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Stories from Bernie's new trip - heading "down under" to explore Tasmania

Toasting the Roaring Forties With a Fly
March 9, 2011
Cheers! Toasting the 40th Meridian (Emita, Flinders Island, Tasmania)

In the last update, I was on Flinders Island toasting the Roaring Forties. To be precise, I was beneath the “You are crossing the 40 South Parallel” sign lifting a jar of scotch to my lips. That’s when I heard the buzzing in the air.

What the hell was that?

It didn’t sound like an albatross, cliff or flapping sail, all the sounds I associate with this way-south part of the globe. No, it was more annoying, high pitched.

It stopped.

Then I spotted it, a black spot on the jam jar. A black spot that, as my eyes focused, turned into a very wind-flattened, very determined, fly. A fly which, as soon as it gained a grip on the slippery glass, began making its way one… step… at… a… time… into… my… scotch…..

The fly and eye. Moments later, my flying guest crawled into my jar and slaked his thirst.

Dang! Now this was some tough fly. I had to admire the little fellow. How he shared the skies with albatross that soared around the world on 6 foot wings. How, instead of suffering an inferiority complex when he saw the big birds soar, took to the airways with his stubby wings. Wings, when I looked closer, looked like waded up cellophane that had been un-stretched by a miser. The sort of thing that would make guys like me, if they saw it on a blueprint, smirk, “that’ll never take to the air….”.

But there he was, roaming that terrible sky on his lonesome.

No wonder he needed a drink.

So I let him.

Which is why, if you drove by a certain sign on Flinders Island last week, you would have seen a guy on a crusty bike taking a long pull on a short jar. And if you’d have stopped and approached slowly, you would have spotted, on that jar, a fly partaking with the same gusto.

A recent scene on the 40th Meridian

Then we went our separate ways. I pedaled my way south into the Roaring Forties. He jumped into the air, and belly full of scotch, carved a magnificent, wildly curved, getaway into the sky.

The last I saw of the fly, he was heading for this horizon

Coming next: an audio recording of the Roaring Forties sign.

Posted Wednesday March 9, 2011 by Bernie
Where this story happened:

Reader Comments:

lol That was very amusing Bernie, I love the way you take lemons and make lemonade from them.

peta

— peta · Saturday March 19, 2011 · #

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