Noon Update- July 14th- Dumb Dan, Drone Drama!!!

So, it was a simple plan. Launch the Drone from the aft solar panels, fly around the boat filming a moving Heldeleine under full spinnaker and then retrieve said Drone at the bow. What could possibly go wrong ??? Well….a few things….. Launch went flawlessly and the Drone was soon buzzing around the mothership recording Heldeleine, the spinnaker, the crew and the….ocean. Yup, the ocean. This should not have come as a surprise to the skipper/drone operator that he was flying his drone without a safety net. But I get ahead of myself. All was going along beautifully and then…..then.. .a tiny female voice from the drone controller stated “maximum distance from home reached” what??…WHAT? WTF??? Home?. Oh, no. The little drone just stopped. We, aboard Heldeleine obviously continued under full spinnaker at 7 knots. Oops. Houston, we have a problem. The little dot that was our drone slowly faded away behind us. Oh boy. Skipper becomes obsessed with finding his lost flying baby. Like a crazed Ahab he Crash Tacks with full spinnaker. Laurie and Andres to the bow, Mattia and Pete to the spinnaker clew and halyard. Massive sail comes down in controlled chaos and is muscled into the front Tool/Honeymoon cabin by the extraordinary efforts of Laurie and Andres. Eagle-eyed Mattia has now locked on to the tiny dot that nobody else can see. Off we go in pursuit. Massive Waves spring up and Whales breach in front of us…, wait, that last part didn’t happen…. but excitement was in the air. The hunt was on! “Battery at 5 percent, battery at 5 percent” says the little controller voice. Mattia at the helm, skipper at the drone controls and Laurie, heroic Laurie ready at the bow to receive the four spinning Blades of Death. Tick tick tick. Time is running out! Red wire, blue wire…!!!! Which one!!!! The Drone is flown into Laurie at Warp 8 and she deftly snatches the landing gear with the grace of Baryshnikov and the reflects of Muhammad Ali. What a performance!! The cheering is reportedly heard in Horta. What a crew! What A CREW!!
The drone has been put back in the bag and though I understand that the HOME feature can be disarmed and the drone will then follow the boat for miles, I also realize that though I may be an idiot, I am not a fool.


Noon Update- July 14th- Dumb Dan, Drone Drama!!! — 7 Comments

  1. AWESOME recovery!!! You crash tacked from a downwind position? Well that must have been dramatic indeed, and yes awesome crew to be able to wrangle the spin in under those conditions! I guess if the drone wouldn’t fly you could have tried an MOB if it was still afloat? So did you get any footage from the drone?

  2. You are a great storyteller, Dan. I was held in suspense with your every word. Haha. Amazing recovery. What a team!

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