Ian Pike noon, Dec. 8
In January of 2010, Todd emailed me to let me know that a real life Zeppelin called the "Eureka" would be flying into San Diego to cover the newly named Farmers Insurance Open. This was exciting enough, but I did not realize how cool this was until I learned about this giant 246 ft long airship run by a company in California called Airship Ventures. 246 feet is longer than a Boeing 747!
Todd's idea was to research the flight path of the airship during the week of the PGA tournament, and attempt to intercept it so I could take photographs. I must admit that I was somewhat doubtful at first, but the day of our departure arrived, and as we headed Westward toward Torrey Pines, I was amazed to see a giant airship in the distance.
It's really hard to describe what it is like circling a giant airship at 1100 to 1500 feet while shooting, changing lenses, and fighting air sickness, but my adrenalin overlooked all of that because the site of Eureka from the air over Scripps Pier and the Torrey Pines Golf Course was amazing. Todd had done very good research, and knew what altitude was safe, and more importantly, how to communicate with air traffic control while we circled.
The image below is actually several frames from my 50D digitally "stitched" together using a free software from Microsoft called ICE.
The really cool thing about this story is that this was to be the first of our Airship adventures. At the time of the Farmers Insurance Open, the airship company was running a photo contest on their blog.
So, as soon as we got back from our epic flight, I submitted some of the photos to Airship Ventures, and then we waited..and then we won! I was very excited about this because the winning prize was a coveted flight aboard Eureka.
I shall tell you more about the great zeppelin adventure in the next post.