Day 13 – A raft of Sea Lions

13 01 2010

A gaggle of Geese. A murder of crows. A harem of seals. A raft of Sea Lions.

On the News they have been reporting that the sea lions that call Pier 39 home have recently disappeared. People have speculated that this is due to oncoming earthquakes, lower food quantities and more… It is true that we have had a few minor earthquakes in the past week. The first, a 4.1 in East Bay, I actually felt in downtown SF! It was my first – well, the first that I actually know I felt. I almost wrote it off as it felt like a large truck rumbling by, but, when a few other people instantly mentioned it, and the internet confirm it as such, I was pretty excited! I felt my first earthquake! But that was 5 days ago…

So, as a small group of 5 of us headed to Forbes Island for our sixth Gluttony Club dinner, I was so happy to hear the sounds of Sea Lions barking. At the far end of Fisherman’s Wharf stands a faux lighthouse surrounded by large, lush palm trees. This illusions is actually a house boat, posed as an island, and behaving as a restaurant… an underwater restaurant. As we approached the ferry boat that would take us to our destination, we heard the Sea Lions barking at us in welcome. We were all happy to hear and see them, however, slowly we realized that there were only a scant 3 of them laid out on the docks. In an area where we are accustomed to viewing up to 100 piled on top of each other we say a lonely 3 Sea Lions barking away for all to hear.

We’ve all heard the description “A gaggle of geese.” Apparently all animals have their own descriptions – a murder of crows; a harem of seals; and a raft of sea lions. As we entered the restaurant, we witnessed a raft of sea lions barking in the dark.

The dinner was more than I expected… the butter was dusted with red sea salt, the food was full of flavor and served in decent portions, the atmosphere was incredible… a fully surround-able fireplace amidst an underwater dinning room built of warm woods and decorated with swashbuckling paraphernalia – pictures in gilded frames, swords, vintage pistols, and statues greeted us. Even the bathroom was something each of us had to experience.

I have to say I was grateful for the bread basket meeting us as we arrived. Only on occasion have I not weathered sailing well. And arriving on an empty stomach and sitting in the below water dining room with nothing stable to focus on while the room swayed wasn’t immediately settling. But once the bread and wine arrived we barely noticed the motion.

I personally dined on the mixed greens salad, zucchini risotto with goat cheese, and fresh ginger and vanilla bean creme brule. It was all beautiful… Others tried the special of the night, Sole with caper and lemon sauce and a soup of asparagus puree. While the food was wonderful, it is not what captured our attention. The surroundings were delectable. After exploring the rest of the house boat, including the lighthouse that not only showed clear views of the bay but of the city as well, we made our departure home again past the lone sea lions.

Even though we were missing half of our normal Gluttony Club crew, we had a memorable evening…

As for my goals, I yet again skipped a workout (and am actually craving my next yoga class). The book I’m reading, The Last Lecture, is a great so far, and, after watching the rest of the second round of American Idol auditions, I’m going to dive back in…

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