Photo from the World: Bird of Prey

This is completely not going to be what you’re expecting, unless you love a nice plate of gagh every so often. A few years ago, staying in the village of Paje on Zanzibar’s east coast, I went for a morning walk in the Indian Ocean (how’s that for an opening), and I was struck by the canoes the local fishermen used. They looked terrifying small, considering that, seriously, if you go east from Zanzibar, you don’t strike land until you hit the southern end of the west coast of Sumatra. That’s a lot of open water for a canoe. Even if you aren’t actually going more than a mile or two offshore, there’s a whole lot of lost you could get.

Wait, walking in the ocean?! Yeah, it’s pretty shallow for 100 meters or so out from the shore, so I was about 30 meters out and only up to my waist. The sea was calm after an overnight storm had blown itself out, so I didn’t need to worry too much about a sudden swell. I wanted to get as close to a water-level view of the canoes as I could, which means going out to where the canoes are. Besides, when the water temperature is in the low 30s C (80s F), it’s a great, low stress way to wake up before your hotel’s lounge starts serving coffee.

The shape of the boats was intriguing, but until just a few days ago, I couldn’t put my finger on it. After three years of looking at them, it hit me like a bat’leth: these boats are what Klingon fishermen used centuries ago, and as they developed more advanced ship technology, they kept the general shape. In the 22nd C (as calculated by humans), they began building their spaceships to the same design, though with a more aggressive raptor look to them.

Bird of Prey Prototype

Bird of Prey Prototype

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