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?’