Ok, so you’ve all been seeing these blog posts over the past few months with this guy, Ryan, featured prominently. He’s a dear friend who lived in the same marina back in San Diego, until his life underwent (and is still undergoing) some significant changes. He decided he needed some time away and showed up in Mexico on or about February 7, 2017. He’d planned to stay just a couple of weeks, starting out on Thad and Kristin’s She’s No Lady in La Cruz, then eventually joining us aboard Free Luff. When he arrived, T/K were off SNL for an extended visit to Canada, so he had some time alone to contemplate life, which really meant getting to know his new drone. It wasn’t long before the new drone took a swim in the marina waters – unfortunately, the result of a software glitch – but Ry still got some great footage and, hence, had more time to think about his future. When T/K returned a few days later (we had already departed to go south to explore the Costalegre), they slipped the lines with Ry as crew, and headed our way.
We overlapped with SNL for a quick couple days in Chamela, then they continued on to Barra de Navidad to connect with Jenn and Jason aboard S/V Danika, and we returned to Banderas Bay. As SNL traveled down the coast, Ry was aghast at what he was missing sans the drone. So as soon as they got to Barra, we devised a way for him to get a new one delivered to him in Mexico. Yep, as luck would have it, Rand’s bro and sis-in-law were coming for a visit in early March! With the plan in place, Ry took the bus up from Barra to Puerto Vallarta and joined us aboard FL with a new, upgraded drone in hand. He was with us since then (with the exception of a short trip to Florida to celebrate his dad’s 70th and some time aboard Tom and Barb’s S/V Ellie), and documented our travels in a way that we never thought possible.
Ryan returned to the states on June 1, 2017, so we thought it appropriate to dedicate a post to him as one of the easiest crew members ever, but also to his amazing talents as a photographer (check out his website, Fritzsche Fotographi, to get blown away) – not only stills (Nikon), but drone footage as well. First, as crew, Ry was perfectly low maintenance. Sometimes we didn’t even know he was there. The only way we could tell was by the energy consumption on the boat (drone, computer, and phone batteries, and fan in the cabin). Oh, and by the Nutella consumption, too. We went through four large jars and multiple rows of Maria galletas in less than a month. Jody is now on a Nutella fast. Here are a few words to describe our time with Ry: drone, fishing, Nutella, ice cream, coffee, reading, napping, drone, forgetting the towel, forgetting the dinghy key, forgetting the swim ladder, drone, fishing, napping, mangoes, Nutella, ice cream, drone, fishing, napping. That about sums it up.
As an artist, Ry spent an inordinate amount of time flying the drone, charging the batteries, and then processing videos. This literally takes hours – to review and edit the desired clips, then to select music and match it up – one has to be very focused and dedicated to the craft. And most of it was done below in his cabin so he could see the screen on his crappy laptop! Hopefully, he’ll get a new laptop soon so he doesn’t have to spend so much time in dark places.
He’s equally as fabulous a still photographer and seemed to prefer night photography to anything. So, at each anchorage, after scoping out the lay of the land and figuring out from which vantage point he could get the most interesting shots, he’d go ashore at sunset and hike to his preferred spot and settle in. He’d usually return to the boat after we’d sacked out, take a cruiser shower, and count the cuts and bruises on his legs from the vicious and unrelenting vegetation on land. But boy was it worth it. When you get a moment, check out the gallery of his photos, stream the vids below, AND visit his website. You will be glad you did. Here’s to you, Ry. We miss you madly!
But first, check out some photos of Ry in front of the camera rather than his work from behind it. Some are repeats from other posts, but fun to see again, for sure. Also, a video of his exit interview with the crew of FL and a summary vid.
Now for Ry’s still gems – you can probably tell which are from the drone 😉 :
And now, a few of the vids – some are repeats from other posts, but always spectacular to view over and over again. Also, click here to go to Ry’s YouTube channel; however, some of the vids are unlisted because of copyright concerns with the music. We’ve included the links to those here. Enjoy – over and over again.