Dolphin Flight Fantasies

Longtime Readers might remember that flying the Hover Plover with the Dolphin was the #1 wish on the Drone Bucket List. It was one of those things I was most looking forward to in 2013.

It turns out to be incredibly technically challenging. We knew it would be rough when we lost a drone during the very first attempt to fly with the Dolphin this Summer. So many factors need to come together: wind conditions, wave conditions, humidity… then you need enough Dolphin, spottable from a far enough distance, just to get to them in time. Then, learning the skill to actually track them with the Hover Plover and keep them in frame took the practice discipline of an Olympic gymnast.

Yesterday it all came together and the Hover Plover actually flew with the Dolphin at sea for the first time… an experience that made my heart pound at Osprey-landing-on-the-head-of-a-whale levels.

That’s why it is so sad how lame the video is.  I’ve long had vivid Fantasies of what this video would look like. Dolphins leaping and throwing kisses at the camera… all of the excitement of the Kentucky Derby, Top Gun, and Sea World blended into a video smoothie.

I’ve decided to use the soundtrack (Earth, Wind & Fire) of what this video should be and not what it actually is. And as poor of a match as it is, I’ll probably keep using it until we get the Fly-With-The-Dolphin video of our dreams. In a way it is a perfect metaphor for Summer 2013. Always listening to the hope in our our hearts for the Summer we knew it could be while being forced to watch the less-than-perfect reality that it was.