My Favorite Things

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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

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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

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 Continue reading

Bob C. Gull-iver’s Travels: Edinburgh, Scotland

Perhaps you remember the letter I got from my granddaughter, Cecilia Pearl Gull, relative to the situation in Salt Lake City, Utah with the official State Bird and other issues concerning the Gull Family. Well, Ceci Gull is at it again and in her genealogical research she has found a long lost branch of the Gull Family in Scotland.

I have just received a letter from a nephew many times removed concerning his activities in Edinburgh, Scotland.  I would love to be able to visit Seamus Crosbie Gull, he likes to be called SC Gull, but it is unrealistic to suppose that I can fly to Scotland.  He has written me a letter and sent some pictures which I include in this message.  Here is the letter:

Hello Uncle Bob:

I am writing from Edinburgh, Scotland to let you know how we are doing.  

Cousin Ceci contacted me all the way from Utah and told me how to get ahold of you.  She says that you are my uncle thrice removed and cross several other Gull family lines. She goes on to say that you are the reigning Gull Family patriarch in California and a very high flying old bird. 

Anyway, our Family lives here in Edinburgh and we feed both on the fish in the Firth of Forth and from what we can scavenge from the tourists that visit the city.   Continue reading

Bob C. Gull-iver’s Travels : The Great Salt Lake

You may remember from a previous message that I am planning a trip to the Great Salt Lake to look up my relatives and visit the California Gull rookery.  Well, I haven’t really gone to see the Great Salt Lake yet, but I did get a letter and some pictures from my grand daughter Cecilia Pearl Gull and she lives in Utah.  (She prefers to be called Ceci Gull.)  She tells me that at this time of the year it is very cold and they are hunkered down trying to stay warm and find something to eat.

Here is the letter she sent:

Dear Grandpa Bob:  I take pen in beak to send you this note as to our situation in Salt Lake City and on the shores of the Great Salt Lake.  The lake is loaded with brine shrimp, but this time of the year the pickings are slim and the water is cold.  Our usual nesting area is on Antelope Island in the middle of the lake and in the summer we get lots of tourists with picnic baskets to help add some variety in our diet.  During the winter the pickings are poor and we spend more time around the garbage dumps looking for morsels.   Continue reading

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

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