Just a letter to John that somehow got posted here!

Pelicans 1

I’m glad to hear you are back in the water. Sounds great. Somehow I didn’t get to the water all year. Now it is too cold to stay out on the boat overnight.I like pelicans, too, from a distance. It is funny how they almost always travel in squadrons. 8 or 10 of them will sit on a floating log or do a fly-by. Sometimes you see solos sitting on a navigation marker or an old piling and sometimes you’ll see a busted up dock with dozens of them. Out in the Gulf of Mexico there are some large channel marker structures that look like pelican storage units or maybe condos. UWF has a dive barge over a 1559 Spanish shipwreck. First duty after a hiatus is to fire up the dredge pump to wash the thick, foul layer of pelican crap off the deck. OMG that stinks!

Pelicans 2

In Mobile Bay, I saw a little tern land on a pelican’s back to try to steal food scraps. The pelican was having none of that and snapped at the little guy! If you are in a solar-powered boat, though, you yell at pelicans and wave a life jacket. Pelicans look at a solar boat and think, “aircraft carrier.” No way you want pelicans doing to all those solar panels what they do to the dive barge!

Pelicans 3

The range of pelicans amazed me. I thought they were coastal birds. Not so, they go where there are water and fish. I saw them on the Mississippi River in Illinois, of all places! I don’t remember them in Pensacola, as a kid, but now they are everywhere, as are gaudily decorated pelican statues, in downtown. Somehow the pelican has become the town bird. Enjoy the art show. By:Neal Collier

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