m new to your posts but have photoshop and play around here and there. Send to me and I’ll get it back to you in a week or so. The email is obx pet doctor att yahoo dott com (no spaces).

    Jay Taylor
    Outer Banks, NC

  4. Laminating sounds like a fantastic idea. Catherine–I can’t answer for Behan but we started washing and saving all our small glass and plastic food containers and filling those as trade/gift items. It meant we could give manageable small amounts to a lot of different people. Plastic bags and ziplocs hold a lot and when were gave what we could it looked meager in the bottom of a bag…

  5. Monica, Ken & Jay- we have a great re-work of the photo in hand thanks to blog follower Tim. MANY THANKS to you all for your kind offer to help. I’ve been overwhelmed by the offers of support here, via email and on our FB page. Feeling very lucky to be surrounded by such goodness- thank you! Toby will be so happy- I just wish I could see his face when the new photos show up in the mail.

Comments are closed.