Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sailing in the Whitsundays - A view from above...

After several successful flights of our Mariner Drone from a stationary platform it was time for the next step - aerial images of Lucey Blue sailing.

The task of sailing while flying the Mariner Drone was a little daunting, but the promise of unique photographs helped us overcome our concerns. With Lucey Blue gently sailing out of Cateran Bay we launched the Mariner Drone from the flight deck – our rear solar panels.

The images of Lucey Blue underway were nice and we landed safetly back on the forward trampoline after about 10 minute in the air. However, the majority of the photographs were taken from too far away for the wide angle GoPro camera to show much detail.

Given our partial success the decision was made to haul up the spinnaker and try a second flight. This time the plan was to fly the drone right alongside Lucey Blue. The images from the second flight were substantially better, but there were a few tricky moments - including when the Mariner Drone disappeared from view behind our spinnaker!

Flying a drone blind while sailing towards your airborne position certainly adds to the excitement level. I am glad to say we experienced no mid air collisions and despite running out of battery power before landing back on Lucey Blue we declared our mission a success.

After the Mariner Drone adventure we decided to take a few photographs of Lucey Blue under different sail configurations from the dinghy. Have we ever said we love our new radial sails?

The kids all enjoyed the dinghy ride – you don’t often get to see your own boat sailing and even though we never cracked five knots it was a great way to spend a morning!

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