Chicago Bears CapAfter coming back from Yukon & Gold Rush it was a couple of days at home and down on a family to Cornwall.

St.Ives was a place that I visited as a kid with my Mum, I took Abbie back there, again after a stint on Gold Rush and when the kids came along I always knew we’d make the trip down there. It’s that kinda place for me.

As well as the kids and all their things, I took the drone. This was the first time I really noticed the guilt attached in taking it out to fly when the kids were asleep at the cottage. The problem is for me, like a lot of things surrounding work, is that if I’m busy – which, luckily, for the most part of this year I have been – I’ll be away, so when I’m not working, I want to be at home as much as possible. That’s one of the major upsides of being a freelance dad, right? You can be around unless someone is paying you to be somewhere else! So when I’m home it always makes me feel bad about doing things that mean that I’m not 100% there, whether it’s doing things when the kids are awake meaning I’m not with them, or, when they are asleep, meaning I don’t get to spend time with Abbie when its just me and Abbie, and all this after spending 7 weeks on location in Dawson added up to really not getting in that much flying time. Family 1 – Drone 0.

We did take it out twice, one afternoon flight and one morning just after daybreak. St. Ives is a great place with loads of interesting things to fly and subjects to follow. Also, high coastal winds and RF proof rocks.

The fishing boats gave me something to follow in the morning and the “Island” was the main focus of the afternoon flight. Lesson were learnt.

In the middle of flying I would think the shot is binned, I’ve made an error, it’s gone and then either reposition and try again or reframe for another shot. Watching the rushes back, it became very clear that I need to stick with the power of my convictions. Looking at the shot “in the cold light of day” there was actually something to it, maybe not the thing that I planned but because it hadn’t gone exactly to plan, I pulled it and ruined something else that was actually working. Fluid moves will always add something when you don’t expect it. Make as many things as useable and you’ll be grand right?

Losing the drone. Yup. For the first time, I lost sight of the drone and the remote lost connection. I’m not afraid to say, a little bit of wee came out. I hasten to add that no one was in any danger from the drone, I was tracking a small vessel** coming around The Island from the Portmeor side to the Harbour out at sea and without thinking about it tracked the vessel around so that the shot was sea, vessel, Island, St.Ives. So the drone was out to sea, only a danger to fish……….. and possibly my bank account. The problem was that while the Island sat between St.Ives and the drone, it also sat between me and the drone. Hence losing sight and connection with it.

I had to move across the bottom of the Island keeping the drone in position and then wait for the screen to come to life, which thankfully it did. With plenty of Battery life in it I could have a couple more sweeps and then bring it to land in my new position. I had to remember this as if I simply used the Auto return then I’d have to race it back to this position to make sure it was clear and safe to land.

All good drone lessons, and, strangely confidence boosting. Experience is the key with this badger.

**The Vessel I was tracking back to the harbour around the Island was the same one we, inadvertently, ended up taking on a family trip out to see the Seals. The Dolly P.

If you’re down that way then I highly recommend having a trip with these guys. Very friendly, prompt and relaxed. They even let Aila be Captain for a bit.

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