Apollo Bay Swimmers, Australian Native Birds, Aviation, Birds, Coastal Birds, Hang Gliding, MISCELLANEOUS, Ocean, Ocean Beaches, Ocean Coast, Ocean Swimming, Ocean Waves, Open Water Swimming, People, Poetry, Raptors, The Southern Coast of Australia, Waves, Wild Water Swimming
Humans have long dreamed of flying like a bird. That dream became a reality in the 1960s with the advent of hang gliding.
These photos of two hang gliding friends soaring over coastal cliffs and the shoreline of the Southern Ocean were taken last weekend at a location 240kms south-west of Melbourne Victoria.
These photos can be enjoyed without reading a single word in the captions and paras I have added.
The first stanza of the sonnet ‘High Flight’ written by John Gillespie Magee Jr at the age of 19. He was a Spitfire pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Phil’s landing approach
Bruce’s landing approach
Other flyers in the area
In the landing paddock
Just assembling this on my front lawn brought back some wonderful memories
In an earlier post on this blog I describe a few highlights from the years when I flew like a bird.
Times when I flew like a bird
Ocean Swimmers at Apollo Bay
Published by John Langmead
I was born in Perth Western Australia in July 1949.
I currently live in Apollo Bay Victoria.
View all posts by John Langmead
6 thoughts on “Hang Gliders and a Falcon Soaring over Coastal Cliffs; Apollo Bay Ocean Swimmers”
Nice work John, you’d be most welcome to return to hang gliding! Nice to see the wing on the front lawn. The photo of the ducks ought to be on the wall? Reminds me of grandma’s house, those ducks. Great shots. I’ll forward this to Phil and Bruce.
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Thanks Hughbert. As you know, assembling the glider on the front lawn is step one.
Sorry boys, but you’re far outshone by a mere duck!
We saw the shelduck when we were at Kalbarri many years ago and its close relative the Burdekin in the Yellow Waters but I’ve never seen them in the Otways
Wonderful shots that beautifully depict that subtle difference between male and female.
Thank you once again John. As always your photos brighten up my day.
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Thanks Richard. I’m very pleased to hear the photos brightened up your day. The shelducks certainly have an eye-catching colour scheme. And by the way, well done on having known about them for years. But the Litespeed, whether on the ground ready for flight or flying high, is also a thing of great beauty to my eye.
This post was a veritable smorgasbord. I had to check whether I’d unwittingly been diverted onto another post.
I’ve filed your droll remark “This would not be a good spot for a swim in a wetsuit” under “Flaxmans Hill”. I’m not surprised at all by the care and skill you observed in the gliders’ set up phase. For the uninitiated, how long would it take between pulling up in the car park and take off? You’ve captured their magic in words and images.
Thank you too for the introduction to High Flight. I was diverted to read the entirety of his captivating poem and thereupon read his tragic story. An Icarus variation.
I chuckled when I got to you pulling the toy out of the toy box. I love the inner child in you.
If conditions were obviously flyable and consistent, the time between pulling up in the car and feet leaving the ground in the hang glider could be as little as 20 minutes or so. The Litespeed is more complicated to assemble than my Fun 190 and so the task takes a little longer. Every hang glider must of course be assembled very carefully before flight, and given a thorough pre-flight check as well. The pilot must also do a hang-check to double check that his harness is clipped on to the hang straps. Then there is the matter of attaching a few instruments to the A-frame (altimeter/variometer, airspeed indicator, perhaps a GPS or even a GoPro). Most pilots also carry a UHF radio in flight.
But nothing in aviation has ever benefited from being rushed, except perhaps when Chuck Yaeger first broke the sound barrier in level flight in 1947.
An unhurried, methodical and uninterrupted assembly and pre-flight inspection is an essential prerequisite for a safe flight.
When conditions are variable, the time between completion of glider assembly etc and takeoff can be hours. This activity is sometimes referred to as hang waiting. At Flaxman’s Hill the wind was varying in strength for quite some time, and at one point there was a sprinkle or two as a light shower passed nearby. Eventually the conditions were just right and so the pilots took off. It is not unheard of to set up a glider with optimism, only to pack it up hours later without having left the ground because conditions were not suitable for flight.
‘High Flight’ is a moving poem, and all the more so when you know the circumstances in which it was written, as you now do.
Don’t you worry about the toy box Hunto! Endless fun on offer when that door slides up.