April 9, 2017

Droning Boy: the Dragon's Back

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Now that I've started to hike in order to fly my drone, and the weather seems to have gotten better, I decided to go for another outing this weekend.  This time I set off for familiar ground, although it has been more than a decade since I last went onto the Dragon's Back.  The weather today wasn't as bright and sunny as yesterday, and I kinda regret not going droning right after leaving the Hong Kong Sevens.  Oh well...

I got Hello Kitty to come along with me today, and we decided to take the Number 9 Bus from Shau Kei Wan and hopped off at Lan Nai Wan (爛泥灣).  This doesn't get us to the start of the Dragon's Back - which is the next bus stop of To Tei Wan (土地灣) - but this is where I've always started my hike on the Dragon's Back... ever since my very first hike back in 1995.

Unfortunately for Hello Kitty, this meant that instead of going up on a nice and easy paved path, we were taking a steeper, well-trodden dirt trail - while getting our arms and legs scraped by the vegetation.  It was also a little tough on someone whose shoes didn't have the right treads.

After a couple of pauses for breath while taking it kinda easy, we finally got to the top.  I took my DJI Mavic Pro out of the bag and started setting up.  That's when I got the message about a new firmware being available, and foolishly decided to upgrade.  I thought I had already upgraded a few days ago, but I figured it'd only take a few minutes so why not do it again.  Big mistake.

Maybe it was because the signal strength on top of the hill was relatively weak, but it took a loooong time to download the latest firmware.  But what was ridiculous was that it took even longer to install the firmware.  All in all, Hello Kitty and I sat around for about half an hour before the process was complete and I could start flying.

I started by flying towards Big Wave Bay (大浪灣).  The sun was hiding behind the clouds this afternoon, only peeking out occasionally, but at least the skies weren't gray.  Not surprisingly, the winds were fairly strong and I kept getting warnings from my drone.

I just love panning straight down and looking at the clear water below.  The weather was relatively warm although I don't know whether the water temperature was still cold.  That didn't seem to stop a few surfers getting their boards out...

Spending half an hour updating the firmware put a drain on the batteries, and fighting the wind didn't help, either... so I decided to call the drone home after about 11 minutes of flight time.  The battery had about 11% capacity left by the time it landed.

I sent the drone out again with a fresh battery, this time flying over the Shek O Country Club before going back to Big Wave Bay Beach again.

The beautifully manicured fairways and greens of the Shek O Country Club looked stunning from above, especially as it's located by the rocks.  Maybe next time I'll fly a little lower and get a closer look...

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