Friday, June 7, 2013


A small portion of a raft of FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS photographed by Dave Pereksta, copyright, near Bodega Canyon. This folk comprised 3000 FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS, 1000 ASHY STORM-PETRELS and 1000 BLACK STORM-PETRELS on September 21, 2012. As if that wasn't enough leader, Todd McGrath spotted a HAWAIIAN PETREL that zipped by! 

Since 1980 Shearwater Journeys has offered pelagic trips departing from Bodega Bay, north of Point Reyes and San Francisco. The vessel for our three departures this season will be the New Sea Angler, a 65' comfortable sport fisher that can accommodate 49 birders. This vessel is an excellent birding platform. Our captain, Rick Powers is intimately acquainted with birding and birders. 

The areas that we cover on this departure have recorded more mega-rare seabirds than any other port in North America! The list is very long: SHORT-TAILED, SHY (three different times), LAYSAN, LIGHT-MANTELED ALBATROSSES; MURPHY'S, COOK'S, HAWAIIAN, WHITE-CHINNED, PARKINSON'S and GREAT-WINGED PETRELS; GREAT, MANX, STREAKED, CORY'S, WEDGE-TAILED and FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS; LEAST STORM-PETREL; LONG-BILLED MURRELET and CRESTED AUKLET. These are some of the rarest of the rare seabirds in all of North America, and in some instances, the northern Pacific Ocean. (Great-winged Petrel represented the first record for the Northern Hemisphere, as well as North America). 


AUG. 30, FRI.
SEP. 20, FRI.
OCT. 18, FRI.

DEPARTURE: 7:00 a.m., SHARP.  The boat will not wait for latecomers. Check in with Debi at the dock. 
RETURN: About 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Allow for delays of several hours. 
PARKING: is free in the large, dirt lot. Try to find the location the day prior, as it can be confusing in the morning darkness.  On Highway 1, heading north from Bodega Bay, proceed north of the Tides' Wharf, past the Boat House restaurant on your left. Turn left, heading downhill at the large, brown sign for EAST SHORE ROAD. At the stop sign at the bottom of the hill, proceed straight to Port O'Bodega. It will seem as if you are heading out to the water. Park here. 
PRICE ADJUSTMENT: All fees quoted are at the 2012 rates. A price adjustment of $10-20 per person may be collected, in cash only, at the dockside should rates increase. 
FOOD & DRINKS: Bring all of your food and drinks. Nothing is available on the boat. There are no restaurants open in the morning hours prior to departure.
MOTELS: in the area can be fully booked and can be expensive. Bodega Coast Inn and Suites is only 5 minutes from the dock. You might try asking the manager for the "Shearwater Discount" which they sometimes honor. Bodega Harbor Inn is conveniently located. Be sure to ask about their refund policy. And, the Inn at the Tides is very nice, if you have family members traveling with you who will not be doing the boat trip. Cheaper motels can be found along the Highway 101 corridor. However, be SURE to allow a minimum of one hour to get to the dock from any motel along 101. The two lane roads are winding, confusing and can be fogged in.  It is possible to get stuck behind a truck pulling a trailer with a boat on it, going only 30 mph. Birders have missed the boat by not allowing enough time to make this trip! NO eating facilities are open in the morning hours in Bodega Bay. 
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE: Be sure to check toll payment details regarding crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, if you plan to cross it when southbound.

Petrels forever,
Debi Shearwater

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