Tahaa to Bora Bora, Snorkeling Adventure, Flying A Drone Off A Sailboat, Shark Fishing-Sort Of Anyway
North American/Tahitian Tour
I woke up at about 3 a.m., to a completely soaked bed.
The rain had come down and leaked onto my side of the bed. My legs and rear end were soaking wet and I was miserable. I got up, dried off tried to lay down on the couch upstairs. It was like sleeping on a rock.
I got a little sleep but not much.
We all got up about 6 a.m., and prepped the boat for the trip to Bora Bora. We could see the salt spray was so high that it looked like fog. The waves had built to about 10-15 feet. Coming through the pass was one of the hairiest things I’ve done in a long time.
The swells coming across were all in the 10-15 foot range and some of the crew went chumming. No names – Diane… We had a couple of hits on our trolling rods but didn’t bring in anything.
We pulled into the channel in Bora Bora and out of the huge swells. We found a perfect spot to drop the hook in about 5 foot of water. After a quick lunch Kim, Dave and I took the dingy way out to the reef. The snorkeling was pretty good and I saw a bunch of cool Tropical fish and also some giant clams, still babies but destined to be giants. We swam behind the boat until we all were turning into prunes and then we made dinner.
Now the weather was perfect and it was time to fly my drone. I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous. I have never flown my drone over water, if it crashed, it was toast. Plus I have never flown my drone off the deck of a sailboat.
There were many things that could’ve gone wrong. There was little room for error. If on lift-off the drone veered all at to the right it would hit the lifelines on the boat, break a prop and crash in the water. If lift-off was good, I could hit the rigging and get the same result. Then there’s the landing. That would be tricky. I talked Frank into being my catcher. I couldn’t risk landing on the deck for it could bounce and crash. So Frank was the designated Drone Catcher. He was as nervous as I was I think. Lift-off was perfect. Straight up. I was in clear skies.
I only have 22 minutes of flight time but I didn’t wanna take any chances. I wasn’t sure of my range so I flew it over to a nearby sailboat, buzzed around a but and headed back for landing. Drones, have a auto-home landing button but since the sailboat sways with the wind tide, home could be in the water. So I had to manually fly it home. I was very careful and very deliberate.
As the drone approached I lowered the speed and inched in clover to Frank. Closer, closer and then as Frank reach out I lowered the the throttle again. Success! A perfect landing/catch!
We all jumped up and down and cheered and all grabbed celebratory Hinano Beers. My first over water flight. Thats what I came here to do and I was stoked!
I had my Campark Faux-Pro Camera attached to the drone and the 4k footage was just as good as a $500 GoPro. I couldn’t take a chance crashing with Kims Go Pro attached so I used the FauxPro that only costs $61.
I cooked up some of the tuna we bought in Huahini and I did it like a restaurant, seared on the edges and raw inside. I spiced it up with a little Slap Ya Mamma and served it with some soy sauce. It was a great little appetizer. Kim cooked up some ground beef and we made tacos. It was the perfect amount of food.
After dinner Bob and I rigged up an LED light he bought from Harbor Freight and we put it in a ziplock bag and tied some wrench too it to sink. We then tied a piece of the tuna carcass to a string and waited for the sharks. Sharks never came but plenty of smaller fish attacked the crap out of the tuna. I tried to film it but it was way too dark.
We went to bed pretty early knowing I had to perform at the world famous Bloody Marys the next day.
My Tour Tales is a regular blog post on the road from touring musician Eric Stone, who writes songs, sings and performs his music all over the world. He is currently in McCall, Idaho.
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