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May 24th, 2010

Wing In Ground Effect

As desperance has noted, it's the pelicans that mean you're not at home.

Surprisingly large birds, they glide effortlessly across the slow Pacific swells, on their own or in straggling formations. It's those long wings, spread wide to take advantage of the ground effect of compressed air trapped under their aerofoil curves. Living ekranoplans, conserving energy they slide over the water on their personalised air cushions.

Cruising Pelican

Brown pelican, cruising.

Palos Verdes, California
May 2010