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Dana Point Captain Captures Epic Drone Footage of So Cal Dolphins and Whales

Wow, talk about an epic video.  Captain Dave Anderson runs a dophin and whale watching business out of Dana Point.  He is also a photographer and filmmaker.  With the use of drone technology, he has produced a short flim featuring a large pod of dolphins off the coast of Dana Point, a gray whale migration off the coast of San Clemente, and a humpback whale and her calf off the coast of Maui.  The video has gone viral and been featured on such sites as National Geographic, which reports:

Captain Dave Anderson, of Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari in Dana Point, California, regularly revs up his inflatable to go in search of marine mammals to film. When he finds them, he launches his GoPro-equipped, remote-controlled drone—at about 2.8 pounds, it looks like a toy helicopter—to capture moving images you could never see from the boat.

Below is the video as posted on YouTube:


According to the YouTube description:

Capt. Dave had to film this off a small inflatable boat, launching and catching the quadcopter drone by hand where a miss could mean injury to him from the four propeller blades or loss of the drone. He actually lost one drone on takeoff when it nicked his small VHF radio antenna on the 14 foot rigid inflatable he was filming from and it went into the water. Alone six miles offshore Capt. Dave , without thinking , dove into the cold, late-January waters off Dana Point to retrieve the valuable footage taken on a flight a half hour earlier that morning. “I had my hat and glasses on, I was fully clothed with long-johns on to keep warm and my cell phone and wallet in my pocket,” Captain Dave explained. “It was a stupid move, but the copter started sinking so fast it was my only hope to get the amazing footage I had just shot”. Since then he has attached flotation to the skids, which would save the footage, but every flight over the water still risks the DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter with a small GoPro HERO3 Black camera on it, as the $1,700 rig is not waterproof and the skids will not keep it upright on the ocean.

Capt. Dave also assures viewers that the dolphins and whales were not impacted in any way, and all laws were complied with in the making of this film.  Watch the video and read the extensive description here.

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