For the second time in just a few months, Todd McGrath found a WHITE-CHINNED PETREL (Procellaria aequinoctialis) on October 16, 2011 near the Cordell Bank on a pelagic trip from Bodega Bay. This petrel was sitting on the water, as below, with a flock of NORTHERN FULMARS. Images copyright, Todd McGrath. Please do not use without permission.
This individual petrel is not the same bird as the WHITE-CHINNED PETREL that Todd found on the September 6, 2011 southern California pelagic trip aboard the Searcher. Given these two White-chinned Petrel records, and the two sightings of GREAT-WINGED PETREL (found by Abe Borker August 26, 2011 at Monterey Bay and September 17, at Half Moon Bay, both Shearwater Journeys' trips), and reports of SHORT-TAILED ALABTROSS, I've determined that an "emergency" pelagic trip at Bodega Bay is in order. In addition, other seabirds were abundant at Bodega Canyon and Cordell Bank on October 14, 15 and 16. Late October and November are really great times to get out on the ocean. Most of the southern hemisphere breeders have departed, making the unusual or rare seabirds stand out more readily. For instance, every one of Shearwater Journeys' October pelagic trips, from every port, found at least one FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER. Our Half Moon Bay trip on October 16th found four Flesh-footed Shearwaters and a LAYSAN ALBATROSS.
You will need a reservation for the "Emergency" pelagic trip. The trip is guaranteed to run no matter how many people sign up. If the trip sells out, I will post a notice on this blog and on the list serves. The trip will only be canceled if the weather/seas do not allow us to proceed. I will try to call you on your cell phone, if that happens.
EMERGENCY PELAGIC TRIP INFO:
DATE: SAT, OCT 29
PLACE OF DEPARTURE: PORT O'BODEGA, BODEGA BAY
MEETING TIME: 6:30 AM, SHARP
RETURN TIME: APPROX. 5 PM, DO NOT BOOK AN EVENING FLIGHT
BOAT FEE: $230 PER PERSON
RESERVATIONS: Email your name, home address, cell phone to email@example.com and put your check in the mail immediately. After October 25th, do not send checks. You will need to pay at the dock, cash only, if space is still available. You will need to have a reply from Debi for a firm reservation.
PREPARATION: Dress very warmly with waterproof outer layer, if possible. You must wear CLOSE-TOED SHOES. Bring gloves, hats. Bring all food & drink for the day. Take a seasick pill. As with all Shearwater Journeys trip, this is a non-smoking trip. Check in with Debi prior to boarding the boat.
BODEGA BAY MOTELS: Bodega Harbor Inn is usually the least expensive, but not my personal favorite. Inn at the Tides is very nice and seems like it might have a special rate going on at the moment. There's a few others, but not many. Motel rates can be cheaper on Highway 101 in Petaluma. However, if you elect to stay along Highway 101, be sure to allow yourself at least an hour to drive to the boat because you can get lost, get slowed down by dense fog or a small truck pulling a trailer with a boat. For the person who has never been to Bodega Bay before, this option is not the best idea. If you miss the boat, and I will leave on time, you will not receive any refund or credit.
RESTAURANTS: No restaurants are open early enough in the morning for the boat trip. None of the motels serves breakfast early enough, either. Be sure to plan for your breakfast. Some motel rooms have refrigerators and/or microwaves. The Pelican Plaza Deli and gourmet grocery store can make you a good sandwich for the boat trip, but you'll need to arrive before they close on Friday night. My favorite restaurant for dinner is the Sandpiper.
Keep in mind that Shearwater Journeys' two November trips have spaces available: November 22 departing from Half Moon Bay and November 27 departing from Monterey Bay.
Shearwaters & Auklets & Procellaria Petrels Forever,
AKA: Annie Auklet as played by Angelica Huston in the 20th Century Fox movie, "The Big Year" now playing at theater near you!