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Posted by on Jan 16, 2013 in Blog, Video

Southsea Sky Surfing

Over the sea, not in it, please.

It’ s cold out, but I’ve got a hat, and thermal socks that go up to my knees. We’re on the South Coast, just down a bit from South Parade Pier…

This was my plan…

It won't be easy flyings, and it's cold enough that I'll definitely die if I go in the sea to retrieve it...

It won’t be easy flyings, and it’s cold enough that I’ll definitely die if I go in the sea to retrieve it…

As you can see, the green ‘safe area’ is rather smaller than the red danger areas. The orange bits are where I definitely won’t be overflying. The yellow bit is where I’ll be mostly flying with caution, and the blue and white arrows are showing wind at different speeds and heights. Note the wind is unhelpful in almost every way.

A cold day at the beach, earlier.

A cold day at the beach, earlier.

Today was full of adventures… a lot of wind, a lot of sea, one RTH, one home lock return, and lots of people watching – if you’re reading this now, hello ! :)

I’m specifically here to do a little lens-to-lens spy action on Portsmouth-cam.co.uk, who have a camera mounted a short way down from South Parade Pier.

This is me.

Aerocam 1.3 Skycrane, in the sky, recently.

Aerocam 1.3 Skycrane, in the sky, recently. Thanks to John Moore for that one…

I was conscious of the fact that whenever I film in Southsea I seem to forget to go skimming along the breakers as they meet the beach. Today was not the day to be remedying that, as there was a hefty cross-wind blowing at 45 degrees to the beach, which made getting slow, smooth footage very very difficult. But you know me, I tried anyway, and got somewhere, even if it’s still quite a way from ideal. Maybe we can enhance it with a tense soundtrack ? Yes, we’ll do that.

God shows us where the treasure is... Too far to swim to, that's for sure, and I didn't have Special Assistant M to retrieve it for me or use as a raft.

God shows us where the treasure is… Too far to swim to, that’s for sure, and I didn’t have Special Assistant M to retrieve it for me or to use as a raft.

Occasionally the wind let up and smoothness returned, but I’m afraid this is another one that’s going to have to stand or fall on what de-shake does with it, as even the higher panoramic stuff was getting caught in crosswind too…

Up, like that film with the balloons. Except faster.

Talking of which, at one point I was hovering at about 380 ft, tracking round on a real helicopter flying 100 ft below me and 2000ft toward to the sea when the wind suddenly grabbed me sharply upwards, and no amount of throttle drop from me was making any difference. I guess this swept me up to around 700 ft judging by my position and size relative to the Spinnaker Tower (although this is skewed due to the GoPro2’s semi-fish-eye lens).

See if you can spot the real helicopter in the pic below. It’s very small.

The pyramid centre there was built to appease the sun god Ra, I assume.

The pyramid centre. Probably a James Bond style secret base underneath it.

Wasn’t up there long though – wasted as much energy as I could full forward, and throttle to 20%, and a minute later the wind let her go and I could descend normally. After that it was all the ground / wave action, which had the added excitement of additional risk to the GoPro, now mounted not in its waterproof case. Waves were surprisingly active at times, so I went as low as I dared, which wasn’t very, if I’m honest. The sea was very cold.

Right – enough from me – gotta go plan Friday’s aerial excitement…