Sunday, May 20, 2012


Howdy, Seabirders.

Shearwater Journeys has an incredible array of pelagic trips departing from Half Moon Bay this fall season. These departures are within easy reach for birders traveling from San Francisco, San Jose and the East Bay areas. While we have only offered trips from this harbor for a few years, the seabird sightings have been top quality. This could turn out to be one of the easiest ports for reaching the waters where COOK'S PETRELS might be observed. This is a highly sought-after species for most birders. Other rare seabirds have been found on Half Moon Bay departures have included: GREAT-WINGED PETREL, PARKINSON'S PETREL, SHORT-TAILED ALBATROSS, and of course, COOK'S PETRELS. We normally head to the edge of the Continental Shelf and offshore to the head of Pioneer Canyon. Sometimes, we head northwest toward the Farallon Islands, and see them in the distance. For this reason, TUFTED PUFFIN is often sighted on these trips. In addition, we often find very large flocks and rafts of STORM-PETRELS, which have included: BLACK, ASHY, WILSON'S, LEACH'S and FORK-TAILED. LAYSAN ALBATROSS is "regular" on our early season trips in late July and August. Most of our trips begin by searching for the endangered MARBLED MURRELET, just outside of the harbor. This murrelet is not usually encountered on Monterey, Bodega Bay, Fort Bragg or Farallon Islands trips. Please note: Half Moon Bay trips can easily be combined with trips from other ports such as Monterey, Bodega Bay and Emeryville (to the Farallon Islands). The August 27th Half Moon Bay trip is designed to be combined with the August 24 & 25 trips departing from FORT BRAGG. Our Half Moon Bay trips typically cover both SAN MATEO and SAN FRANCISCO COUNTIES. 

JUL. 28, SAT. Cook's Petrel Express
JUL. 29, SUN. Cook's Petrel Express
AUG. 12, SUN. Cook's Petrel Express
AUG. 27, MON. Hawaiian Petrel Search & Offshore
SEP. 9, SUN. Storm-Petrels & Fall Seabirds
SEP. 10, MON. Storm-Petrels & Fall Seabirds
SEP. 22, SAT. Storm-Petrels & Fall Seabirds
SEP. 23, SUN. Storm-Petrels & Fall Seabirds
SEP. 24, MON. Storm-Petrels & Fall Seabirds
OCT. 1, MON. Storm-Petrels & Fall Seabirds
OCT. 7, SUN. Storm-Petrels & Fall Seabirds
OCT. 28, SUN. Storm-Petrels & Fall Seabirds
NOV. 20, TUE. Late Fall & Early Winter Seabirds

We are pleased to announce that all of our trips will be with Captain Bob Ingles, on board the "Queen of Heart," a sparkling clean, stable, 50 foot vessel with two clean bathrooms. A working microwave is available for your use. Please meet at Johnson Pier, Pillar Point on Half Moon Bay, El Granada at 7 a.m. SHARP.  For more on directions, please click here. Please check in with Debi, prior to boarding the boat. Please allow at least 10 minutes to park, use the public restroom and walk down the dock. Parking is free. (Do not park in the marked spaces, though). Dress warmly, including heavy jacket, and waterproof outer layers; bring hats and gloves. Bring lunch and drinks. Take seasick prevention measures. This is a non-smoking trip. Return time to the dock is variable. We could return anywhere from 3 p.m. to as late as 6 p.m., depending on the weather conditions. If you need to book a motel room, it is best to do this early on, as they can be filled up at the last minute. 

Read our JULY 30, 2011 and JULY 31, 2010  JULY 31, 2009 trip reports. For more about Half Moon Bay Motels, click here.

Cook's Petrels Forever,
Debi Shearwater

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