Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Howdy, Seabirders,

Since 1980, Shearwater Journeys has offered pelagic trips departing from Bodega Bay, north of Point Reyes and San Francisco. The vessel for all of our departures this season will be the New Sea Angler, a 65' comfortable sportfisher. The New Sea Angler and Trek II (used for our Fort Bragg departures), are two of the best birding boat platforms along the California coastline. We have used the New Sea Angler for many years. Her captain is intimately acquainted with birding and birders. 

Cordell Bank and Bodega Canyon have held an immense array of rare seabirds over the 30+ years that we've operated in these waters. Some of these seabirds have included: LAYSAN, "SHY" (3 records), LIGHT-MANTLED and SHORT-TAILED ALBATROSSES; MURPHY'S, COOK'S, HAWAIIAN, WHITE-CHINNED, PARKINSON'S and GREAT-WINGED PETRELS; STREAKED, CORY'S, GREAT, FLESH-FOOTED, WEDGE-TAILED and MANX SHEARWATERS; WILSON'S and LEAST STORM-PETRELS; LONG-BILLED MURRELET; CRESTED AUKLET. These are some of the rarest of the rare, seabird records. Todd McGrath found a very rare, WHITE-CHINNED PETREL on October 16, 2011 Bodega Bay trip!

The Cordell Bank is a National Marine Sanctuary which was established in 1989. It is an extraordinary ecosystem. Whales and other marine mammals are often abundant on these trips. White Sharks are sometimes encountered. 

AUG. 22, WED. (Can be combined with Fort Bragg trips, August 24 & 25)
SEP. 21, FRI.
OCT. 26, FRI. 

All of our Bodega Bay trips depart at 6:30 a.m. Parking is free. For complete trip details, click here. And, more details, here. Some trip reports: August 17, 2011; October 16, 2011; September 17 & 19, 2002 (Streaked Shearwater & Hawaiian/Dark-rumped Petrel); September 16, 2005 (Cook's Petrel); and many more Trip Reports

Hope to see you out there!
Shearwaters forever,
Debi Shearwater


Howdy, Seabirders,

Pelagic trips from Fort Bragg offered by Shearwater Journeys, Inc. this season are scheduled for FRIDAY, AUGUST 24 and SATURDAY, AUGUST 25. Both trips will be aboard the TREK II, an excellent vessel with a large bow. These trips will target, specifically, HAWAIIAN PETREL, a Federally Endangered Species. Of the single day seabird trips off the west coast, these trips offer the best chances for finding this petrel. We have had about a 50% success rate. Therefore, it is best to sign up for both days! We have had past weekends where one trip found Hawaiian Petrels, and the very next day did not!

Past trips from Fort Bragg have included not only HAWAIIAN PETREL, but also, such rare seabirds as MANX SHEARWATER, STREAKED SHEARWATER, MURPHY'S PETREL, SHORT-TAILED ALBATROSS, LAYSAN ALBATROSS, SHY ALBATROSS, HORNED PUFFIN and more. Perhaps, we'll have a surprise seabird this year! For more information on Hawaiian Petrel, Fort Bragg trips, and the 2010 trip report, click here.

Leaders for this year's trips, do date include:


More leaders may be added.

Please note that these trips can be combined with the following two trips: Wednesday, AUGUST 22 departing from Bodega Bay and Monday, AUGUST 27, departing from Half Moon Bay. If you are traveling a long distance, it makes sense to try to book on as many trips as possible during your stay.

All trips depart from Noyo Harbor at 6:30 a.m. and return between 4:30 - 6 p.m. Parking is free (do not park in spaces marked for Silver's Wharf). Directions are here. Dress warmly, including waterproof outer layers, hats and gloves. Bring lunch and drinks. Restroom is available on board. This is a large, stable vessel, however, you should take seasickness precautions. Advance reservations for overnight accommodations are recommended. Check with the Surf Motel & Gardens for a possible Shearwater Discount.

Hawaiian Petrels Forever,
Debi Shearwater

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