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10999Oct 12 Pelagic trip from Ventura

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  • David Pereksta
    Sep 5, 2013
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      Hi all

      If you want a chance to get far offshore in October to see what seabirds and marine mammals are moving through on their incredible migrations, Island Packers in the Ventura Harbor is offering a 12-hour deepwater pelagic on Oct 12, 2013. This trip allows us to get out to offshore waters beyond the reach of most day trips where we will have a chance to see a number of outstanding pelagic birds and marine mammals. Our intention is to go south from Ventura towards San Nicolas Island and the banks, knolls, canyons, and other productive features in that area. This will give us the chance to look for sought-after species like Red-billed Tropicbird, Least Storm-Petrel, Leach's Storm-Petrel (including Townsend's Storm-Petrel - a potential split), Guadalupe Murrelet, and Craveri's Murrelet. There have already been sightings of the two murrelets off southern California in the last week so this may be the year to find these elusive birds. We will decide what our offshore destinations will be after reviewing oceanographic conditions at the time of the trip, which will help determine where birds and other marine life may be present and/or concentrated.  The Sep 21 Condor Express trip has been cancelled due to lack of sign-ups so this may be the only fall trip out of the Ventura/Santa Barbara area this year.

      We also intend to check the waters around the northern Channel Islands on our way out or on our return (depending on our course for the day) because during the fall, hundreds (sometimes thousands) of shearwaters crowd into the inter-island gaps. We will be looking through flocks of Pink-footed and Sooty Shearwaters for  Buller's, Flesh-footed (uncommon), and Manx (rare) Shearwaters. This is peak season for seabird diversity so in addition to the species already mentioned, we will be looking for Black-footed Albatross, Black and Ashy Storm-Petrels, Cassin's and Rhinoceros Auklets, and Pomarine and Long-tailed Jaegers. It is a good time of year for South Polar Skua, and Sabine's Gull and Arctic Tern are possible. In 2009, a Blue-footed Booby and Brown Booby were seen well by all aboard!

      Our vessel will be one of Island Packer’s ultra-fast catamarans. These vessels feature a spacious and comfortable cabin that seats 65 people, galley, and excellent viewing from both the upper and lower decks. A full contingent of outstanding seabird leaders will be present to make sure we see all that is out there.  The Captain and crew know how to run birding trips and are enthusiastic and helpful. We will also be adequately supplied with various types of chum to try and bring the birds in close.  Photographers will not be disappointed!

      The cost for the trip is $175. We depart the Ventura Harbor promptly at 7:00 AM, so please arrive by 6:30 AM to facilitate check-in and loading. Call Island Packers at 805-642-1393 or go online at www.islandpackers.com to reserve your spot. I look forward to seeing you on-board in October.


      David Pereksta