San Diego Pelagic Trips
- Second Annual Murphy's Petrel Pelagic Trips
If you need that ultimate Pterodroma, here's your opportunity.
Following last years trips, during which we observed over 90 Murphy's
Petrels during two trips, the "Searcher" will run two five day pelagic
journeys out of San Diego on 21 - 25 April and 28 April - 2 May.
These multi-day trips are designed to visit southern California's
offshore shelves and seamounts. Special efforts will be made to find
Pterodroma petrels, albatrosses, and tropicbirds, but a good variety
of regular pelagic birds will also be encountered. The "Searcher"
departs at noon on day 1 and return at 8:00am on day 5. We will
travel north out of San Diego along the coast during the night and
arriving inside the northern most of the Channel Islands, San Miguel,
at daybreak. From there the plan is to continue northwest until
reaching the southern end of Arguello Canyon and then take a turn down
wind and down swell to the Rodriguez Seamount, San Juan Seamount, and
points along and past the continental shelf. The exact itinerary will
vary based on the leaders' and captain's judgments about bird
abundance and weather conditions. Our comfortable live-aboard is
equipped with excellent sleeping accommodations, hot showers, and a
full galley, which would be more than glad to accommodate any special
Highlights from spring 2003 included Murphy's Petrels, Laysan and
Black-footed Albatross, Pink-footed Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater,
Black-vented Shearwater, Black Storm-petrel, Ashy Storm-petrel,
Leach's Storm-petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, all 3 jaegers, Arctic
Tern, Sabine's Gull, Xantus's Murrelet, Rhinoceros Auklet, and
Cassin's Auklet. Other possibilities include Cook's Petrels (several
Cook types were seen distantly spring 2003), Stejneger's Petrel,
Mottled Petrel. Dark-rumped Petrel, Bulwer's Petrel (1 in September
2003) and Red-tailed Tropicbird (1 in September 2003).
Although the primary focus will be on finding birds, a variety of
marine mammals may also be encountered. Species observed in 2003
included Blue Whale, Fin Whale, Humpback Whale, Sperm Whale, Baird's
Beaked Whale, Orca, Short-beaked Common Dolphin, Long-beaked Common
Dolphin, Risso's Dolphin, Pacific White-sided Dolphin, Northern
Right-whale Dolphin, Risso's Dolphin, Northern Elephant Seal, Harbor
Seal, California Sea Lion, and Guadalupe Fur Seal.
Walter Wehtje and Mary Scott put together a very good photo essay
about the April 24-28, 2003 pelagic trip. If interested, you may view
Dates of 2004 trips: April 21-25, April 28- May 2, Sep 8-12
Cost: $750 (includes all food and beverages, excludes crew gratuity).
For more information on these and future trips, feel free to contact
me directly, or
Searcher Natural History Tours
2838 Garrison Street
San Diego, California 92106 USA
Phone: (619) 226-2403
Fax: (619) 226-1332