Book Preview: #PelicanYoga Story Photography and Story by Robert Neff

For updates, go to the Pelican Beakon website. The story won a silver medal at national book award competition!

The Pelican Beakon, the pelican newspaper, announces a prelaunch look at the #PelicanYoga Story, the first book in the #PelicanYoga Series. Robert Neff combines his photography and storytelling to bring to life the hottest yoga craze to sweep the globe.

In the #PelicanYoga Story, the Pelican Beakon, the pelican newspaper, interviews Lois, the White Pelican. The interview begins with Lois sharing why the #PelicanYoga movement was started, and located its world headquarters at the old Florida Seafood Shack. But trouble looms for Lois, the Seafood Shack, and the local neighborhood. They combined forces to battle Chicago Investors and billionaire-owned Caribbean Management Company, who wanted to close the old Florida Seafood Shack.

Mr. Neff interviews Lois, the #PelicanYoga founder. He uses his photography to illustrate Lois' story. The story begins with Lois' early years and why she founded #PelicanYoga. The story continues with how she created the World Headquarters at the old Florida Seafood Shack in St. Petersburg, Florida. Then, tells how the hottest yoga craze swept the globe.

Meet Lois, the white pelican who did not migrate back to Minnesota with her family. She stayed behind and hung out at the old Florida Seafood Shack with her friends.

#PelicanYoga began with Lois’ dear friend Pelican Bill. One day, Lois and Bill were watching a family fish at the marina. Bill, not one to follow rules, would sometimes ignore the pelican safety guidelines.

While the mother was practicing her casting with baitfish, Bill swooped in and grabbed the fish. The hook embedded in his beak. The family did not know what to do, so they cut the line. This was the worst thing they could have done.

The narrator was at the Seafood Shack on a photo shoot for the Pelican Beakon. Ironically, he was counting the number of Florida Fish and Wildlife's "Reel. Remove. Release." stickers in use at marinas.

The narrator saw Bill hooked, bleeding from the mouth, and in pain.

Lucky for Bill that he was able to land by the Seafood Shack’s front door. The narrator called bird rescue, and held onto Bill until the ambulance arrived. The narrator accompanied Bill to the bird rescue. Lois followed overhead.

When the ambulance arrived and took him into the hospital, Lois heard the narrator mumble, "This place is nasty and the people look and sound unscrupulous, just like the rehab center my mother is located!"

Lois had not seen his mother in a few days. She was always cleaning fish for others at the cleaning station. She was an old school fishmonger who always treated the pelicans to a fish snack. So she was in a rehab center.

Lois researched the Pelican Beakon's articles on both rehab centers. Both were a disaster. The common theme developing when she read one headline, "You went in and don't come out!" Lois was beside herself.

Lois followed the narrator to see his mom. Overhead, she saw a decrepit place. She overheard the narrator and his mom talking about her broken hip. Her son found yoga on the old television. The good television he had bought here had been stolen one day after he hung it on the wall. He had heard staff had left the window unlocked and thieves helped themselves.

Lois heard the narrator talk about how his mom had once been a yoga instructor and maybe she should give it a try. The narrator told his mother, you could do exercises in bed.

This is how Lois discovered yoga! She stopped everyday to watch and learn. Then she would visit Bill and show him what she had learned.

This helped Bill's recovery. He was healing much faster than expected. Now the evil rehab owners took notice and sped up their plans to sell Bill to an unscrupulous bird sanctuary. Birds inside had overhead this and didn't tell Bill for fear he would panic and give up. Or be injured while trying to escape. Instead they sneaked a message to Lois.

So Lois and friends plotted to rescue Bill. After springing Bill, all the pelicans wanted to learn yoga. Now, Lois had a mission to teach #PelicanYoga to pelicans and improve their health.

Thanks to #PelicanYoga, Bill is doing great! He has regained his supersonic speed. The wind can be seen flowing across his break.

Now Lois needed a world headquarters for #PelicanYoga so she could help others

Lois naturally chose the Seafood Shack at the marina.

This was an easy decision because Lois had spent her early years at the Seafood Shack. This was where both the pelicans and birds, and both the narrator and the neighborhoods congregated to socialize in St. Petersburg.

Best sunsets in Tampa Bay were right here!

Lois' journey continued as she expanded yoga throughout Tampa Bay, Florida. Lois used the social media app Pinder and Pitter, Pinstagram and Pacebook. Soon #PelicanYoga went viral and won the hearts and feathers of birds around the world.

Lois called on old friends to help the social media campaigns literally "Take-off".

The World Headquarters became a hub of activity. The narrator had been using social media to increase traffic to the Seafood Shack, which was one of the last Old Florida Seafood Shacks. He was able to get newspaper articles and magazines to cover the Seafood Shack.

The narrator coordinated with the food bloggers to have them visit and post honest reviews.

The food critiques just enjoyed the experience. Pichelin Guides gave the Seafood Shack three stars!

By encouraging visitors to post on social media and spread the delicious seafood word of mouth, this snowballed nationally and internationally. The Seafood Shack went viral!

The Seafood Shack had moved from being just another restaurant to a tourism destination.

Twice a year the Seafood Shack hosted a #SunsetSocial when the sun was directly down the channel. This grew into a huge event.

Soon the Seafood Shack was a St. Pete and Tampa Bay destination for tourist, snowbirds, visitors and locals.

The seafood shack owner had built a successful business. Had taken her four years to reach this point. In the first quarter 2016, she had more sales than all of 2015.

Lois had a staff at the World Headquarters to train instructors, provide seminars and excursions and tours. The Bird Unity Yoga Movement, a non-profit, was started to improve the love of all birds through yoga. #PelicanYoga moved beyond just offering courses to pelicans. This was expanded to include all birds.

Then one day, the marina's Chicago Investors and new Caribbean Management Company abruptly decided to kick out the Seafood Shack and the owner. The out-of-state owners and new Caribbean Management Company thought this was an old eyesore and didn't appreciate Old Florida's charm. The thought of closing the "Old Florida" shack blindsided everyone. But trouble looms for Lois when she is forced to battle Chicago Investors who want to close the old Florida seafood shack.

Lois had a positive impact on the lives of birds. Both had put the marina on the map. But the Seafood Shack wasn't upscale enough for the uppity owners and new billionaire's toy management company. The devastating news rocked the world.

The local St. Petersburg community had embraced the Seafood Shack and worked hard to save it. While they gathered over 25,000 signatures,

Lois and friends started a petition to save the World Headquarters and the Shack.

Support poured in from all over the world! Over the first weekend, there were over 5,000 signatures. By the next week, there were over 15,000. Then this went viral. Every state was represented. Friends of the Shack from all over the world were sharing their love through comments.

Both Lois and the owner were overwhelmed that the word would spread on social media. The petition was on fire! The petition's comments were just gut wrenching to read. Here are a few:

It is an awesome fish shack where all the locals go for the best wild caught fish! Don't take this special gem away from the locals and those visiting our beautiful city!
I'm signing this petition because I am a frequent customer at the shack. This place is know to locals and tourist alike and welcomes all with open arms, the freshest fish in town, and beautiful sunsets. It's a staple to the neighborhood!
I believe in preserving old Florida and unique restaurants such as the Seafood Shack. Fresh is what they represent. I wish we had more of them!

Social media was working. A film crew heard caught the buzz about what happened and volunteered to document the Friends of the Shack’s testimonials. They wanted the world to know what was happening to Old Florida. Their goal was to get this into the both Sundance and Cannes Film Festival.

Unfortunately, the St. Petersburg Mayor and the local business district refused to help. They wanted new upscale or "Hipster" businesses and craft breweries. All the signatures and newspaper articles were unable to change the out-of-state owners' mind. As one local Floridian said, "The out-of-state owners don't know water!"

On May 8, five years after the Seafood Shack opened, the successful woman- and vet-owned business was forced to close. The neighborhood lost one of the last Old Florida establishments. Lois lost the #PelicanYoga World Headquarters. The story ends with Lois, neighborhood, and Seafood Shack owner coming to terms with what had happened, while they pondered their next step.

Enjoy A Few Photographs, Advertisements, And Tidbits About #PelicanYoga

"Interview with the Pelican" has pelicans howling!

Learn how #PelicanYoga was founded at the Marina in St. Petersburg, Florida

Learn how the #PelicanYoga started in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Learn how #PelicanYoga helps pelicans recover from injury.
Meet one of the male #PelicanYoga instructors.
Meet one of the female #PelicanYoga instructors.
Be a part of a #PelicanYoga advertising campaign. Put a sign in your yard or window!
Follow #PelicanYoga's expansion across Tampa Bay.
Watch a #PelicanYoga class at the Skyway South North Fishing Pier. You can also watch #PelicanYoga classes at the Skyway North Fishing Pier.
See how #PelicanYoga earned donations for the Bird Unity Yoga movement by entertaining cruise ship passengers when the ship went under Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
Watch #PelicanYoga as they use old pylons at Merry Pier on Pass-A-Grille located on the southern end of St. Pete Beach.
#PelicanYoga class are also held on Fort DeSoto Beach. Tourist season is huge!
Heading to Egmont Key? Watch a #PelicanYoga class at the ferry pickup point.
Stay at the Loews Don Cesar hotel on St. Pete Beach and be centrally located to all #PelicanYoga activities!

Learn About The Bird Unity Yoga Movement

Learn how #PelicanYoga started the Bird Unity Yoga Movement to improve lives across the different bird species and foster lasting friendships!
Meet the first egret class to graduate from #PelicanYoga. The Pelican Beakon's staff photographer and narrator is well-known for capturing the moment.
Great blue herons weren't too sure at first.
Now they are big supporters!
Watch the ospreys use #Pelicanyoga.
Cormorant was the first non-pelican instructor.
Anhingas are also into #PelicanYoga.
Even the rare red egret JOINED a class.
Black skimmers are built for #PelicanYoga.
The mudcats below the world headquarters are well schooled in #PelicanYoga's benefits.
Dolphins give #PelicanYoga a fins up!
The laughing gulls said, "Really?" Eventually they came around, but not without a lot of laughing.
Squirrels are going nuts over #PelicanYoga!

Attend One Of The Swiminar Series

Hear from the female instructor's own story and how Lois was such an inspiration.
Attend a ghost story swiminar series and learn about Pelican Pat, who disappeared in a storm, and his grieving mate Pelican Patty.
Ghost tours and postcards are available at the #PelicanYoga store. The photographers claim to have captured Pelican Pat with their lens. Proceeds go to Pelican Pat's charity, Missing in the Storm.
Learn about "Yellow Shoes" and his crime spree. Then learn how the pelican police nabbed the criminal!
Hear Lois's story and how she founded #PelicanYoga. In her own words, she will explain why she fought to save a friend. The story will have you wiping tears from your eyes. Tissues are provided.
Special class on "getting hooked" and what to do next.
Learn how seagulls stopped laughing and embraced #PelicanYoga. A new attendance record was set.

Fishmonger Demonstrations

Attend live demonstrations.

You will learn about the history of the fishmongers. You will also hear from the fishmongers who have watched the demise of the old Florida seafood shacks. This is their story.

Hear how they are battling back against the big chains, who falsely promise fresh fish, and big businesses who are closing them.

The talk also looks at why the fishing industry is in decline.

Live demonstrations.

See the hard work and sweat that goes into being a fishmonger.

Purchase the "Dine with the Fishmonger Experience" and the fishmonger will prepare the fish that they just filleted.

Let the fishmonger know how you want the fillet prepared. Choices are limited to deep fried, blackened or grilled.
Order up!

Weather Seminars

Weather seminars are conducted by Robert Neff, Tampa Bay weather photographer and Pelican Beakon staff photographer. Learn about the storm patterns, sea breezes, water temperature, and how fast storms can form over Tampa Bay. Mr. Neff has been photographing and documenting Tampa Bay storms for over ten years. Tourism Bureau wishes he would stop posting these nasty storms.

Violent storm crossing Sunshine Skyway Bridge heading into the Gulf of Mexico.

Shelf cloud rolling over downtown St. Petersburg.

Marina is under a shelf cloud. Meanwhile, a boat hurries back to the dock.

Shelf cloud rolling over Fort DeSoto heading inland.

Massive cloud front behind the St. Petersburg Pier over Tampa Bay.

Mayor K tore tore down the Pier. Residents were up in arms because the Mayor used a non-transparent selection committee and process.

Storm over North Pinellas County.

Massive rain shaft over downtown St. Petersburg.

Tampa Bay is the lightning capitol of the United States. #2 in the world.

Rainbows seem to occur in the same location.

Tours and excursions available

Take you pick from the beaches, cultural activities, multiple dining tastes, and outdoor activity.

The marina is minutes from several bird sanctuaries and nature preserves. There is great bird watching and exploring nature. Abundant outdoor activities are minutes away. Kayaking, kiteboarding and windsurfing is world-class.

The Pelican Beakon staff photographer, Robert Neff, conducts tours and excursions. He will even make recommendations for you. All for the low price of a super sized slurepee.

Downtown St. Petersburg, Florida

Downtown St. Petersburg is "Not so sleepy" anymore. Now, it's a vibrant and bustling place to live with world-class museums, basins for yacht and sailboat marinas, condos, both trendy and fine restaurants, craft brewery scene, building murals, and a connected waterfront park system.

Every year the downtown St. Petersburg skyline changes.

Downtown's South Basin offers easy access to Tampa Bay.

Chihuly Collection on Beach Drive will soon move to a new location across from the Morean Art Center.

Every spring the red kapok tree blooms at the Museum of Fine Art..

Pedestrian and bike paths along Bay Shore Drive NE. North Basin, also called Vinoy Basin, is where the yachts dock. The larger yachts are minutes south at Harborage Marina.

South Basin is along Bay Shore Drive SE and next to Albert Whitted Airport.

World-class Dali Museum is along the Bay Shore Dr. SE and across from the South Basin.

Inside the Dali Museum is the DNA Helical Staircase.

The St. Pete to Cuba regatta returns in 2017. This is not the regatta but ordinary sailors seem to be playing follow the leader.

Downtown's nighttime skyline.

The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club. Some say it is haunted.

Central Avenue is bustling from city center to 31st Street and includes several business districts.

Gulfport Waterfront

Gulfport is known for its great restaurants and "Hippy-dippy" vibe.

The Gulfport Waterfront District stretches from the waterfront inland for eleven blocks.

Gulfport from Boca Ciega Bay.

Williams Pier offers vista views of Boca Ciega Bay and St. Pete Beach from the IntraCoastal Waterway side.

"Welcome to Gulfport" and the pelican sculpture can be easily seen by boaters.

Classic building with a ballroom dance floor and stage. Great venue for events. It’s now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Beach Boulevard South has art, shops, local eateries, and restaurants. It is a great place to stroll.

Lost? Need guidance?

Tuesday is Gulfport Fresh Market

Pelican Rugby 7s

The narrator played rugby and is a social member at the local St. Petersburg Rugby club. The pelicans have their own rugby 7s team, also called Pelican Rugby Club. #PelicanYoga is used in the fitness training. Once a year, they host the Beach 7s.

The Pelican Rugby Club has full-time head coach and a slick logo.

Pelicans sell shirts to buy rugby balls, gear and maintain the pitch.

Every year the humans and pelicans combine forces to host a rugby tourney.

The Pelican Beakon staff photographer covers the USA Eagles, the national team.


Several bird sanctuaries and nature preserve are minutes away. They are on our photographer's tour and go by several slurpee stores!

Lake Maggiore has many bird species.

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve has over 5 kilometers of nature trails. Tram available for handicapped, seniors, or walking challenged.

Pristine and quiet.

Armadillo. Metal sculpture by Paul Eppling.

Sea turtles nest on the beach. Turtle Watch has patrols to mark the nests.

Birds don't need to worry about dogs on the beach, except on one beach at Fort DeSoto. The dog beach is the only dg beach approved in the county.

Fort DeSoto's Bird Sanctuary at Lots 8 and 9

Terns like to hover before they dive for fish.

White pelicans migrate every fall to the Florida. Lois' mom and dad are on the right.

Osprey flying with a fish.

The morning breakfast run.

Bird Watching

Birdwatching is year-round. Migrating birds and mating season offer unique experience for bird enthusiasts and photographers.

Ruddy Turnstone.



Windsurfers were up for Hurricane Hermine’s challenge!
Windsurfers were hitting the high surf during Hurricane Hermine on Pass-A-Grille Beach.
Catching air!


Normally the surf is calm, but when the surf kicks up, especially during a storm, the surfers head for the waves.

Hurricane Hermine's Cat 1 winds produced some of the largest ways ever at Pass-A-Grille
Runs were not that long.


The Gulf beach's surf is smooth as glass and great for paddleboarding.

Calm blue water.


Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico offer excellent kayaking and canoeing. There are trails to follow and plenty of boat ramps or areas from which you can launch.


The county and cities have great interconnected trails that accommodate both pedestrians and bikes.

Skyway Trial goes all the way to the North Skyway Rest Stop. You can continue onto the North Skyway Fishing Pier.

Skyway Trail goes up and over the Misener Bridge. Stop and watch the watch the boats go under the bridge.

Bayway Trail connects St. Pete to St. Petersburg.

Bayway Trail crosses the Pinellas Bayway. Enjoy the vista views!

Gulf Way Walkway is at Pass-A-Grille on St. Pete Beach. If you don’t want to use the sidewalk, you can walk on the beach.

Gulf Way walkway goes from the southernmost point of Pass-A-Grille to the northern end. The sidewalk is about a mile long.

Clam Bayou is in South St. Petersburg next to Gulfport.

Clam Bayou has a bike path that winds through the scenic bayou..

Treasure Island Beach Walk has informational placards along the beach walk.

Treasure Island Beach Walk winds its way between the hotels and beach.

Trails cross Johns Pass, which separates Treasure Island and Madeira Beach.

Courtney Campbell Trail crosses the northern end of Tampa Bay.

Courtney Campbell Trail connects Clearwater and Tampa.

Clearwater Beach has a Beach Walk.

Bridge walking is popular. This is Dunedin’s Causeway Boulevard. Great sunset spot.


Visit the pelican's home and have a personal tour. There are many "Neighborhoods" to visit. So plan your trip accordingly!

Little McPherson Bayou.
All rookeries are home to multiple bird species.
Each rookery has a flight path. Landings can be tricky.
The young ones like fish snacks!


Pelicans know where every fishery is located. The pelicans are always ready when the boats unload their catch.

Getting ready to unload the catch.

Yellow edge grouper is a deep-water fish. Tastes like lobster.

No playing on the slide. They are to slide the crates of fish.

Big fish!

Time it right to see black tuna being filleted

Attendees gets a Sushi "Go bag" if you know the owner.

Filling up the boat with ice!

See the fleet at the marina!

Coast Guard in action!

Responding to a capsized boat near the Skyway South Fishing Pier next to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Patrolling St. Petersburg’s waters.

USCG Sector St. Petersburg is one of the Coast Guard's largest commands.

MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter from USCG Air Station Clearwater.

U.S. Coast Guard conducts counter narcotics operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Two tons of cocaine were discovered on Mr. Geo. The drug smuggling vessel was brought to a marina in St. Petersburg, Florida..

Visit the USCG Blackthorn memorial and pay your respects for the lives lost. Memorial is located at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge's North Rest Stop.

You can pan the skies for the Coast Guard Search and Rescue helicopters.

Gulf Beaches!

Southernmost point on St. Pete Beach.

Beach access on Pass-A-Grille's Beach, St. Pete Beach.

All the Gulf beaches have beach access areas.

The Gulf beaches are bike-able.

Yoga classes are offered on the beaches!

Rest and relaxation at the Loews Don CeSar on St. Pete Beach.

Umbrella decisions at the Loews Don CeSar Hotel!

Or you can bring your own umbrella and chair to any beach.

At most beaches, you can rent umbrellas or cabana.

Some take the beach very seriously!

Paddleboard on the Gulf's smooth glass-like waters.

Sometimes an offshore storm will kick up the surf.

Rest of the time, life is an umbrella love fest.

Advanced #PelicanYoga Classes

Advanced #PelicanYoga classes are taught by certified instructors. Classes are designed for the pelican who wants to excel.

Need to improve your "fish catching" skill? #PelicanYoga offers advanced classes.
Sign up now for advanced diving. Spaces go fast!
Improve your ground effect and save energy while flying.
Advanced class on a pylon make sitting look easy!
Landing around boats is a special advanced class.
Learning to fly with a wingman is more difficult than it looks.
A pelican has to be part thrill seeker to do "Storm yoga".
Florida's East coasters teach a special advanced class on echelon flying. Classes coincide with their meetings at #PelicanYoga's world headquarters. Never know where a tropical storm or hurricane may impact your day. Just ask Hermine!
#PelicanYoga's Advanced classed help with the fast takeoff. Never be left behind again! Or caught with your wings down!
Advanced classes give you confidence to land and sleep on a rope!
Not ready for #PelicanYoga's advanced classes? Beginner classes are available.
Neck stretches are a part of beginner classes.
#PelicanYoga advanced classes teach you how to handle bullies so you never lose your nesting spot!
#PelicanYoga advanced classes will have you in top form.
Every #PelicanYoga advanced class includes a treat at the end!
Only the freshest grouper is served.
Grouper fillets are all you can catch!
Both beginner and advanced #PelicanYoga classes fill up fast. We encourage you to sign up during early registration!

#PelicanYoga Shows Off Tampa Bay

Follow #PelicanYoga to find those hidden spots around Tampa Bay.
Experience a sunset over St. Pete Beach from the world headquarters.
Learn a few of #PelicanYoga's dirty secrets...
Hop on a tour boat to see all the #PelicanYoga spots
Be safe! #PelicanYoga classes stop when lightning is near.

Enjoy more stories and images of what I get to enjoy everyday!

Purchase Robert Neff's Photography online at Saatachi Art, Adobe Stock Photography and Fotolia. If you see a photograph that is not there, let me know. I can add the image.

Venice, Italy. 2009

Condo Seniors and Driving The Divas are trademarks registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Created By
Robert Neff


Copyright ©2017 Robert Neff. All Rights Reserved.

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.