A long time ago (but not in a land far away) I was standing on the bridge wing of a Navy Destroyer after a surface-to-air gunnery exercise. The assisting aircraft asked permission to do a low pass after the exercise and started his run. I will never forget standing on the bridge wing and looking down at a jet screaming by only a few feet above the water. Mind you the height of the bridge was only about 30 feet from the water line of the ship. That was indeed a brave and skilled pilot and a scene I shall never forget.
Recently I had a similar experience with another winged wonder. This one was not man made however. As I was watching the young Royal Terns gather on the beach I saw several Brown Pelicans emerge from behind the dunes at a low glide heading for the surf zone. I looked up as one swooped by only a few feet away and stared into eyes that looked like something from prehistoric times. I can clearly imagine now what a Pterodactyl must have looked like. The pelican continued its low glide over the beach, gently touching a wingtip in the sand as it silently sailed across the scene, every feather under precise control. Try as we may, man just cannot imitate nature at its finest displays of flight.
Speaking of flight, I will be gone this week to the state of Maine. Off the coast of the city of Cutler is Machias Island. This disputed Island is home to one of the largest breeding colonies of the Atlantic Puffin, a bird that spends its life at sea. Hope to have some photos ready next week. This is one of the Editor's favorites. Blessings.