When the Clippers sailed by ...

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It was late afternoon and the sun was rapidly heading for bed. Under the last light and a wind that had just reduced from Gale Force an hour earlier, the fleet of Clipper 70s commenced the next leg of their Round the World Yacht Race – Hobart to Brisbane. Too late to get to the only land mass close to the Rhumb Line, I chose to take a chance at a local beach. They might just take a tack my way, to get round the last marker on Tasmania. All set I waited. Beside me a pair of Pacific Gulls paid curious interest to my activities. With eyes cast further upstream, intent on sighting the racing fleet, I was less curious of the Gulls.

Watching and waiting ...
Watching and waiting ...
Checking the pedicure ...
Checking the pedicure ...
Where are you !? ...
Where are you !? ...
Where have you been ?! ...
Where have you been ?! ...
Are you in trouble Dad? ...
Are you in trouble Dad? ...
Story time before bed ...
Story time before bed ...
And so to bed ...
And so to bed ...
Last check ....
Last check ....
Good night
Good night

It was only as the fleet neared and I tried a few experimental shots that the Gulls took flight and made half hearted efforts to make me move. Or were they trying to ‘bomb’ my shots? Either way they got my attention. Their aerial acrobatics in a wind that was pushing close to 30 knots and gusting above 45 knots were impressive. So too were the efforts, of the skippers, aboard their respective charges; listing at impressive angles that revealed almost half of the underside of their helms. They were again living Life on an Angle. Alas too far away to get anything worthwhile, I decided to have a play with the gulls. As the evening light turned to dusk they revealed their little secret....and the Clippers sailed by never making that hoped for tack.

Cover Photo Life on an Angle begins again - Courtesy of Mary Lincoln Start of Race 7 in the Round the World Yacht Race (Hobart to Brisbane) Derry – Londonderry-Doire, Keels dramatically in gusting winds as the Clipper 70s leave the Derwent River, Hobart.

Copyright: Rob Oates | BALLANTYNE Photography www.ballantynephotography.com