Cruel Nature

At the suggestion of some locals I took Austin to the Sand Spit across from town so he could run off leash for the first time in weeks.  He loved it. Here you can see that none of his feet are on the ground at this moment…

There was the predictable amount of trash in the sand, and also a lot of dead bird carcasses.  Vultures started to circle near our dinghy and we returned to it to find a pelican with his chest ripped open, standing around with five vultures who were waiting for him to die.  Reminded me of relatives of a wealthy dying aunt waiting at the bedside.  I reported the injured bird to the local bird rescue but I’m not sure they got there in time.

Later, underneath the dock, a big red crab was hunting a small green crab (European green crab (Carcinus maenas)), and losing.  The green crab is such an aggressive predator, maybe it was hunting the larger crab.


The competition is fierce here.  I saw a pelican get a nice chunk of meat from a fishing boat.  It was defending against a horde of seagulls and trying to figure out how to swallow the thing, when it just let go and swam away.  In the pelican’s wake a bull seal rose up like a Sea World star, with the pink meat in it’s mouth, and swallowed it in one gulp.  Then it swam over to the fishing boat and demanded more in a loud, deep, menacing voice.


8 Responses

  1. At the Berkeley marina, one locally famous sea lion used to wait for the returning commercial fishing boats and follow after them, barking, as they came in. I used to wonder if he had phoned in his order ahead.

    • Hey, I was on O-Dock for almost two years. Do I know you?

  2. Two years? We must have been ships passing in the night! We’re a Catalina 30 along the main walkway – Morningstar. We haven’t been down to the boat too much at all this past year, though.

  3. O-dock is an on-line sailing friend of mine. I posted your excellent blog commentary on my Facebook page. You deserve a larger readership. I wondered if you had ever meet him on O-dock. You should check out his also excellent world famous blog.

  4. Zen is either too kind or delusional – one reader in the UK, one in Japan, and one in New Jersey – well, OK, I guess, technically that makes me world famous.

    He’s right that your blog deserves more readers, though.

    Thanks for solving the age-old riddle of whether small white dogs do lift all four legs in the air while running, like horses do.

  5. I’ve seen Morningstar. I noticed it because that is the “Indian Name” my mother gave me when I was little and she was full-on in her Hippie stage.

  6. I’ve been trying to place your boat, but can’t (I usually file boats away by what slip they live in),

    I’d think I would have remembered seeing Austin, though, unless you were dressing him up as a seagull to evade the marina police.

    • I was right under the yacht club. First left inside the gate, finger to the right. A little boat with burgundy canvas and ratlans and a funky windvane is there now.
      Austin is more memorable than I, it’s true. He is much loved at the harbormaster’s office.

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