Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cook's/Hawaiian Petrel Trips & Canceled Fort Bragg Trip

Howdy, Seabirders,

This post contains news of upcoming pelagic trips departing from Bodega Bay, north of Point Reyes, as well as an announcement that the Shearwater Journeys' pelagic trip scheduled to depart from Fort Bragg on September 18th cancellation.

FORT BRAGG: The breakdown of the boat, Trek II, forced the cancellation of our sold out August 14 & 16th trips. The boat is not even hauled out for repairs at this stage. The owner/operator has let me know that he doubts that the boat will be fixed by the time of our next trip, scheduled for September 18th. Therefore, the SEPTEMBER 18TH FORT BRAGG TRIP IS CANCELED. We deeply regret this action, but decided that it would be better to cancel now, rather than later, when it would be more difficult for participants to change motel reservations, etc. You will receive a full refund, in due course, or you may apply credit from this trip to another trip in 2009. Please contact Debra Shearwater by email to do this. The October 18 Fort Bragg trip will operate. Please see below, as we will continue to offer a trip on September 18th, departing from Bodega Bay.

BODEGA BAY: We are offering a replacement trip on September 18th, departing from Bodega Bay. In addition, we are offering a dedicated COOK'S/HAWAIIAN PETREL CHASE TRIP on SEPTEMBER 5TH, departing from Bodega Bay. The line up for trips departing from Bodega Bay now includes:

Saturday, September 5: dedicated chase trip for Cook's/Hawaiian Petrels, as well as any other rarities
Wednesday, September 16: Bodega Canyon & Cordell Bank
Friday, September 18: Bodega Canyon & Cordell Bank
Sunday, September 20: Bodega Canyon & Cordell Bank

For September 5th, the dedicated chase trip, please note that a "chase" trip is not suitable for small children or pets. A chase trip means that we are heading straight for the area where we think we are most likely to find the petrels, and/or other rare seabirds. It means that we probably won't be stopping for humpback whales, or necessarily any whales, or any ordinary seabirds. We are on a mission, as it were, to find our target species. In my experience, remaining focused on the mission brings greater success in accomplishing that mission! Scheduled leaders thus far, on this trip include: Todd McGrath, Linda Terrill, Scott Terrill, Steve Howell, Jon Dunn and Debra Shearwater. No discounts can be applied to this this trip.

For the September 16, 18, & 20 Bodega trips: spaces are still open on all of these trips. Is it worth it to do more than one trip? You betcha! For one thing, the species mix changes every single day. It is migration! For another thing, woe be to those who sign on for only one trip, having traveled a long distance, only to have the trip weathered out. Yes, it can happen, although September is usually our best month for the best ocean/seas. I hope that you won't kick yourself when the next rare seabird shows up on the trip that you didn't do!

The Bodega Canyon and Cordell Bank area, along with the "football" northwest of the canyon remain one of the most incredibly productive areas, anywhere off North America for mega-rare seabirds. Let's look at the list: Laysan Albatross, Short-tailed Albatross, Wandering Albatross, White-capped Albatross, Chatham Albatross, Salvin's Albatross, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Parkinson's Petrel, Great-winged Petrel, Streaked Shearwater, Cory's Shearwater, Greater Shearwater, Manx Shearwater and Wedge-tailed Shearwater.

At this time leaders for the September 16th trip include: Lisa Hug, Peter Pyle, Steve Howell, John Sterling, Don Doolittle and Debra Shearwater. Leaders will be announced for the September 18th trip. Leaders for the September 20th trip include: Steve Rottenborn, Lisa Hug, Todd McGrath, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill and Debra Shearwater.

TRIP DETAILS: All trips are a GO. All trips meet at 6:30 am at Port O' Bodega in Bodega Bay. We will return about 4-6 pm. Bring lunch, dress warmly, including waterproof outer layers. Wear close-toed shoes. No Tevas. Parking is free in the big lot near the vessel, New Sea Angler. The boat is very comfortable, with plenty of deck space and seating.

RESERVATIONS: are essential, as trips may sell out. Please contact me, by email (best). When emailing me, please include your cell phone number, and let me know that you have put a check in the mail, asap. (No credit cards) Reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no discounts for the September 5th trip. Motels in Bodega Bay are quite expensive for the weekend of September 5th, Labor Day Weekend. And, most are requiring a 2 or 3 night stay. I recommend staying at Motel 6, either in Santa Rosa or Petaluma. Motel 6 gives a discount for AARP members.

The drive from Santa Rosa is straightforward, although you should allow at least 45 minutes to 1 hour to get to Bodega Bay from Highway 101. Currently, no eating facilities are open in Bodega Bay for breakfast.

Please see our trip report for details of the August 12th Bodega Bay trip.
In addition, a trip from Bodega Bay on August 16th found both Cook's and Hawaiian Petrels. There has never, ever been a time like this along the California coastline to see these two species. It may not happen again, in our lifetime.

See you out there,

Debra Shearwater
Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
PO Box 190
Hollister, CA 95024

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