St. John must be proud

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We got up, left Amsterdam, cruised through some locks, it was beautiful, blah, blah, blah.  But that’s not what this post is about.

img_3959We docked at small, quiet, and sort of quirky St. Johnsville marina and popped into town.

img_3963St. Johnsville was founded in 1725 by Jacob Zimmerman, who may or may not share  a family tree with Steve Zimmerman, who provided great service work on Misty Pearl, and with Steve Zimmerman, whose daughter attended elementary school with Shannon.  In fact, based on our experience and knowledge Jacob may the only Zimmerman in history who isn’t named Steve.   But that’s not what this post is about.

During some down time, Doug flew the drone around town and then down to the dock.  And right into a real tree.  Rather than look at the track on the phone to see where said tree was located, the better plan seemed to be assuming the crash site was across the river, waking Brent (Second Wave) from his nap for help, jumping on the personal bicycles graciously offered up by the marina, and riding into the woods with no idea where to look.  Dumb plan.

The good news:  after looking at the flight path, it was obvious the tree in question was next to the marina.   That beautiful tree at the top of this post.  Even better news:  eagle-eye Brent spotted a tiny red light.

The really bad news:  the red light was about 60 feet off the ground, in a completely unclimbable tree.  Time to panic, because it seemed very unlikely that Dana would authorize buying another drone.

img_3987But wait.  While walking through town earlier, we had seen the Fire Department doors open and volunteers working a fundraiser.  Why not go up and ask for help?  Maybe they have a device specially made for retrieving drones after morons crash them way up high.  Off on the bicycle and back to town, only to find nobody around.  Oh crap.

The three guys sitting outside the market were not firemen and had no ideas about drone rescue.  One of them suggested calling it in as an emergency, because someone probably would respond.  That seemed a bit dramatic.  And potentially criminal.  The more helpful guy noted that down two streets, left on Washington, in the yellow house on the right, lives Chris Weaver, the Fire Chief.  He might be home.

Knock, knock.  Who’s there?  Dumbass.  Dumbass who?  Dumbass Doug.  Not only was Chief Weaver home, he already was relaxing with his family.  One logically might have expected him to explain that a drone in a tree was not really his problem.  Instead he immediately said he would put on shoes and come check out the situation.

img_3975Thirty minutes later the fire truck rolled up to the marina with an extension ladder, a chain saw, and a long pike.  Shannon Whiteman, Alex Countryman, and Fred Doxtader came to help as well.  After some discussion about strategy, up went the ladder and up went Chief Weaver.  One slip and he would be visiting with St. John and Jacob Zimmerman immediately.

Down came the drone, with only a smashed battery and broken propeller.  Down came Chief Weaver with nothing smashed or broken.  Amazing.

We left the Fire Department with a donation for their fundraiser and with our gratitude.  We won’t be forgetting the good folks of St. Johnsville, N.Y.

As for the drone video we recovered, here you go:

6 thoughts on “St. John must be proud”

  1. Doug – when do you think you’ll be going through the Buffalo area? I’ll be up there for the 4th.

    1. Hi Scott. I’d love to show you the boat, but we are not going to Buffalo. We are ducking up the Oswego Canal to Lake Ontario in the next few days, then across into Canada for a few weeks. I hope all is well.

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