Bob C. Gull-iver’s Travels: Ireland

For those of you that may have read a previous message you will remember that a long lost nephew of mine, Seamus Crosbie Gull from Scotland recently wrote me a letter telling me of his adventures in Edinburgh.  It came a quite a shock since I didn’t remember having a branch of the Gull Family in Scotland, and I was surprised that he found me and wrote.  In his letter he mentioned that they were going to take a trip from Edinburgh to Ireland and that it was a fairly short flight across the sea toward the setting sun.  Well, he was true to his word and he did write another letter when they got to Ireland.

Hello Uncle Bob: 

We did take a trip to Ireland and I wanted to write you this letter to let you know what we found during our visit. 

The flight from Scotland didn’t take very long and I was surprised to discover  that we could see Ireland in the distance once we crossed the coastline of Scotland.  The weather is about the same as in Edinburgh and we found an interesting place to visit the first day. We flew into the Belfast area and there were large crowds of people around a very unusual building.  One of my mates remarked that it looked like it had been built with the plans upside down; typical snide Scottish humor.  The people standing in line were talking about some big old ship that sank while on her first cruise and that it happened 100 years ago.  Why would they build a big upside down building for a ship that sank 100 years ago?  Boy, does that sound dumb.

The Titanic Museum building built to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the launching of the ship

There wasn’t much in the way of food in that crowd so we didn’t hang around too long. After that we went up to the area around the river that flows through the city and found some other gulls to pal around with and ask about what to do about food. They suggested that we fly up to Lough Belfast just north of the City and try to find something around the fishing boats berthed up there.  It reminded me of the Firth of Forth in Edinburgh. 

When we got up there we found a large flock of gulls and stopped to talk to one old Herring Gull perched on a railing.  He has a damaged foot, but he gets around OK and gave us some hints about where to find easy pickings in the area. 

After that we flew over to Western Ireland and found some big cliffs where the local gulls are nesting in a very windy area right on the ocean.  It was too breezy for us so we turned around and started back to Scotland.  With a tail wind like that we were able to make good time back to Edinburgh and we got there before dark.

The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland. The cliffs rise to 700 feet at the highest point and extend for 5 miles along the Atlantic Ocean coastline.

I hope all is well in California and that you and the rest of the family are getting enough to eat.

Fly safe and stay warm,

Seamus Crosbie Gull

It was good to hear from my nephew again.  It sounds like he is quite the traveler.  Imagine flying from Scotland to Ireland!  I wonder what the upside down building was all about?

Herbie the Herring Gull in Lough Belfast

Editor’sNote:  Distances in the United Kingdom can be deceiving.  At the closest point Scotland and Ireland are only about 30 miles apart across the Irish Sea and Belfast, Northern Ireland is about 15o miles southwest of Edinburgh.  Seamus would have had many opportunities to find food between Edinburgh and the coastline before the 30 mile flight to Ireland. 

The building Seamus was talking about is the newly constructed Titanic Museum built to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the launching of the ship.  The museum opened in April 2012 and has drawn large crowds of visitors.  Despite what he says the building was not built upside down. There is an interesting association between the Titanic and the SS Jeremiah O’Brien in that the RMS Titanic left Southampton, England on her first, and only voyage in April 1912.  The SS Jeremiah O’Brien visited Southampton in the course of her World War II service and again in 1994 during the 50th Anniversary visit.  

The place that Seamus visited in Western Ireland are the Cliffs of Moher.  This is a large nesting area and it attracts thousands of birds every year.  The cliffs are secure and provide protection for the nesting birds during the mating season. 

For more information on the SS Jeremiah O’Brien please look at the website or better yet please visit the ship at Pier 45 Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco.

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