Tag Archives: seagulls

Henry the Sea Gull

Published December 18, 2014, The Island Moon Weekly, Issue 557.

I’d just stepped outside of my vehicle and onto the beach of Port Aransas to breathe in some saltier air, squiggle my toes in the sand and think about life. Will this island village be my home or, is this merely a stopping point? Suddenly, attention was drawn to a laughing sea-gull slumped over a wooden bollard, spewing obscenities out of its mouth like a drunken pirate. It turned its head toward me, blinked its eyes and, spoke. “AHOY! Just so you know, I’ll never take vengeance on the likes of YA. But, remember this…we’ll never forget, for nothing lasts forever and tomorrows another day!

With a blank stare, I leaned against an adjoining pole, fearful to move, scared to breathe. Was this the early stage of something more serious like, mental illness? I probably shouldn’t mention this to anyone; after all, people already think I’m a nutty writer! So then, does this sea-bird have an agenda?

“AVAST, names Henry, I’ve been drinking grog for two days straight, don’t YA know. HA! Found a container on the beach YA see. ARRR, follow me, I want to show you something! “Sliding haphazardly down the bollard like most drunken sea gulls would do, Henry staggered toward the water’s edge, “Come on and get a move on YA, time is running out!”

Waddling behind the drunken bird, I found myself in the midst of a very strange and surreal situation and acting on an order from a talking sea-gull! Could this be another wacked out adventure piece, I thought; was I losing my mind or…could this possibly be, the beginning of the end?

Henry crouched down on the sand and motioned for me to sit. The feathers on his head moved with the wind as he looked out towards the vast water in front of us. “Beauty has value YA know and…once it’s lost is difficult to regain.”

“But Henry, I’m simply a…lost and confused writer, what is it you seek? And, why are you so drunk? ”

The wise gull peered deep into my eyes. And, with the tip of his wing resting upon the bottom of his beak, as if in deep thought, spewed out drunkenness, “Bilge! The flock had informed me there’s a writer on the island that cares; I’ve waited for your arrival to write about things most people do not want to talk about! Hell yes, I was born with the ability to speak to people. I’ve been chosen to lead the southern flock, YA know. Many humans are caring and kind like you but, you see my new writer friend…many of your people live without respect for authority, moral standards and have little awareness of the real world. For those uncaring people who think there is no such thing as doing something that doesn’t matter, they may not know it matters and maybe, don’t care. Maybe, some people can’t even imagine how it matters, but it does! Look around you; the aftermath of irresponsibility and disrespect, garbage is everywhere! It’s on the beach; it’s in the water, on the streets and in front of our quaint little shops on our lovely island! The flock and our marine friends do not understand the difference between eating manmade garbage and food that they can safely digest! I’ve been alone on this quest to help but it’s gotten the best of me and honestly, I’m drinking heavily whenever it’s available because it’s the only way I can cope. But today, AHH…it’s a new day and I’m counting on people like you, caring people, that can help make a difference and spread the word for change!”

Henry then bowed his head and slowly moved some sand around with one claw, in deep thought. He stared into my eyes, one lone teardrop dripping down my face; and, in that moment of pure clarity, both writer and beast were on the same level.

While, staring at the falling sun, Henry waved goodbye and flew away; I began recounting my own selfishness and concluded that man and all of his progress can indeed live with the beast without destroying the precious world we all live. But, it will take believing in something greater than us to remove one of America’s “Darkest Secrets,” self-righteousness; and, we must educate our people, that learning the difference between right and wrong starts with love when we are young. And that, money isn’t the root of evil, greed is. For, the beauty in our world is not a right; it’s a privilege and never can there be an excuse warranting stripping that beauty of value away from our young, from the old, from those that are weak, vulnerable and from future generations to come.

Quotes from Socrates, Courtesy of Riley P. Dog,  publisher…

“The mind is rightly called beauty because she does the works which we recognize and speak of as the beautiful?”

“Beauty is the bait which with delight allures man to enlarge his kind.”

“I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.”

COSTA RICA: Tamarindo, Puntarenas and Santa Cruz

Jesus Christ Lizard
Jesus Christ Lizard

Gallivanting around Costa Rica the past five days or so has really helped the brain juice. And, living in the jungle definitely has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

You see, fifteen days ago, all of  my possessions were packed neatly in storage, handed the Jeep  keys to a friend and off I went to Costa Rica, the first time without a home in the US and carrying one backpack, film gear and a laptop. Crazy as it may sound, not having a true time line and no place to live upon the return home has been nothing short of a liberating rush.

The first two weeks was full of challenges and more to come for sure, mainly the cultural differences as well as learning a new language. Or maybe, it was the stolen cell phone and losing all of my contacts or that most Costa Ricans think gringos are rich? But, after taking it all in and slowing everything down a few notches, I’m more grateful than ever to do what I’ve always wanted to do: Live in jungle, slow down, write and photograph. So far, I don’t have a cell phone or a landline, a watch or an alarm clock, so losing track of time and what day it is has become extremely easy.

The Treehouse
The Tree House

The tree house is a great place to view wildlife in the jungle and having a bedroom on the top within the tree canopy is super cool. It’s totally a Tico house, with shells inlaid in the walkway, a cow skull, hammocks, cactuses and Guanacaste Trees, rose bushes and other neat stuff around the property.

Cow Skull
Cow Skull

The beach is a short 2 1/2-block walk down a dusty rocky road with two Spanish schools, two yoga shops and the very friendly and delicious Kahiki Restaurant & Bar on the corner. My neighbor Nicole is a yoga instructor and her cute 3-legged dog Luna keeps a watchful eye on the place. It’s a great place to live!

Costa Rica is definitely relaxing and as the locals say: “Pura Vida” which means Pure Life. And speaking about life, it’s WAY slow here. Everything happens in “Tico Time” or as some of you might know it as: “Mexican Time.”  Things just don’t happen the way some American’s think it should happen.

Here, it’ll happen, when it happens…

From the veranda on the second floor of the tree house you can see monkeys, parrots, iguanas, parakeets, squirrels, and other interesting critters everyday. I’ve even learned to prepare a few Tico dishes and, it just doesn’t get any better than eating home cooking and hanging out with the camera in the jungle! The little brown building behind the house is where the washer machine is located and we hang our clothes on a wire to dry.


Along the coastline there’s lots of black Volcanic rock jutting out from the shore and islands and just the thought of living on a fault line 2 blocks or so from the ocean is exciting to me!  I’ve always loved adventure and the most enjoyable things are not for the weak at heart.


So, last week I left Tamarindo and Langosta for the first real adventure on a public bus to the Nicoya Peninsula. Perhaps you’ve seen the little stickers on fruit at the grocery stores labeled “Nicoya”? The Nicoya region is plentiful with mango as well as other fruit and vegetables. A spectacular ferryboat ride with seagulls, brown pelicans, hawks, eagles, turkey vultures, and sea turtles highlighted the party on the boat. And, yes, there was definitely a party on the ferry! This way cool ferryboat has a bar and grill and many different decks to view anything and everything.

Ferry Boat
Ferry Boat

There’s also an air conditioning restaurant inside with soccer games on TV! Oh, by the way, Costa Ricans can party! When we finally arrived at the port city of Puntarenas, my new Tour Guide Yami grabbed my arm and said we’re going to eat dinner at Kimbos Restaurante Marisqueria & Steak House on the beach! It was the best meal I’ve ever had in Costa Rica. The appetizer was: Ceviche de Chucheca’s (Black Conk Ceviche) with plantains and the entrée Al Gusto: A La, Plancha, Ajillo, Mantequilla, Vino (mixed dish of seafood in butter, garlic and wine with a few veggies thrown on the top) Topping it all off with fresh Mango Margaritas and Pineapple and Rice drinks. I’m talking – The Bomb! Total tab $ 24.00 US.

Ceviche de Chucheca’s (Black Conk Ceviche)

Day 3: Left Puntarenas on Sunday and after a spectacular time traveled back to Nicoya on the ferry. Then, called my Tico buddy Gerald and his crazy friends in Santa Cruz to pick me up, so they did. You see, every year there’s a week long festival in Santa Cruz that’s famous for its rodeo, parades, bull fighting and overall — one big party! The road signs are very confusing and if you’re not watching out, you might wind up on a one-way bridge with on-coming traffic like we did! Potholes, narrow bridges and wild drivers are dangerous to everyone, especially to new comers!  Anyway, Gerald and his amigos wanted to party. So – we did, until 5:00 in the morning in Santa Cruz!  Ah, so that’s why everyone calls Santa Cruz –The Fiesta!

Hanging Out With Friends
Hanging Out With Friends

Hence my given name in Costa Rica is now, officially: Loco Gringo.

Stay tuned for more of Tony’s World……..