Dry dock work begins !

I was relieved to see that the ship finally made it into dry dock at Pier 70 on Tuesday morning.  The first attempt on Monday was a windy day and they couldn’t make it safely.  I was not a happy Gull because I flew all the way down there early in the morning and got nothing to eat out of the adventure.  On Wednesday I went down there again to see how they were doing and was amazed at how much had been done in one day and how many men in yellow suits were scrambling around.  Despite investigating all locations I could not find any food.  I did however find a dock nearby with a promising looking food source.  It appears to be a boat ramp with tables and chairs and people eating.  This could be a goldmine of leftovers if I work it right.  Food is apparently being served on the deck! Continue reading

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The trip down to dry dock

On January 23rd, Monday morning at 6 o’clock there was a lot of activity on the ship and lines of people going on board while it was still dark!  Very unusual.  In my bleary-eyed state I couldn’t figure it out until I remembered the fact that the ship is going into dry dock and today was the day for the trip.  It was raining and the wind was howling, but despite the bad weather I got out of my warm dry nest and prepared to fly down to Pier 70. It was a tough flight because of the wind, but I did get there before the ship arrived. Continue reading

Cruisin’ Down to Dry Dock

I heard today that the ship is going to go into dry dock on Monday, January 23rd and that they will be escorted down to Pier 70 by some of our tiny tugboat friends.  I wonder if they will have a lunch on board and if I can snatch some snacks during the trip.  I did not hear an estimate for how long they will be in the dry dock, but I assume it is only for a few weeks.  I have flown around the Pier 70 area in the past and it is near the baseball park. The baseball park is wonderful because for several months a year they have big crowds and when they leave there are tons of left over hot dog buns & chips and other yummy treats.  Unfortunately the rest of the avian squadron also knows about the baseball park and it is often quite crowded as we are scuffling for the leftover food.   Continue reading

The Herring are here! The Herring are here!

While I was flying down to look at the dry dock preparations at Pier 70 I noticed that there was a lot of activity in the Bay right near the Ferry Building.  Upon closer inspection I discovered that the little boats and swarms of gulls and bobbing seals were all there because the Herring were in the midst of their annual run for spawning into San Francisco Bay. The gulls were trying to snatch the Herring out of the nets of the trawlers and the seals were trying to avoid the boats and nets and catch the Herring in the water.  It was quite a sight . . . chaos was the order of the day.

Cupid's Bow and the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero next to San Francisco Bay

I stopped at Cupid’s Bow to look at the scene and was amazed at the number of boats and gulls.  I like to perch on the tip of the Bow or on top of the arrow to be able to rest and look down on the Bay. How come none of my so called ‘friends’ and relatives didn’t bother to say anything to me about this spawning run? I like fresh Herring as much as any other Gull.  The crew members on the boat were working very hard to haul in the nets and the birds were swirling around looking for fish that escape the boat. Continue reading

Bob C. Gull-iver’s Travels: Mare Island

Last year the ship took a cruise to Mare Island at Vallejo to have some work done.  Mare Island used to be an open and very active Navy Base and now the sailors are gone, but there is still a lot of action.  While they were tied up to the dock at the old Navy Base the cranes took a lot of pallets out of the hold and the most interesting thing is that now the ship sits much higher out of the water. Continue reading

Bob C. Gull-iver’s Travels: Alcatraz Island

While I was roaming around the ship the other day I saw a book sitting open on one of the hatch covers.  The title was Gulliver’s Travels and I was astounded to think that someone had written a book about my personal adventures flying around San Francisco Bay. I was able to read a couple pages and the author got it all wrong.  He is talking about little people called Lilliputians and Biefuscudians and has nothing in there that I could see about my personal travels around the area.   Continue reading

Sailboats and Birds and Cannons, Oh My !

A 20 millimeter anti-aircraft cannon in a circular 'tub' to provide protection for the gun crew.

During one of our recent cruises the cannons on the SS Jeremiah O’Brien were unlimbered and fired much to my surprise.  The loud noise from these cannons also surprised the passengers on the ship and scared the other birds away. Some of the other birds like to sit on the gun barrels while on board the ship.  Unfortunately they oftern apply the classic gull salute while squatting on the barrel and the crew is not happy having to clean up after the miscreants.   My theory is that the cannons are used to fend off the sailboats and prevent their crew from coming on board to eat lunch.   Continue reading