Mid morning March 10,1024
One Hundred miles to go after flying non-stop for 72 hours. Could they make it? Ten more hours, the three of them against the Prevailing Westerlies? Veronica was already showing signs of flight fatigue.
“Our only hope is to focus”, thought Ozzie. “Do what seems avianly impossible. Concentrate but relax. Marathons are not meant of ospreys; leave it for the Canadian geese. They can have it”.
“Focus intensely; block out all. Focus on the sky; focus on life, the beauty, the mystery. Conserve energy, take your time, mind over matter, expect this of thy self, you are a good osprey, surprise yourself, think of Harriett, say a prayer; and leave the rest to Him”.
“We must maintain our V Formation at all cost”.
“No sight of land. It’s so vast. At least the sun is shinning; water’s calm too. Westerlies at 8 knots. Felling pretty good. I bet Victor makes it. Gotta help Veronica”.
Ozzie, Victor and Veronica formed the best three bird skein they could under the circumstances.
For those who may have forgotten:
The V formation, called a skein, is the symmetric V-shaped flight formation that osprey use to fly long distances. The V formation greatly boosts the efficiency and range of flying birds, particularly over long migratory routes.
All the birds except the first fly in the up wash from the wingtip vortices of the bird ahead. The up wash assists each bird in supporting its own weight in flight. In a V formation of 25 members, each bird can achieve a reduction of induced drag by up to 65% and as a result increase their range by 71%. The birds flying at the tips and at the front are rotated in a timely cyclical fashion to spread flight fatigue equally among the flock members.
“A V formation of three is ridiculous”, thought Ozzie.
“The best we can hope for is a 10% reduction in wind drag and an 18% increase in our range. It is already obvious that Victor and I will have to trade the lead on some sort of time schedule. Veronica is tired, but see seems mentally strong. Maybe the day will be sunny, maybe the headwinds will be merciful, maybe we can reach The Virgin Islands, maybe, maybe, maybe………
It might as well have been “every bird for yourself”; but to the threesome’s credit, they were the Three Musketeers.
The rest of the story is that of heroic survival.
The last words Ozzie chirped as they left the doomed misfits were, “Focus. Focus on maintaining the V”.
Victor and Veronica are very well versed on V-formations. Vacationers visiting Venezuela vigilantly verify, and verbally validate, their various vector variations voluntarily.
Voluminous volumes of voyage variability, vicariously vulcanized, verily vouch venerably vowed validity.
Villainous vagrants, vagabonds and unvaccinated vermin vandalizing or voicing vulgar, venomous views, or valiant venturesome villagers voting in vain, invariably vanish in Venezuela.
It will take a miracle for our adventurers to survive.
11;30 AM over the Atlantic.
Not a whole lot of change in scenery.
Do you believe in miracles?