Pelican as a sea-faring name harks back to the 70-foot eighteen-gun sailor, later renamed the Golden Hinde, of Sir Francis Drake, who set sail from Plymouth, England, in November 1577 with the support and encouragement of Queen Elizabeth I, to challenge the dominion of the Spanish under Phillip II.
Surely that illustrious voyage, which more famously established Drake as the first captain to survive the circumnavigation of the world, has less to do with the popularity of “Pelican” as a symbol of haven for wayfarers than does the ancient heritage of coastal inns in England.
Yet in the Pelican Inn at Muir Beach both traditions have a special meaning.
“As soon as I enter the door of a tavern, I experience oblivion of care, and a freedom from solicitude. There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.” Samuel Johnson