My Favorite Things


The breakfast buffet line during the Fleet Week Cruise

Among my very favorite things are donuts, and when we have visitors on board sometimes we also have donuts.  Can you imagine the temptation I face when I look at an entire box of donuts ?  During the trip when we left the dock and went out to see the loud airplanes they had many boxes of donuts just sitting around.  I was sorely tempted to dive in, but there were too many people standing around.  Usually we wait until the ship docks and the people leave.  Then we can cruise down to the deck and find the scraps.

I also love to sit and talk to my neighbors like Al the Pelican.  Al rarely comes on board the ship because he spends most of this time cruising around at wave top looking for fish. With that giant beak of his Continue reading


A Busy Summer on the Ship

This summer season has been very busy for the old ship and quite exciting for the boys and gulls in the Avian Squadron.  First of all we had a nest that was built on the ship by Charles and Claudia De Gull and that caused a lot of chatter amongst the troops and the crew as well as the visitors.  Unfortunately it did not produce any new chicks, but the De Gull Family did get a lot of notoriety from the visitors during one of the cruises.

Then there were more visitors to the pier than I have seen in many a year and that generated a lot of free food for the birds. One of our favorite snacks is the bread bowl that is served filled with soup.  Sometimes the soup is still in it when we get it and we get to pick out the clams and other fish that is left. Terrific stuff, but you have to fight off those pesky pigeons. 

Percival C. Gull scores a bread bowl and he is rightfully wary of the pigeons stalking his find.

Then we had a lot of sailboats out on the water and big crowds watching them zip around. There must have been some kind of special event going on because I have never seen so many boats and the large crowds lining the shoreline. Continue reading

The Salmon are in town!!!

I took a little break from hanging around Fisherman’s Wharf the other day and hitched a ride out beyond the big orange bridge on a small fishing boat.  The rest of the boys flew out, but I camped out on the top of a boat that was loaded with tourist fishermen and fisherwomen.  Not a bad crowd and they did have lots of snacks that they were willing to share.

Of course I did not think that I was going to catch a salmon, but they use small frozen fish for bait and upon occasion they either drop them of take them off the hook and throw them overboard.  I scored about 6 or 7 bait fish with little or no effort along with some potato chips and bagel pieces.

Charter boat fishing

As we left the dock at Fisherman’s Wharf we went out behind the ship and I saw the back end where Claudia and Charlie have their nest.  Nothing going on and from their standpoint I know they are getting frustrated.  The ship does look nice with the new paint job. Continue reading

The Lady in Waiting

I paid a visit to the ship yesterday to see how Claudia and Charlie De Gull are doing with the nest and the eggs.  No progress to report, but she is getting very cranky.  I noted that some kind crew member had left some open cans of sardines right next to the nest, but when I tried to help myself she almost pecked my head off.  So much for the blessed principle of sharing with your elders.

Claudia patiently sits on the nest

After I left the nest I took a tour of the waterfront and found some interesting things as I flew up toward the Ferry Building.   The first was a big mess on one of the piers.  It seems that there must have been quite a large fire and the front of the pier is all black.  Workmen were climbing all over the building tearing out the burnt stuff.

Remnants of the fire at Pier 29

It wasn’t lunch time so I couldn’t mooch any food from the workmen, but I was hungry from having seen, and almost eaten, the sardines near the nest.

I kept flying up towards the big bridge looking for scraps near one of the waterside restaurants and I came upon the funniest sign that had just been installed. Continue reading

America’s Cup Practice on the Bay

While we were cruising around the Bay for Memorial Day we came across a strange looking sailboat.  It has a very tall mast and what looks like an airplane wing for a sail.  Instead of one hull it has two and they are connected by a net that the sailors run around on.  Very strange!

The Oracle 45 foot catamaran doing test runs on San Francisco Bay during the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary celebration.

Rumor has it that there are going to be lots and lots of people for the sailboat races and that is good news for the avian squadron.  More people means more tourists and that means more food for the troops!

The ship is right near the area where the races will start and we hope that the bird population will benefit from the crowds.   Continue reading

The Vigil Continues

As you may recall, Claudia & Charlie Gull have built a nest on board the ship right in the middle of one of the big cannons on the deck.  What a couple of show offs! At this point we do not know the number of eggs in the nest, but we do know that the two of them are getting very ‘testy’ and ‘cranky’ about people and other birds hanging around.

Claudia is nesting and protective of the eggs.

I can tell you from my MANY years of experience that the mother gull gets very defensive and that behavior increases dramatically as the hatch gets closer.  I have seen cases where the mother attacks other birds when they get too near the nest. Continue reading

HAPPY 75th BIRTHDAY to the Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco Bay Golden Gate Bridge

While eavesdropping  on one of the crew meetings I discovered that the ship has planned a cruise on May 27th to celebrate the birthday of the Golden Gate Bridge.  I also heard that 2012 is the 75th Birthday of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. This is all good news for your faithful author and the rest of the avian squadron.  This event will draw quite a crowd and that will result in lots of food both on board the ship and in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. Continue reading