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Bering Sea in February

Letac

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Hi,

I'll likely spend 3-4 days on a large fishing vessel in the Bering Sea this February. Very excited by this prospect, but also uneasy, if not scared a bit. Bering sea in February, we've all seen the deadliest catch. Sure, there is no flying in those conditions, but if the weather allows for it, I'll fly (Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 3).

All of the questions I have, revolve around flying in bad weather, and taking off and landing on a moving vessel. So if you have experience taking off and landing on a moving vessel, please share any advice you have.

I've flown in windy conditions, but nothing extreme. What's the wind speed you'd feel confident flying in a Mavic 2 Pro?

Rain: have you ever flown in light rain? I land my drone at first sight of rain. My common sense is telling me that these little machines aren't made to fly in rain. Is that generally how you feel about it? It is very possible that it'll rain for all that time, meaning that I won't have a chance to fly at all, and these folks are paying me in part to do videos and stills for them.

And if there is something that is relevant for this scenario that I should have asked, please share it.

Thanks a lot!
 
@Letac ,its your choice of course ,but in as short an answer as i can give you ,please dont do it
why ,well for many reasons ,the biggest one being the conditions ,and the extreme likelihood that you are going to end up with your drone or drones lost or damaged, as well as possibly injury to yourself when trying to land or hand catch them on a moving boat ,and finally dont forget it wont be rain that will be your biggest enemy but the salt laden sea spray that will just love destroying the innards of your drones electronics
 
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Have a good and safe trip. 35 years ago i was offered a spot as the Deckeneer (i had at the time my 3AE unlimited license) on a fishing boat. i asked if all the boats that go out come back in and was told most of them. i was ready to go but my wife (at the time) said no. Enjoy the trip and send video from calm days if you can
 
@Letac ,its your choice of course ,but in as short an answer as i can give you ,please dont do it
why ,well for many reasons ,the biggest one being the conditions ,and the extreme likelihood that you are going to end up with your drone or drones lost or damaged, as well as possibly injury to yourself when trying to land or hand catch them on a moving boat ,and finally dont forget it wont be rain that will be your biggest enemy but the salt laden sea spray that will just love destroying the innards of your drones electronics
;) Believe I am concerned, especially with landing. That's my biggest fear. But this is an opportunity that's reaaaaly hard to say no to, even at the cost of having my gear damaged. It won't be worth it if my drones dive in, but destroyed drone(s) is fine as long as I save my footage. Interestingly, I lost one Mavic 2 Pro several years ago to the ocean. Had an accident literally 2 seconds before I was about to land after shooting footage for a client for over an hour. And because the weather forecast called for overcast and rain, I knew that I couldn't reshoot it for a loooong time. So 8 days later I hired a diver in hope that I could recover my footage. Another $200 and 20 minutes later, a diver located the drone 80-ft down. And just as I was hoping for, the footage on my SanDisk card survived. I recovered everything! Not that anything like that can happen in the Bering Sea ;-). I'd need to hire a Jacques Cousteau for that one.


Try the crab omelet at Amelias if you get into Dutch.
Will do. Dutch is our starting point, once we land there. I hear that landing into Dutch can be an adventure in itself ;-)


Have a good and safe trip. 35 years ago i was offered a spot as the Deckeneer (i had at the time my 3AE unlimited license) on a fishing boat. i asked if all the boats that go out come back in and was told most of them. i was ready to go but my wife (at the time) said no. Enjoy the trip and send video from calm days if you can
Thumbswayup My wife is encouraging me to go. Not sure how to interpret that ;-)
 

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As you are doing this and filming / photographing at the boat owners request, it should be possible to get the cooperation needed . . . if you were merely a deckhand that wanted to do this off your own back, yeah it'd possibly be messy and hard to achieve flights.

Hopefully you will get some nicer days / hours in that 3 or 4 day window, little wind or weather at times, so trust you get some great footage for the owner, and enjoy the experience.

* Hand catching / launching from a boat, check out some off the many threads here in the past, many regarding commercial boats / ships . . . try this quick search link below, or try some keywords yourself like boat take off land deck catch etc . . .


* Light rain, many fly ok in light rain / mist, the motors are pretty ok with that . . . but anything that will really wet, or even heavy rain, it might be worth looking at @Phantomrain.org wetsuits, search that on the forum too, or look at his (Coal's) posts via his member page.

phantomrain also has a kind of raft apparatus, supposedly to allow landing / take off on calm water, but can assist in drone recovery in the event of a water crash.
Personally, I feel pontoons etc just reduce flight times too much, difficulties with wind resistance, make flight in any sort of wind just so much more risky.

You might want to google search GetterBack though, made for drone recovery option . . .

Amazon.com: Customer reviews: GetterBack Depth Activated Underwater Recovery System

Thumbswayup My wife is encouraging me to go. Not sure how to interpret that ;-)

Check if your life insurance has been 'topped up', lol.
 
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Bearing Sea Adventure : The Mavic 2 is perfect for this type of Extreme flying.

You will need the Mavic 2 Wet Suit to protect your drone from the Salt Spray and the Rescue Jacket will give you a Safe and Secure way to retrieve your Drone back to the Boat.

This is good video on how well your Mavic 2 can do when geared up for the Bearing Sea when its a wreck out there.



Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain. Land on the water and survive the Bearing Sea:
 
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Your list of concerns should be more than the weather. Wind, schmind, your biggest challenge is going to be the constant and unpredictable movement of the boat. It'll help (that's putting it mildly) if you can get the boat to STOP and (try to) hold its position while you land, but even then, with the engines idling, you are going to have some current (maybe a lot) - at least current is somewhat predictable and often consistent. What's not consistent (and what I think will be extremely difficult to deal with) is the random movement of the boat due to wave action. You really will want a very (unusually) calm day. With any kind of swells at all, a controlled landing may be next to impossible.

Be very careful (for yourself first, not so much for the drone, that's a secondary consideration). The deck of a ship in the Bering Sea is a dangerous place to be even when you can give all your attention to not having an accident. To try and land a drone on that ship, you will need to "spend" a lot of your mental bandwidth (and attention) to try and avoid a crash (remember, there will be lots of lines, wires and other gear up in the air and in your way, not to mention large parts of the ship's structure). Lots of slip/trip hazards, and everything will be went/slippery. You may want to ask someone to simply keep their eyes on YOU to alert you if you are about to step in a hole, trip over something or otherwise have an accident as you focus your attention on flying and not crashing the drone.

Good luck.
 
Do not set LOS to RTH as you will most likely be moving. Set to Hover to back go to the drone instead, this is again where the Rescue Jacket comes in handy in case it runs out of power and lands anyway. If hand catching or deck landing it's helpful to fly in reverse when close so drone moves same as your stick movements. Might practice from bed of slow moving pickup. Good luck.
Capt KO
 
When you get home you are going to want to get the salt residue off the drone. No matter what there will be salt residue on the drone. Maybe some of the people on here can give you some helpful advice how to do this without destroying the drone. I would use 90% alcohol or greater and wipe it down but I could be wrong.
 
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Hi,

I'll likely spend 3-4 days on a large fishing vessel in the Bering Sea this February. Very excited by this prospect, but also uneasy, if not scared a bit. Bering sea in February, we've all seen the deadliest catch. Sure, there is no flying in those conditions, but if the weather allows for it, I'll fly (Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 3).

All of the questions I have, revolve around flying in bad weather, and taking off and landing on a moving vessel. So if you have experience taking off and landing on a moving vessel, please share any advice you have.

I've flown in windy conditions, but nothing extreme. What's the wind speed you'd feel confident flying in a Mavic 2 Pro?

Rain: have you ever flown in light rain? I land my drone at first sight of rain. My common sense is telling me that these little machines aren't made to fly in rain. Is that generally how you feel about it? It is very possible that it'll rain for all that time, meaning that I won't have a chance to fly at all, and these folks are paying me in part to do videos and stills for them.

And if there is something that is relevant for this scenario that I should have asked, please share it.

Thanks a lot!
Check out the channel by DC Rainmaker where he tests all the DJI drones in extreme wind conditions.
 
Some really good options in this post too:

One thing I wonder, is why wouldn't you throw down a big blanket folded, or a couple coats on the deck, try to get within a foot or two of that and just kill the motors? Don't try this on my advice, lets see what the experts say, but wonder if it wouldn't be safer on your hands, and drone (if you were to drop it with a hand catch gone wrong).
 
When you get home you are going to want to get the salt residue off the drone. No matter what there will be salt residue on the drone. Maybe some of the people on here can give you some helpful advice how to do this without destroying the drone. I would use 90% alcohol or greater and wipe it down but I could be wrong.
Water is best to used to rinse off any ocean residue be it sand or salt.

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain.

Yes just a microfibre cloth with warm water should be fine, maybe a little detergent mix, wring out cloth really well till nearly dry, wipe over.
Repeat to rinse until happy with results.
 
Thanks again to everyone for this invaluable information. My trip got pushed to March, and I am happy about it. The weather should be better, and after reading up on the issues with landing primarily, I'm glad I'll have more time to think about it and practice the best I can on land. Attached is a picture of the boat I should be on. It's a large vessel - 260 ft/80 m - which may be a good thing in terms of significant real estate to land on, but harder to get the captain to stop it.
 

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Thanks again to everyone for this invaluable information. My trip got pushed to March, and I am happy about it. The weather should be better, and after reading up on the issues with landing primarily, I'm glad I'll have more time to think about it and practice the best I can on land. Attached is a picture of the boat I should be on. It's a large vessel - 260 ft/80 m - which may be a good thing in terms of significant real estate to land on, but harder to get the captain to stop it.
That doesn't look like no fishin' vessel! I'm going to guess that the drone itself is considered disposable on this mission, providing that you get your footage. It sounds like a good time to me, good luck and hope all goes well.
 
id be looking at a net type recovery. Something you can just come and a fly into as a last resort. You have said that you are not overly worried about drone damage and want your footage. Spare props will be handy as these will be rough landings, but they will have highest likelyhood of success on a boat in rough seas. Turn off all your collision avoidances and just crash land into net

Its pretty much what we do with the scan eagle, fly it onto the catch line
 
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That doesn't look like no fishin' vessel!
;) It's a trawler, pretty new, and does look like an awesome boat for sure! I was relieved when I saw the photo, although this ship has turned once on its side in a hurricane.

id be looking at a net type recovery. Something you can just come and a fly into as a last resort. You have said that you are not overly worried about drone damage and want your footage. Spare props will be handy as these will be rough landings, but they will have highest likelyhood of success on a boat in rough seas. Turn off all your collision avoidances and just crash land into net

Its pretty much what we do with the scan eagle, fly it onto the catch line

That's really funny. I swear I was thinking about that scenario if I couldn't land it normally. Glad to hear that it's actually used. I would rather not lose my drone, of course, but the footage is what people are paying me for. The insurance will pay for the drone and that sucks, but I don't want to disappoint the client. I always carry spare props, and I have prop guards, so I'm good there.
 
this is a bigger version, but a smaller setup shouldnt be too difficult to setup with some small PVC tubing
netcatch.jpeg


or something as small as this
 
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