MAKING THE VIDEO'S AND CAPTURING THE FOOTAGE
Videos are taken from Roches Point light house at the entrance to Cork Harbour, the lighthouse is situated about 100ft above the cliffs, and gives a clear vantage point of the sea and harbour entrance. The harbour entrance can create some spectacular and dangerous seas, in wind over tide conditions the Atlantic swell meets an outgoing tide causing the waves to become very steep and break heavily at the mouth of the harbour, in storms Iarge waves can break continuously for 3-400 yds creating a carpet of foam. At the entrance is also the harbour rock, situated between the Channel buoys, and over this, when the waves are big (over 6m) the swells break. When taking the videos we are able to verify the wind speed with the weather station at Roches point, wave heights I verify with the Marathon gas platform 20nm of the coast If we are far offshore and the close Cork Harbour wave buoy approx 1 mile outside the entrance in deep water away from strong tidal influence. If the wave buoys are recording swell heights of 7m in deep water, those same swells will be more at the entrance in ebb tides when breaking over the Harbour Rock (we try to time the video to occur in the ebb to capture the worst conditions) There is such a huge difference in sea state between flood and ebb conditions at the harbour mouth that I estimate a force 6-7 blow with wind against a spring tide creates a worse and more dangerous sea state than a full force 8 gale offshore. As the ebb runs its cycle it creates eddies that move around the harbour mouth, creating spots where the overfalls and waves are worse. Wind direction plays a big part, the worst conditions occur in SE, S, and SSW, when it veers to the SW the seas go down, but it could still be blowing force 8 or 9. One point to bear in mind is that the waves never look so big from a high vantage point, but if you can't see the top of the boats mast when your 100ft above the sea, then you know that it was a big wave. From the boat conditions and motions can be extreme. When doing the videos, up to about force 8 you can actively, within reason look for the bigger waves, We trust the Interceptors abilities to be able to face these, and position the boat in a position to ride them. Above force 8 you have to look for the bigger seas and take them at a safe angle, force 9-10 can be can be pretty extreme to say the least, and the video we did in force 12 with hurricane wind speeds of 102kts certainly focused my mind! Occasionally a wave will appear that is over twice as big as the normal wave height, and on a couple of occasions we have caught this wave on video and have captured waves of close to 10m.
When opportunities allow and we have two vessels on sea trials, we can take some boat to boat footage using a hand held gyroscopic stabilizer, essential to capture shake free quality footage, this is a real challenge in storm force conditions due to the extreme on deck conditions both from wetness and motion. Multiple Gopros are also used and can capture some great close up onboard footage.
In recent years we have begun using drones to capture some amazing Ariel video. We use two drones, a DJI Phantom Vision II and a DJI Inspire. The inspire has proved capable of flying in surprisingly strong winds, and we have been able to launch and fly it out from Roches Point in 35kts of wind. Its difficult making headway out to the boat, but once their we have seen it fly downwind at 70mph! Still crashes are inevitable and we are currently on our 5th Phantom drone. However it’s worth the loss of a drone to be able to capture the amazing HD Ariel video when you consider the cost of hiring a helicopter with a stabilized HD video head…..