Sunday, February 12, 2012


Every year, Shearwater Journeys' pelagic trip in early August to the Farallon Islands sells out early. Heading under the Golden Gate Bridge to these protected offshore islands, home to the largest breeding seabird colony in the United States, south of Alaska, we aim to see the islands icon species, the TUFTED PUFFIN. We have a 100% success rate for finding these amazing alcids which nest in holes and crevices on the cliff facings. Last year's trip added two "bonus birds"— a BROWN BOOBY and LAYSAN ALBATROSS. This year, in addition to the AUGUST 5 trip, we've added a second trip on SEPTEMBER 30th. Although this will be the post-breeding season, we hope to encounter a GREAT WHITE SHARK, as this is the time of year when they show up.

We'll have lunch near the residents' homes. These breeding islands are strictly protected, and we cannot land.
Like the KILLER WHALE, which we have often observed on these trips (August 8, 2010), the GREAT WHITE SHARK is a top predator. I urge you to read Peter Pyle's account of the "History of PRBO Research on White Sharks." We'll have to have some luck to see a White Shark, but it could happen. Late September and October is the best time of year to hope for a sighting.

If time and weather conditions allow, we'll head beyond the islands to the edge of the continental shelf, where we hope to find jaegers, Sabine's Gull, Arctic Tern and Black-footed Albatross. A Laysan Albatross flew up our stern on the 2011 trip to the delight of all! Images, above, Parasitic Jaeger and below, Laysan Albatross, copyright, Tony Brake.
This year's trip details are below. Sign up early to avoid disappointment!
August 5 Leaders: Debi Shearwater & Jennifer Green. SOLD OUT. WAIT LIST ONLY.
September 30 Leaders: Peter Pyle, Russ Bradley, Annie Schmidt, Debi Shearwater
Fee: $157 per person. This trip is SOLD OUT. WAIT LIST ONLY.
Departure: 7:30 a.m. from Clipper Yacht Harbor (map); 310 Harbor Drive, Sausalito
Vessel: Outer Limits, a very stable catamaran (Google map here).
Return: Approximately 3-4:30 p.m.
Parking fee: $2 per person. Do not park in front of the Fish Restaurant.
Check in: Please check in with Debi at 7:15 a.m. and pay the parking fee to her at the dock. Allow at least 10 minutes to park and check in.
Dress warmly & bring lunch & drinks. Take a seasick pill. This is a non-smoking trip.
Puffins & White Sharks Forever,
Debi Shearwater

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