Friday, June 7, 2013
Once again, Shearwater Journeys is pleased of offer a wonderful selection of pelagic trips departing from Half Moon Bay for 2013. Half Moon Bay is within easy reach for birders traveling from San Francisco, San Jose and the East Bay areas. Shearwater Journeys first offered pelagic trips from this port in 1999. However, it has only been in recent years that regular trips with dependable boat operators have been organized. I'm happy to say that for 2013 all of our charters will be with Dennis Baxter on the New Captain Pete, except for the November 16th departure which will be with Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat (both vessels depart from the same location). As with all of our trips, friendly expert leaders will be on board to point out birds. We will be chumming.
In the few years that pelagic trips have operated from this port, quite a number of mega-rare seabirds have been sighted. These include: YELLOW-BILLED LOON; SHORT-TAILED and LAYSAN ALBATROSSES; GREAT-WINGED, COOK'S, HAWAIIAN and PARKINSON'S PETRELS: GREAT and MANX SHEARWATERS. On some trips, huge rafts of mixed species of storm-petrels have been observed. These have included: ASHY, BLACK, WILSON'S, FORK-TAILED and LEACH'S STORM-PETRELS. On all of our trips. we search the nearshore waters for the federally endangered MARBLED MURRELET which is not usually found on departures from any other ports, including Monterey.
Trips from Half Moon Bay can easily be combined with trips from Monterey. Trips from Half Moon Bay should be backed up with a second trip, in case your trip is weathered out. Unlike the half-moon shaped Monterey Bay, Half Moon Bay is not protected from the prevailing northwest winds. Although fall (August through October) experiences the best marine weather, trips departing from Half Moon Bay and Bodega Bay can be weathered out at any time of the year. Over the past 38 years, only one fall trip from Monterey has been weathered out, however. Back up your trip by reserving a second trip!
2013 HALF MOON BAY PELAGIC TRIPS WITH SHEARWATER JOURNEYS
JUL. 27, SAT. COOK'S PETREL EXPRESS
JUL. 28, SUN. COOK'S PETREL EXPRESS
AUG. 11, SUN. COOK'S & HAWAIIAN PETREL EXPRESS
AUG. 17, SAT. COOK'S & HAWAIIAN PETREL EXPRESS
AUG. 18, SUN. COOK'S & HAWAIIAN PETREL EXPRESS
AUG. 25, SUN. COOK'S & HAWAIIAN PETREL EXPRESS
SEP. 8, SUN. ALBATROSSES, PETRELS & STORM-PETRELS
SEP. 9, MON. ALBATROSSES, PETRELS & STORM-PETRELS
SEP. 16, SUN. ALBATROSSES & STORM-PETRELS
SEP. 28, SAT. ALBATROSSES & STORM-PETRELS
SEP. 29, SUN. ALBATROSSES & STORM-PETRELS
OCT. 6, SUN. ALBATROSSES & STORM-PETRELS
OCT. 27, SUN. LATE FALL & EARLY WINTER SEABIRDS
NOV. 16, SAT. LATE FALL & EARLY WINTER SEABIRDS
DETAILS FOR HALF MOON BAY TRIPS:
DEPARTURE: 7 A.M. SHARP, meet Debi and check in at H Dock, Johnson Pier at Pillar Point Harbor on Half Moon Bay, El Granada. Location here.
RETURN: We should return about 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Allow for delays of up to several hours.
PARKING is free in the lot near the dock. Do NOT park in the spaces labeled "two hour" parking. Allow yourself about 10 minutes to park and walk to the dock.
PRICE ADJUSTMENT: All rates quoted are 2012 rates. A price adjustment may be collected at the dock of $5 - 10 per person. This is payable only in cash.
MICROWAVE is available on board for your convenience. Bring all food and drinks.
Take seasick prevention medications. Dress warmly with waterproof outer layers. This is a non-smoking trip.
MOTELS: It is possible to arrive and find all motels fully booked. Best to book in advance. As anywhere along the California coast, motel rooms can be quite expensive. Local motels in the area include: COMFORT INN (Where I have stayed often and found to be quite good. Early booking on their web site results in a lower rate, although it is non-refundable); HARBOR VIEW INN is low priced and possibly within walking distance of the dock. Check it out. Under no circumstances should you book: American's Best Value Inn because they have bed bugs! If you really want something cheap, check out the MOTEL 6 in Belmont. Tricky on and off ramps from Highway 101. Allow yourself at least 45 minutes to drive from the motel to the dock, more time, if you plan to stop for food or you do not know exactly where the dock is located! Get directions to get there from Google Maps. Highway 92 is a winding two lane road that is often enshrouded in fog. Take care.
Hope to see you out there!