Hawaii Sky-O

We return to the Big Island in a couple of days, and will be there and in Honolulu for about a month. Now, reading those words, you may think that our time in Hawaii consists of watching the sunset from our lanai as we sip absurdly sweet drinks with little paper umbrellas in them, or swimming among riotously multicolored fish in an azure tropical lagoon. And you know what? You’re exactly right! HAHAHAHAhahahahahaaheeeeeheeeee…..

Ahem. Sorry. The weather has been miserable in the Washington area for the past few weeks — snow, sleet, and Arctic cold — so I am feeling somewhat uncharitable about the fact that we are able to escape it. Pardon my schadenfreude. I will try and make it up to you with some cool photos. Speaking of which —

I hope that my photo reporting from the islands will have a new flavor this time: an aerial one. In preparation for this trip (and because I succumbed to a spasm of self-indulgence) I have purchased a snazzy drone with which I hope to take a lot of aerial photos and videos. The drone itself, for those of you interested in the details, is a DJi Mavic Pro. You can click the name to see all of its wonderful properties, but two of its most important ones for my purposes are (1) it shoots very high quality, rock-steady 4K video and 12 MP still images; and (2) it weighs only 740 grams (26 ounces) and folds up into a little rectangular brick that fits easily into a backpack. It has a 4-mile (7 km) range and can stay aloft for about 25 minutes.

Here are some shots (4 stills and a video) from its maiden flight, only a few days ago. You can tell at a glance that we are not living in a tropical paradise: this is an area called Kent Narrows, at the upper end of the Chesapeake Bay, where the one-word description of the environs is “icy”.

…And here are three minutes of video from the flight:

Cool, huh?

In the sacred tradition of guys anthropomorphizing their favorite toys, I have christened the drone Deneb, the brightest star in the constellation of Cygnus, the swan. Cygnus flies along the Milky Way during the northern hemisphere summer months, so it’s kind of apt. (Astronomical Fun Fact: Deneb, a.k.a. Alpha Cygni, is also one of the most luminous stars in our galaxy, roughly 100,000 times as luminous as the Sun. If it has planets, you could get a helluva tan.)

My good friend, travel buddy, and “dronemate” Steve, whose own purchase of an identical model filled me with envy and techno-lust and ultimately inspired my own purchase, has in Yoda-like fashion chided me for my attachment to ephemeral physical objects. This from a guy who named his drone “Icarus” and recently installed  a 10-foot-wide 4K video display in his living room that plays a continuous loop of swimming jellyfish.  Steve is my hero but I may have to slap him around a little. (If I can reach him: he’s about 6″ taller than me.)

I seem to be digressing. The point is, we are very excited about our return to Hawaii, so watch this space for some eye-in-the-sky photos and videos over the next several weeks. Aloha!

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Categories: Hawaii, US Mainland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Hawaii Sky-O

  1. Deb Black

    Oh, the things you’ll see! Needs a warning for those of us who suffer from vertigo 🙂

  2. Larry Rogers

    Of course our near 80 degrees is not to be boasted about. It would be unkind to those in winterlandia

    >

  3. Anonymous

    See you soon.

  4. Sherryl Frisch

    Hello
    Beautiful pictures. Hope no more alarms go off.
    Enjoy thawing out.
    All the best to both of you.
    Sherryl & David

  5. Jeanne Alexis Beatty

    Deneb, how very fine! Peter and I just had a great laugh about that because he (being an astronomer) recently christened my best friend Deb “Deneb” because of her brilliance… So glad you guys escaped the arctic blast; your photos will help to warm those of us back East in our parkas and boots…

  6. How lucky! Looking forward to some exotic drone footage (and Deneb’s a damn cool dame but for a guy with your background it was to be expected, Billy Ray would’ve been a lot more puzzling).

    Chesapeake Bay looks positively cold; by the way, how much is flood insurance on those lovely detached houses lining up that spit of land in photos no. 1 and 3? They look, ahem, ‘exposed’.

    Fabrizio

  7. Michie Bissell

    Hi! Keith sent me the pictures. So jealous as it’s been below freezing in New Orleans for three days!
    Have a wonderful trip, and I’d love to see more pictures. Oh! Love the name of the camera.
    Michie Bissell

  8. Hawaii welcomes you!!! Get out of the cold

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