A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of being invited down to the Dorset coast with my cameras and drone to take photos and video onboard an amazing wooden sailing boat called Nepenthe, that was built way back in 1903. After a 6 hour drive, I finally made it down to Portland Marina just as the sun was setting...gutted!
Dan, the current owner of the boat met myself along with Dave and we headed back out to his stunning boat where his cat was waiting. Looking at the weather for the next day, we decided on a plan which was to grab an early start the next morning, and make our way along the Jurassic towards Lulworth Cove, with a brief stop near Durdle Door. This was our original plan anyway, weather dependant.
My pre-planning beforehand showed we were unable to fly over the land by Durdle Door, or Lulworth Cove due to drones not being permitted on Lulworth Estate. Not a problem, as we would be taking off from the boat and only flying over the sea. I emailed Lulworth Estates out of courtesy and they replied the next day saying what I wanted to achieve was absolutely fine as they don't own the airspace out at sea.
The next problem was the airspace to the right of the Cove, as the right hand side as you look at it from the sea has a firing range that operates during the day and this airspace goes out into the sea. Again not a problem as we would be keeping to the left and away from that particular section of airspace. I isssued a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) anyway to tell others of our intention to fly.
As you can see, careful planning is required in order to fly a drone safely and within the law.
After a decent nights sleep onboard, with the waves gently lapping against the boat and the ruder moving against the sea, Dan got the boat ready while we grabbed the drone for a few shots in the harbour while it was quiet. Dave was on lookout, and he was also the launcher and catcher of my drone as you cannot just take off on board a boat! We discussed beforehand how we would take off and land, and this worked out really well with great communication between each other. Landing was a bit trickier with a moving boat, and I'm sure Dan caught the drone at least once during the trip.
Setting off just after sunrise we were able to make the most of the quiet seas, amazing weather and blue skies for most of the journey. A decent wind meant we were able to use both the sails for the majority of the outbound journey. There is something about sailing - the peaceful, chilled journey through the blue ocean, I can see why Dan bought this amazing boat. I could listen to the stories about the boat, and its characteristics all day. For example, Dan mentioned part of the wood in the boats kitchen was from a hotel door, and it still had the door number on! Fascinating.
Anyway, onto the reason I was aboard - taking photos and video from the journey. Here are the best bits!
Best viewed in HD!
All photos and video taken with a Canon 5D Mark IV, Go Pro Hero 2018 and DJI Phantom 4 Pro, and edited in Final Cut Pro X