>the phrase, "the Gulf claims," still is a puzzle.

Maybe because "the Gulf" seems to me to be a watery abyss, as in TWL's "Oed' und leer das Meer" (void and dark the sea), I read "the Gulf claims" as noun then verb, with three direct objects for the verb: the gull (both against and with the wind), the white feather in the snow, and the old man.

Terry