June 10, 2017

Droning Boy: Shek O

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It's been waaaaay too long since the last time I went to fly my drone, thanks to a combination of poor weather, hangovers, and just plain laziness.  So I was really looking forward to getting in some flying time this weekend when it looked like both days were gonna be bright and sunny.  And sure enough, the sky looked very, very blue when I got up this morning.

This time around I got off the bus at the right stop at To Tei Wan (土地灣), and had a fairly easy hike up to the top.  I knew exactly where I wanted to shoot, so I didn't really waste any time hiking along the top of the Dragon's Back.  I pretty much just stayed in one spot overlooking Shek O (石澳).

Full-length video in 4K is here.

I had charged my batteries overnight, and I had made sure to update my firmware a couple of weeks ago so that I don't get caught needing to update it on top of the ridge again... and guess what?  DJI comes out with another firmware update for the Mavic Pro.  Bloody hell.  So once again I'm up at the top of Dragon's Back, trying to download firmware via my cell connection, and getting sunburned like an idiot.

After taking off from one of the big rocks at the vantage point, I sent the drone towards Shek O Village, making sure I fly over Shek O Beach.  The colors of the water were absolutely stunning.

I made a couple of passes back and forth over the beach, but I was a little weary because I kept getting messages about a "visual system error".  This meant that obstacle avoidance and optical assistance for landing weren't really functioning.

When it came time to get the drone back, I switched to manual landing as there were people around me who seemed oblivious to the fact that a drone was overhead.  I also didn't want to land on the ground and get sand all over the drone like I did last time, so I dropped the drone down to about eye level and attempted to hand-catch it with one hand - while trying to shut down the props with the remote in my other hand.  Success!

With the third flight I flew it over Shek O Country Club again, dropping it down and getting a closer look.  I also got a good view of Big Wave Bay from afar.

I was pretty happy with the footage I got over 3 flights, and I needed to go back and freshen up before joining the grand opening party of my friend KC Koo's new studio, so I headed back down without draining my fourth battery.  There's always another day...


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