Video: Bringing Galapagos Home

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For my birthday, Melissa gave me a GoPro camera so that we might record our trip bringing Galapagos home to her berth in Tacoma.  While I am still getting the hang of using the camera, I hope you will enjoy this video I put together showing a bit of our departure from Astoria and our arrival in Tacoma (with a bridge lift and docking three times!)

The song, Solsbury Hill  by Peter Gabriel, has been in my brain ever since I realized that Melissa and I were actually going to pull this off. Our hearts have been going boom, boom, boom since November as we have worked to bring this boat to life and make her ours.

This video could bog down on slower connections. If you have any other issues or suggestions for helping me make better videos with the GoPro, by all means, comment below.

46 thoughts on “Video: Bringing Galapagos Home

  1. Very nice job on the video. I am looking forward to more as you get the hang of the camera. I am thinking of getting one and hoping the learning curve is not to steep. Great job on the music selection and NICE DOCKING TEX!!!

    • The docking is coming along nicely. I think there always will be a little anxiety but just a little and enough to keep you on your toes.

      I really like the GoPro but the interface is quite spartan unless you have an IPhone and use the App to control it. Also the battery life is something you must be aware of, especially if you use the WiFi and an IPhone to control the camera. There are a number of tutorials on YouTube to help sort out the many settings and adjustments.

      • Yes, The Go Pro is kinda wonky like that. We never turn on wifi and just set the video to either 3 second time lapse or the 740 video. The HD video will drain your battery so fast. You just get the settings right and leave it. If you want to stop recording you just press the top button. In short we control the camera on the camera and not by phone, it’s just not practical for long run times.

  2. Fabulous to see you doing this!! Love the video…and you sailed right into where I was born, raised and schooled! Sailed the waters of Puget Sound with my family. Congratulations on your journey! Looking forward to seeing more… and the day when our hearts too, will go “boom, boom, boom”!! Fair winds and following seas!

    • The GoPro is a lot of fun. Be sure to give yourself some time to play with the various modes before you try to record something important. I did not really have a lot of time to learn how to optimize the camera before we left. Check out the the YouTube tutorials to learn more.

  3. Fantastic!! The music is perfect. I’m struggling with the internet bandwidth required and could only watch the first minute. There are tools (like Freemake) you can use to create more compressed videos by managing the resolution, pixeel size, frame speed, etc. to get it to an easier-to-stream level at a set of parameters you can live with.

    • Thanks Behan, The music really makes the video.

      One of my next tasks is to figure out how low I can go in video quality for the web in an effort to make the video smaller. The entire video was about 250 meg which I further compressed using a bit of software called HandBrake. As you discovered, the file is still a bit too large.

  4. Great job with the video. Possibly a new found career! What a wonderful feeling it must be to have worked so hard and now the reward!

    • Sorry about that. I actually have used my Nikon Waterproof camera for other sailing videos but the GoPro is a good bit more convenient and it has a nice wide angle. The WiFi connection is really handy for placing the camera where it has a good view. You can then use your IPhone to control the camera. Do be aware of the battery life though. I had to recharge our camera at a few inconvenient times during the trip.

    • Don,

      For the initial editing, I used the GoPro Studio Software. I am not sure if this is obvious, but this video is actually a series of photos taken two seconds apart. I thought this would be a more efficient way to record a large span of time but I am not sure that is true.

      At any rate, the GoPro Studio allowed me to order the files, create titles and perform fade in/out functions. Most important, I was able to lay the music track into the video.

      After I had the video structured the way I wanted, I converted it to HD quality MP4 and the file size was too large, Over 400 meg. In hindsight, I think I may have been able to reduce the size in the GoPro Studio App but instead I downloaded a tool called HandBrake which allowed me to set filters and maximum screen resolutions. That allowed me to reduce the 400 meg file to about 67meg. Still large but doable for most folks with a broadband connection.

      • Thanks Michael: I have the original GoPro without the WiFi, and dread trying to understand the settings to use it. Didn’t know about GoPro. Have used HandBrake in other apps.
        Regards, Don

        • I imagine the GoPro without WiFi would be pretty limiting. My old eyes can barely make out the text on that tiny display. Without the WiFi I would hope you can get longer recording times.

  5. Guys, SO happy for you! Was so great see the video journey; you’re definitely on your way, now! And, Melissa, congratulations on the docking experience–I remember your apprehension, then growing confidence. I knew you could do it! Always loved that song–perfect fit for your video!

  6. My heart was “booming” right along with the music and I loved every second of the video! It’s a privilege to be part of this momentous occasion by viewing the sail home from Astoria to Tacoma! I am thrilled! You made it look easy. Hugs and love all around!

  7. Awesome! Honestly so excited for you two finally having her home! It is life in the making…All the planning, dreaming, slow selling of Moonrise, viewing other boats and even putting an offer on one now all funnels down to this, Mike and Melissa sail a 47 boat to their home port. That boat will take you almost ANYWHERE!

    And Bravo, Bravo on the docking, you made it look like a car. You are just going to better at handling her now with practice.

    Great Music and fun video, we love our GoPro.

    • Thanks Dani. The idea for the video came from you guys. I really liked your mast raising video ( and thought it was a good way to compress what can be a lot of boring footage into something interesting. After getting our GoPro, I assumed you you used the time lapse mode and that is what I used for this video (at two seconds per photo) I need to play with the video modes more and see if I can find one that is not too large.

  8. Oh yeah, sorry, I meant to tell you that it would probably be faster to upload the video to a You Tube channel and embed the video. We don’t upload any pictures or videos to the blog directly as it can slow things down. We use Photobucket and You Tube and just link it.

    • Dani,

      Normally I would have uploaded the video to Youtube but as I was using a song that is copyrighted, I was worried it would get taken down. I do provide credit to Peter Gabriel for the music but I doubt the lawyers at YouTube would approve.

      In your Mast Stepping video, I see that you used music that allowed them provide a link to purchase. Essentially you were advertising there music. How did you work that?

      • Mike,
        For every video we just upload it as is and hope they approve it, lol. The song is usually recognized and they do whatever with the ads to allow us to have it on there. I HATE ads, but have no control over them on You Tube, unless I learn to play some instruments.

        In short, its automatic.

  9. Hello Melissa and Mike,
    Welcome back to Tacoma! I have recently found your blog through Three Sheets. Turns out we have many things in common – recently purchased big boat, Tacoma mooring, kids at WWU, husband Michael and lots of plans for future sailing!
    We are s/v Elsa, currently at Hylobos. We will keep an eye out for you this summer when we get our sails back on and are able to sail!
    Best wishes to you!
    Kristin Johnson

    • Hi Kristin and welcome to the blog! It does seem like we have lots in common. Are you a member of Women Who Sail, a private facebook group for women boaters? If not and you’d like to join this very active group, I will send you an invite. What kind of boat did you buy? And a kid at WWU! We will be keeping our eyes peeled for you. Perhaps we can meet out at an anchorage somewhere.

      • Hi Melissa,
        I am not on FB, but I have heard of that group and thank you for offering an invite. If there are other ways to connect with the group, I would like to hear about them. We bought an Ingrid 38. We are so excited! The running rigging is being reassembled so we plan on sailing mid-August. And then yes, it would be fun to meet up and join the cruising community!
        Enjoyed your blog and hope the rest of your summer goes smoothly!

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