Necker Island Blogging Bloopers


I’ve written a lot already about my trip to Richard Branson’s Necker Island.  If you’re new to the series, you can catch up with this post: Is Necker Island really worth 1.2 million miles?  Also check-out my Necker Island video playlist on YouTube:

In this post I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the behind the scenes stuff.  What was it like to Blog and Vlog from Necker Island?  And, more interestingly, what went wrong?

The Plan

During the trip to Necker Island, I didn’t want to get bogged down in writing.  I wanted to enjoy the trip after all!  But I did want to share my day by day experiences with readers.  So, I decided that the best option would be to record the trip on video, and share the video with readers each day.

For video editing, I contracted with my good friend and graphic designer and blogger and wife of Travel is Free blogger and cartoon character and video editor, Caroline Macomber:

Caroline Macomber, as drawn by Caroline Macomber

Our plan was simple: I would record most of the video on my phone and auto-upload it to the Cloud using DropBox. I shared my Camera Uploads folder with Caroline so that she could grab the videos for editing as soon as they were uploaded.  She would then produce one or more videos each day.  And, each night, I would write a simple blog post to display my photos and videos.  Those posts would be scheduled for the subsequent mornings for publication.

Overall, the plan worked very well.  WiFi on Necker Island was excellent, so it was never a problem uploading videos.  Caroline did have issues downloading videos when she tried to work from a hotel room, but luckily she wasn’t there long.

Of course, not everything worked as planned…

That time when I published everything upside down…

The biggest blooper of the week had to be when my daily newsletter went out with images upside down, like this one:


What happened?  It took me a while to figure it out.  When recording landscape video and photos, I always held my phone with the volume rocker on top.  This caused the camera to be on the bottom, and everything was recorded upside down. But, the iPhone is smart enough to encode the pictures and video with information about which way is supposed to be up.  So, when viewing the photos and videos, most software is smart enough to recognize that coding and it displays correctly.

When I loaded these photos into the WordPress visual editor, they appeared to be upside down.  The key is that they appeared to be upside down.  Had I published as-is, they would have been fine.  Instead, I used the WordPress editor to rotate the photos so that they appeared to be right-side up.  I then scheduled the post to publish in the morning and I went to bed.  And the rest was upside down history.

Now when recording photos or video, I always make sure that the volume rocker is on the bottom, and the camera on top.

That time I forgot to shoot video…

Video recording the trip was easy, but to preserve the privacy of other guests I tried to only record when no other guests would be in the scene.  And, more importantly, I only recorded when I remembered to.  Sometime in the middle of the trip, I started doing more forgetting than remembering.  After two fun filled days with very little video to show for them, I forced myself to write a simple post rather than link to non-existent video:  Top 5 reasons Necker Island may be worth 1.2 million miles.

That time I forgot to strap my camera to the scuba equipment…

I scuba dove twice that week.  The second time, I forgot to strap my underwater camera to my scuba equipment.  At the end of the dive, as I prepared to climb back into the boat, my little camera dove to the bottom.  You can have it, if you can find it…

That time I had the perfect photo op with Richard Branson…

Richard Branson with Frequent Miler

What could be better than a photo of Richard Branson flipping me off?  How about a video of him flipping me off and then choking me?  My wife tried to record it, but she backed up and fell over another guest. We got nothin’.

That time where I fumbled my words, and other video bloopers…

OK, I fumbled my words pretty much all the time.  Caroline mashed together some of the funny moments in the following video. Enjoy!

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Bryant Petitt

Great! Seems like all my travel videos are Bloopers tho!


Really like Caroline. Wish she would blog more! 🙂


Nice… good to see you having some fun (at your expense) with this! Most people shy away at showing this kind of info… but I think it adds a lot of value and speaks to your character. I do enjoy reading your blog because of this.


Only 46 seconds of bloomers? Where is the rest of the secret footage?