Lonely Planet Writer

Watch - this epic 30-day time-lapse perfectly captures life at sea

Canadian film-maker has shot an incredible 30-day time-lapse of his journey across the ocean, from the Red Sea to Hong Kong. The epic trip took place on a shipping container Jeffrey Tsang was working on, which wound its way through the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

There are stop-offs in Colombo and Singapore, before the vessel docks in colourful Hong Kong. En route, Jeffrey (whose family is from Hong Kong) captured breath-taking shots of the twinkling night sky, epic thunderstorms and of course, the crashing ocean.

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“I’m currently a third officer in charge of navigation on container vessels”, Jeffrey tells Lonely Planet. “I do YouTube videos for fun – I guess I’m an odd mix of sailor and YouTuber! Photography and videography have always been interests of mine, but I was never really serious about them until about two years ago. I met a captain who was very enthusiastic about timelapse, which motivated me to pick up my dusty camera. With so much free time on a ship yet limited internet (sometimes offline for weeks at a time), I started downloading hundreds of YouTube tutorials. I’d watch them on the ship, eventually learning how to properly adjust for different conditions.”

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“What inspired me to capture this time-lapse was that same captain seeing my early work. He was overjoyed – it really brightened his day. The full appreciation of the effort put in and encouragement I received from him made me realize there would be others out there who might also enjoy my work.”

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Has Jeffrey a favourite moment from the time-lapse? “When the earth rotation can be seen from stars in the background”, he says. “Due to the nature of my work, I’ve been watching two years of sunrise, sunset and clear night sky. I still feel blessed and happy watching them, but they don’t really ‘wow’ me anymore. During my last vacation in Mexico with my best friends however, I found that sharing those moments outweighs the thrill of seeing them for the first time. I guess that’s why the video was so popular on YouTube, since the comment section provided an outlet for viewers to not only appreciate the beauty of our galaxy, but to express and reciprocate the same feelings with one another.”