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SoCal Pelagic Expedition

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  • Don DesJardin
    NOTE: This is not a commercial announcement. The organizers of this trip, Don Desjardin and Walter Wehtje will not make any money on this endeavor. We just
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 3, 2002
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      NOTE: This is not a commercial announcement. The organizers of this trip,
      Don Desjardin and Walter Wehtje will not make any money on this endeavor.
      We just want to go birding for pelagics really far offshore.

      This announcement is for a four day, four-night deepwater "Pelagic
      Expedition" leaving from San Diego in mid-April 2003 (Soft date of 17
      April-21 April). We intend to head up past Point Conception, visit
      Arguello Canyon, the Rodriguez Dome, San Juan Seamount, and an outermost
      seamount 40 miles southwest of Cortez Bank, 150 miles offshore. We will
      have three full days of birding along the 2,000-fathom line, and wherever
      else the birds take us. Our target species are Murphy's Petrel, Red-tailed
      Tropicbird, Horned Puffin, Parakeet Auklet, Laysan Albatross, Black-footed
      Albatross and whatever else may show up. April is the peak month for
      northward migration for many of these species, and while most sightings of
      Murphy's Petrel in California waters are from April, very little is known
      about what else we may find this far offshore.

      While our primary focus will be on birds, there's also a very good chance
      of seeing several species of cetaceans, including Blue Whale, Fin Whale,
      Humpback Whale and Sperm Whale. While not guaranteed, our trip does cover
      waters where beaked whales can be expected.

      If you've birded off the California coast, you're all too familiar with the
      trade-offs between comfort, time spent far offshore, and cost. With this
      trip we maximize comfort and time offshore, and contain cost. We've
      chartered the "Searcher", a 95' long-range sport fishing boat with room for
      32 passengers. There are 16 two-person cabins, showers, with all meals and
      beverages included. The cost for this trip will be $650 per person. To see
      the boat, go to:
      http://www.searchersportfishing.com

      Itinerary:

      Day 1
      Leave San Diego Sea-Landing at 12-noon. Sail northwest between San
      Clemente and Catalina Islands and on towards Point Conception. During the
      afternoon we should see some of the more common inshore species, such as
      Black-vented Shearwater. Once we come closer to the islands we should have
      good opportunities for Xantus's Murrelets, and other alcids. During the
      night we sail through the Santa Rosa Passage, and on towards Point Conception.

      Day 2
      We approach Point Conception during the early morning and head out towards
      Arguello Canyon. The whole day will be spent crossing this area and the
      Rodriguez Dome. Here we hope to see Murphy's Petrel, albatrosses, and some
      of the offshore alcids. After dark we'll head south and slowly cover 50
      miles.

      Day 3
      Dawn will find us at the San Juan Seamount, 100 miles SSW of Point
      Conception. During the night and drifting with the current, we will have
      put out a tuna oil slick, which should attract a variety of procellarids.
      Depending upon what we find we stay here or sail southwards along the outer
      edge of the Patton Escarpment, looking for areas of upwelling and sharp
      temperature shifts. At sundown we will slowly work our way towards the next
      destination, drift and put out a slick, or a combination of both.

      Day 4
      Much of this day will be spent more than 150 miles offshore. Here is our
      best opportunity for Red-tailed Tropicbird and Cook's Petrel. Few have
      birded here previously, so there may be a few surprises in store. During
      the day we sail towards Cortez Bank, and head back to San Diego after dark
      and arrive at Sea-Landing around 8am, and from there heading out our
      separate ways.
      If you're interested in this trip, please contact Don Desjardin at
      birdpix@..., or Walter Wehtje (after 2 August) at wehtje@...
      for any further information. This trip will be limited to 28 paid spaces
      and we will be accepting sign ups to hold a place on the boat on a first
      come basis. If there is enough interest, you will be notified around 1
      September as to what deposits will be required and when they will be due.

      San Buenaventura, California, USA
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