A Second SoCal Pelagic Expedition
- 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 is to announce a second four day, four night deepwater "Pelagic
Expedition" leaving from San Diego April 24-28.
Due to the tremendous response and quick sell out for the previously
announced four day, four-night deepwater "Pelagic Expedition" leaving from
San Diego April 17-21, 2003, the boat owner has agreed to accommodate a
second trip, scheduled for April 24-28. 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:
The planned itinerary will be as the first trip, keeping in mind that
weather and/or the results of the first trip could alter the planned
Leave San Diego's Fisherman's 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
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
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 in the morning, 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 for a while, then drift and put out
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 Fisherman's Landing around 8am, and from there heading out
our separate ways.
f 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, or sooner, as to what deposits will be required and when they
will be due.
San Buenaventura, California, USA