Position: 57°56’09.5″N 11°42’09.7″E

For the first time we launched our drone from Aleta while she was under way*. One of the features of our DJI Mini 2 is its ability to locate itself using GPS. That way it can return ‘home’ automatically. On land, the drone lifts off and hovers in place while you figure out what direction is up. The downside of launching from a boat is that hovering means staying in a place that the boat just left, rendering the GPS homing location perfectly useless. As it took off, the little aircraft went up, hovered, and only just missed crashing into the wind generator and ditching in the sea. It was one of those times when luck beats stupidity and teaches all involved a valuable lesson.

Having launched, the next thing was to get some aerial shots worthy of vlogging, and then return the drone safely back on board, of course. Because I don’t drone every day (yeah, yeah – ed.) I spend the first five minutes of every flight refamiliarizing myself with the controls. The next 20 minutes are spent remembering to turn on the record button and reminding myself to just let the thing run. The purpose of editing is to pick out the good bits of film. If you don’t let the camera run, then there aren’t any good bits to pick out. What seems like ages in the moment often turns out too short for the final cut.

Fun and Games

If you want to drone, it helps IMHO to have experience video gaming. If you grew up playing with an X-box or Playstation, the dexterity and muscle memory that comes with handling dozens of buttons on a game controller should measurably shorten the learning curve. The rest is aesthetics.

Fortunately, our son-in-law Jarno (Emma’s better half) has both experience gaming and the nous (that’s “naʊs”) needed to fly and, more importantly, land a drone on a moving boat.

You can see in the video his attempts at landing the drone by plucking it out of the air while I manned the controls. Shutting it down proved entertaining. My brute force attempts at pulling the battery out with the propellers spinning menacingly resulted only in a couple of shredded fingers. After a few minutes of that silliness, Jarno figured out how to shut off flight mode via the controller. No one was permanently injured.


Scuba diving having given him a taste of the sea, Jarno joined us for a couple of days to get a feel for sailing. Where better to learn the ropes than on Aleta? We had a lovely time. Even the weather cooperated. An impromptu visit from the Swedish coast guard had them begging the question: “If you are all family, then where is your daughter?” To which I replied, “Someone has to do the work around here!” That evening we assigned Jarno the hard task of learning cribbage. Of course, learning the rules is one thing, overcoming Carol’s luck at cards is something else entirely.


Here are the edited highlights of our droning adventure. The footage gives you an idea of how lovely the Swedish islands are. They are protected, well buoyed, quiet, and very boater friendly. We are looking forward to spending more time gunkholing around here. Hopefully, Jarno and his wife will join us for parts of it.


* A boat may be underway or under way or under weigh. The grammar police can let me know when I need the adverbial form or the adjectival, or pull a Fowler and apply the rule of: ‘does it obscure the meaning, or not?’




  1. Don’t think I’ve ever seen “under weigh,” which looks like part of an awkward phrase “getting under weigh” as a term for raising anchor (“anchor’s aweigh”) and getting underway. For any Aleta fans who don’t know, the cry “Anchor’s aweigh” from the foredeck means that the crew have got the anchor unhooked from the bottom so that what they’re pulling with the rope called “anchor rode” is the weight of just the anchor and not the entire planet. A thoroughly useful thing for the helmsman to know.

    Until I could spot the bridled(!) anchor rode in the latter part, I thought you were passing up a chance to explain about “under way with no way on,” for the situation where you’re “under way” (not hooked to the land) but also not moving through the water (“no way on”). A situation which must provoke a lot less anxiety in the Baltic where I understand there are for practical purposes no tides, and thus no tidal currents–at least, once you’re some ways east of the Kattegat. Can you confirm that?

    1. I believe you have read Mr. Melville’s lengthy book about the whale, wherein he writes “Nevertheless, not three days previous, Bildad had told them that no profane songs would be allowed on board the Pequod, particularly in getting under weigh; and Charity, his sister, had placed a small choice copy of Watts in each seaman’s berth.”

      A Yorkshireman might comment on t’Watts and seamen in t’berths. Suffice it to say there’s no way I’d weigh in on such profanity. However, knowing Anne Core is away, who else knows the way to San Jose?

      And, yes, even that far north, Kattegat sports minimal tides. Somewhere in the decimetre ranges.

  2. Ah, well now. If Mr. Melville wrote it, it can’t be an “awkward phrase,” now can it? If I were a participant in the annual interminable readings of “Moby Dick,” I might have been reminded of it. But it still sounds like a reference to raising anchor to take departure. And remember: where there’s no weigh in, there’s no weigh out.

    1. Interminable indeed! From my research it is a spelling ‘variant’, allowed by the lexicographers because such literary luminaries chose to weigh in. I’m sure in private, like a spiteful Miss Muffet, they cursed the turds of way. Or, perhaps, they were terse about the whey of Kurds?

  3. …………………Ode to Aleta………………….
    Amidst the azure expanse she glides,
    A sleek ship on the tranquil tides,
    Her hull a masterpiece of crimson grace,
    With sails unfurled, she courts the wind’s embrace,

    She dances through waves with effortless ease
    Her billowing sails catching the breeze,
    A nightingale’s song, the wind’s sweet caress,
    Guiding swiftly with harmonious finesse.

    Oh, vessel of dreams, enchantress of the sea,
    In azure waters, you set spirits free,
    Mysteries unfold in your wake’s gentle sweep,
    Hail to the Aleta, a vessel of dreams so deep.

    Timothy Barringer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *