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.  As a result I think it is only fair that I provide factual information about my travels.  The first report will be about an island in the middle of San Francisco Bay . . . Alcatraz.  This island consists of a bunch of old decrepit buildings and the tourists flock to the shore in ferry boats and tramp all around the place from dawn until dusk every day . . . even in the rain.  I don’t understand why they find it so fascinating since there is no food there and the wind blows all the time.  We do use the island in our practice dive bombing runs to decorate the landscape.  We train our young gulls over there and teach them how to aim their special Gull Salutes at groups of tourists.  Often the tourists shout rude remarks at our little ones and it is a good training ground for the more serious challenges at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Alcatraz Island with an outrigger canoe in the foregound

Editor’s Note:  Gulliver’s Travels was written by Jonathan Swift in 1726 and records the adventures of a ship captain named Lemuel Gulliver and his voyages to the land of the little people . . . the land of Lilliput and Biefuscu.  Alcatraz was first seen by the Spanish explorer Pio Pico in 1775 and bought from the Spanish government in 1846 by John C. Fremont for $ 5,000.  Alcatraz means ‘Pelican’ in Spanish and the early common name for pelican was Sea Eagle.  The island was known as Military Point Alcatraz from 1866-68 and became a Federal prison in 1934.  The Prison was closed in 1963 and is now part of the National Park Service.  There are excellent views of Alcatraz from the deck of the SS Jeremiah O’Brien docked at Pier 45.  Please visit and take in the view. 

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