Note to Self: Stop Showing Off!
We were on an excursion to go snorkeling, whale watching, partying, and the like, and of course, I brought my new drone. I couldn't wait to fly it off the boat and get some awesome shots of The Arch, the emblematic rock feature where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean.
Everything was going great, and everyone was having an awesome time. We all got snorkeling gear and mini-submarines to scoot around underwater, and we got to do some reef diving where we saw all sorts of amazing marine creatures. The Sea of Cortez is known as the "Aquarium of the World," replete with sea lions, humpback and gray whales (it was calving season), moorish idols, parrotfish, tangs, eagle rays, and many more!
After the dive, everyone got back on board, we refreshed our margaritas and cervezas, had lunch, and cruised some more on the Sea of Cortez, whale watching. We weren't disappointed, they were everywhere!
One of the crewmembers was a photographer, and I was happy to share with him how the drone worked, how it took both still photographs and movies, and especially, how fast it would go in "sport" mode. This was the showing-off part. I had forgotten that in "sport "mode all the safeguards were turned off, and after a few minutes, I decided to get a low-angle shot of everyone at the front of the boat.
I steered the drone lower, and lower, and lower, thinking it would stop above the waves, but since I had turned off all the safeguards, that didn't happen. It went into the ocean. Everyone on board groaned, but then as if by magic it rose from the waves to a chorus of "oohs" and "aahs"! I frantically steered it back towards the boat, thinking I had dodged a bullet. It was about 25 feet in the air and almost on board when it flipped over, gyrated uncontrollably, and crashed into the deck of the boat, almost at my feet. Props and arms went flying everywhere, the whole front of the drone was trashed, but thankfully, no one was injured.
A lesson learned? Maybe not. I sent the drone in for repair, and the engineer called me amazed that it had suffered so much damage. I gritted my teeth and paid the invoice because I had also declined the insurance. Yikes! Looks like pb&j sandwiches for a few weeks.
The drone arrived today via FedEx, and I opened it to see if all the battle scars were still there. To my amazement, they had sent me a brand new drone, in perfect condition. I'm taking it out to the park to fly it tonight to see how it does. Have I learned my lesson about showing off? Ummm, maybe.