Drones get a bad rap, what with the killing people. Even offering to deliver our Amazon packages hasn’t really endeared them to most of us (although taco delivery did a lot to salvage drones’ reputation). But there’s nothing inherently evil about unmanned flying vehicles, and this video footage proves it.
A drone took this video, which shows an astonishing dolphin stampede followed by heartwarming footage of a mother whale with her baby. It took a human — Captain Dave Anderson of Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari in Dana Point, Calif. — to edit it together, but he’s giving the drones a lot of credit:
This is the most beautiful and compelling five minute video I have ever put together. I learned so much about these whales and dolphins from this drone footage that it feels like I have entered a new dimension! I have not been this excited about a new technology since we built our underwater viewing pods on our whale watching boat. Drones are going to change how we view the animal world. Wow!
It was a heart-pumping experience, according to the YouTube info:
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.
But it all turned out OK, with spectacular footage and a slight improvement for drones’ public image.