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Pelagic Boat trip pricing?

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  • Doug Aguillard
    I have often wondered about the high cost of Pelagic Birding trips. In the last few messages, I m seeing prices of $99 and $150 for full day trips, and this
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 9, 2009
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      I have often wondered about the high cost of Pelagic Birding trips. In the
      last few messages, I'm seeing prices of $99 and $150 for full day trips, and
      this doesn't seem to be unusual to anyone. Now I understand if this is a
      "for profit" business like Debra Shearwater and Roger Wolfe's trips out of
      Monterey, but I do not understand the pricing on most Audubon trips or these
      chase trips (non-profits), when it is not a licensed business paying taxes.
      I'm currently signed up for an full day trip, that will be leaving San Pedro
      and going out and around Santa Catalina Island for only $60 in early March,
      again a whale watching trip. On January 31st, I went on a scheduled 4 hour
      (actually lasted about 5 hrs) birding trip that cost $40. A $20 difference
      for an extra 4 hours on the Whale watching trip. I'm willing to bet that if
      it was labeled as a Pelagic birding trip, the cost would be $80-$100.



      I have been going on a lot of Whale watching trips lately and it cost
      anywhere from $25-$30 (with a coupon) for a 4 hour trip. Last year, a tour
      company was offering trips daily out to the Coronado Islands from San Diego
      Bay. The cost of this trip was $50 for almost 6 hours. So how is it, that
      birders must pay so much more, especially since gasoline prices have come
      down, and prices should be much lower during the non-fishing seasons? I
      would think with the current situation of the economy, that we birders have
      some power to get a better price, if we only act together. I think the boat
      owners need the business. Just my thoughts and questions.



      Thanks,



      Doug Aguillard

      San Diego, CA

      doug@...





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ed Stonick
      Hey Doug! Thanks for sticking your neck out on this one. I agree that the prices seem inordinately high, even for the profit groups. (For a while there, they
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 9, 2009
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        Hey Doug!

        Thanks for sticking your neck out on this one. I agree that the prices seem inordinately high, even for the profit groups. (For a while there, they were increasing by $20 to $40 each year. I've stopped going on more than one or two trips a year, mainly due to the cost. (Most Condor all-day trips are now $200.) Diesel prices may still be somewhat higher than regular gas, but in any case, I think trip organizers would have a better turnout if the prices were a bit more reasonable. I doubt if fishing groups pay as much.

        My two cents :-)
        --Ed
        Ed Stonick
        edstonick@...

        -----Original Message-----
        >From: Doug Aguillard <doug@...>
        >Sent: Feb 9, 2009 12:28 PM
        >To: Calbirds@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [CALBIRDS] Pelagic Boat trip pricing?
        >
        >I have often wondered about the high cost of Pelagic Birding trips. In the
        >last few messages, I'm seeing prices of $99 and $150 for full day trips, and
        >this doesn't seem to be unusual to anyone. Now I understand if this is a
        >"for profit" business like Debra Shearwater and Roger Wolfe's trips out of
        >Monterey, but I do not understand the pricing on most Audubon trips or these
        >chase trips (non-profits), when it is not a licensed business paying taxes.
        >I'm currently signed up for an full day trip, that will be leaving San Pedro
        >and going out and around Santa Catalina Island for only $60 in early March,
        >again a whale watching trip. On January 31st, I went on a scheduled 4 hour
        >(actually lasted about 5 hrs) birding trip that cost $40. A $20 difference
        >for an extra 4 hours on the Whale watching trip. I'm willing to bet that if
        >it was labeled as a Pelagic birding trip, the cost would be $80-$100.
        >
        >
        >
        >I have been going on a lot of Whale watching trips lately and it cost
        >anywhere from $25-$30 (with a coupon) for a 4 hour trip. Last year, a tour
        >company was offering trips daily out to the Coronado Islands from San Diego
        >Bay. The cost of this trip was $50 for almost 6 hours. So how is it, that
        >birders must pay so much more, especially since gasoline prices have come
        >down, and prices should be much lower during the non-fishing seasons? I
        >would think with the current situation of the economy, that we birders have
        >some power to get a better price, if we only act together. I think the boat
        >owners need the business. Just my thoughts and questions.
        >
        >
        >
        >Thanks,
        >
        >
        >
        >Doug Aguillard
        >
        >San Diego, CA
        >
        >doug@...
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • lilithm3@juno.com
        Ed and Doug: Seconded! I would give my eyeteeth to go on pelagic trips to increase my knowledge but my budget is between a gigantic rock and an inextricably
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 9, 2009
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          Ed and Doug:

          Seconded! I would give my eyeteeth to go on pelagic trips to increase my knowledge but my budget is between a gigantic rock and an inextricably hard place as a single working mom. Believe me, I've read all the Shearwater and Wolfe reports, and others, and I've read and re-read the descriptions of Channel Islands, San Diego, and other trips with great longing. How can we gainfully employed but underpaid peons affordably take such trips?

          Sue Jorgenson
          Fullerton CA


          -- Ed Stonick <edstonick@...> wrote:
          Hey Doug!

          Thanks for sticking your neck out on this one. I agree that the prices seem inordinately high, even for the profit groups. (For a while there, they were increasing by $20 to $40 each year. I've stopped going on more than one or two trips a year, mainly due to the cost. (Most Condor all-day trips are now $200.) Diesel prices may still be somewhat higher than regular gas, but in any case, I think trip organizers would have a better turnout if the prices were a bit more reasonable. I doubt if fishing groups pay as much.

          My two cents :-)
          --Ed
          Ed Stonick
          edstonick@...

          -----Original Message-----
          >From: Doug Aguillard <doug@...>
          >Sent: Feb 9, 2009 12:28 PM
          >To: Calbirds@yahoogroups.com
          >Subject: [CALBIRDS] Pelagic Boat trip pricing?
          >
          >I have often wondered about the high cost of Pelagic Birding trips. In the
          >last few messages, I'm seeing prices of $99 and $150 for full day trips, and
          >this doesn't seem to be unusual to anyone. Now I understand if this is a
          >"for profit" business like Debra Shearwater and Roger Wolfe's trips out of
          >Monterey, but I do not understand the pricing on most Audubon trips or these
          >chase trips (non-profits), when it is not a licensed business paying taxes.
          >I'm currently signed up for an full day trip, that will be leaving San Pedro
          >and going out and around Santa Catalina Island for only $60 in early March,
          >again a whale watching trip. On January 31st, I went on a scheduled 4 hour
          >(actually lasted about 5 hrs) birding trip that cost $40. A $20 difference
          >for an extra 4 hours on the Whale watching trip. I'm willing to bet that if
          >it was labeled as a Pelagic birding trip, the cost would be $80-$100.
          >
          >
          >
          >I have been going on a lot of Whale watching trips lately and it cost
          >anywhere from $25-$30 (with a coupon) for a 4 hour trip. Last year, a tour
          >company was offering trips daily out to the Coronado Islands from San Diego
          >Bay. The cost of this trip was $50 for almost 6 hours. So how is it, that
          >birders must pay so much more, especially since gasoline prices have come
          >down, and prices should be much lower during the non-fishing seasons? I
          >would think with the current situation of the economy, that we birders have
          >some power to get a better price, if we only act together. I think the boat
          >owners need the business. Just my thoughts and questions.
          >
          >
          >
          >Thanks,
          >
          >
          >
          >Doug Aguillard
          >
          >San Diego, CA
          >
          >doug@...
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >



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        • toddamcgrath
          Calbirders, As a leader of Pelagic birding trips on both coasts, I have a pretty good understanding of the elements that go into the pricing of a pelagic
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 9, 2009
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            Calbirders,

            As a leader of Pelagic birding trips on both coasts, I have a pretty
            good understanding of the elements that go into the pricing of a
            pelagic birding trip.

            One of the primary components is fuel. On a whale watching trip
            (especially gray whales), they don't have to travel far, and so even if
            they stay out 4 hours, they don't use nearly half as much fuel as a
            pelagic birding trip, where we want to run from flock of birds to flock
            of birds, and have specific offshore points we would like to reach.

            Next is the capacity of the boat. Most of the So Cal trips do not book
            the boat up to capacity, because looking at birds does not facilitate
            carrying as many folks as whale watching. The Condor Express can carry
            100+ people on a whale watch, but we generally book about 55 for a
            birding trip. That leaves plenty of room around the boat.

            distance plays a factor. On one of the large slow San Diego boats, a 10
            hour trip might only cover 40 miles. A 12 hour deepwater trip on the
            Condor Express covers around 200-250. (think fuel). Longer trips
            (anything approaching 12 hours) also require at least two captains
            aboard, which also raises the price substantially.

            Also time of year, and the opportunity of the boat owner to do
            different things with the boat also impact the price. I can get a good
            charter rate in December out of San Diego, but in July that same trip
            will be more than double, because the boat owner can take out fisherman
            who will generally pay more than birders, drink more beer out of the
            galley and tip the crew generously for assisting with the catching and
            cleaning of fish. Plus the boat owners like to fish, and some require a
            premuim to do something else during the peak season.

            The leaders. If there are 5 leaders on the boat, then that is 5 spots
            that aren't paying customers. You don't need 5 leaders to find a whale,
            or a pod of dolphins, but for birding, you want to have a good number
            of leaders around the boat to point things out. On a 50 person boat
            that is 10% of the charge.

            Tipping the mates. On fishing and even some whale watches, the crews
            get tips, and those tips are in addition to the price. Many (but not
            all) birding trips include all or a part of that gratuity in the price.
            A mate on a fishing trip earns much larger tips than on a birding trip,
            but they need some minimum level of pay to make it worthwhile.

            Also the Audubon groups are not completely non-profit. They often
            provide insurance coverage for the trips, provide web space and other
            avertising, and have their staff or vlounteers work on the bookings.
            They generally price the trips so that they will not lose money if the
            trip doesn't sell out. Over the course of the season, they make profits
            on some trips, lose a bit on others, and try to be in the black at the
            ned of the year.

            When I look at the variety of costs for pelagics, it makes sense to me,
            and I am pretty sure that no one is getting overpaid. I know I'm not
            getting paid at all.

            Todd McGrath
            Marina Del Rey CA
          • aguillard2469
            Todd, Thank you for taking the time to explain. Now it all makes sense to me. I appreciate that you took the time to write it all down. Thanks, Doug Aguillard
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 9, 2009
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              Todd,

              Thank you for taking the time to explain. Now it all makes sense to
              me. I appreciate that you took the time to write it all down.

              Thanks,

              Doug Aguillard
              San Diego, CA
              doug@...


              --- In CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com, "toddamcgrath" <toddamcgrath@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Calbirders,
              >
              > As a leader of Pelagic birding trips on both coasts, I have a
              pretty
              > good understanding of the elements that go into the pricing of a
              > pelagic birding trip.
              >
              > One of the primary components is fuel. On a whale watching trip
              > (especially gray whales), they don't have to travel far, and so
              even if
              > they stay out 4 hours, they don't use nearly half as much fuel as a
              > pelagic birding trip, where we want to run from flock of birds to
              flock
              > of birds, and have specific offshore points we would like to reach.
              >
              > Next is the capacity of the boat. Most of the So Cal trips do not
              book
              > the boat up to capacity, because looking at birds does not
              facilitate
              > carrying as many folks as whale watching. The Condor Express can
              carry
              > 100+ people on a whale watch, but we generally book about 55 for a
              > birding trip. That leaves plenty of room around the boat.
              >
              > distance plays a factor. On one of the large slow San Diego boats,
              a 10
              > hour trip might only cover 40 miles. A 12 hour deepwater trip on
              the
              > Condor Express covers around 200-250. (think fuel). Longer trips
              > (anything approaching 12 hours) also require at least two captains
              > aboard, which also raises the price substantially.
              >
              > Also time of year, and the opportunity of the boat owner to do
              > different things with the boat also impact the price. I can get a
              good
              > charter rate in December out of San Diego, but in July that same
              trip
              > will be more than double, because the boat owner can take out
              fisherman
              > who will generally pay more than birders, drink more beer out of
              the
              > galley and tip the crew generously for assisting with the catching
              and
              > cleaning of fish. Plus the boat owners like to fish, and some
              require a
              > premuim to do something else during the peak season.
              >
              > The leaders. If there are 5 leaders on the boat, then that is 5
              spots
              > that aren't paying customers. You don't need 5 leaders to find a
              whale,
              > or a pod of dolphins, but for birding, you want to have a good
              number
              > of leaders around the boat to point things out. On a 50 person boat
              > that is 10% of the charge.
              >
              > Tipping the mates. On fishing and even some whale watches, the
              crews
              > get tips, and those tips are in addition to the price. Many (but
              not
              > all) birding trips include all or a part of that gratuity in the
              price.
              > A mate on a fishing trip earns much larger tips than on a birding
              trip,
              > but they need some minimum level of pay to make it worthwhile.
              >
              > Also the Audubon groups are not completely non-profit. They often
              > provide insurance coverage for the trips, provide web space and
              other
              > avertising, and have their staff or vlounteers work on the
              bookings.
              > They generally price the trips so that they will not lose money if
              the
              > trip doesn't sell out. Over the course of the season, they make
              profits
              > on some trips, lose a bit on others, and try to be in the black at
              the
              > ned of the year.
              >
              > When I look at the variety of costs for pelagics, it makes sense to
              me,
              > and I am pretty sure that no one is getting overpaid. I know I'm
              not
              > getting paid at all.
              >
              > Todd McGrath
              > Marina Del Rey CA
              >
            • Dany Sloan
              Thanks for the explanation, Todd. Very informative. Cheers, Dany Sloan LA CA - Show quoted text - -- Dany Sloan // Exitfare http://exitfare.blogspot.com Simon
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 9, 2009
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                Thanks for the explanation, Todd. Very informative.

                Cheers,
                Dany Sloan
                LA CA
                - Show quoted text -
                --
                Dany Sloan // Exitfare
                http://exitfare.blogspot.com
                Simon Says No! (US/UK Management)
                http://www.myspace.com/nosayssimon
                The Brothers Movement (US/UK Management)
                http://www.myspace.com/thebrothersmovement
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              • Geoffrey Rogers
                Doug, Sue, and all, I see the reasoning here as explained by Todd but still wonder what we have wrought by following the ABA s advice to tell the world that
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 9, 2009
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                  Doug, Sue, and all,

                  I see the reasoning here as explained by Todd but still wonder what we have
                  wrought by following the ABA's advice to tell the world that we're birders
                  and we're spending money. This surely has increased optics prices and
                  spawned a high-end marketing effort in bird tour companies, festivals, bird
                  CD-loaded Ipods and everything else advertised in Birding magazine. I guess
                  for the "gainfully employed but underpaid" like Sue, me, and some there's
                  no turning back.

                  Geoff

                  Geoffrey L. Rogers
                  San Diego, CA
                  oreortyx@...



                  > [Original Message]
                  > From: aguillard2469 <doug@...>
                  > To: <CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com>
                  > Date: 2/9/2009 3:10:46 PM
                  > Subject: [CALBIRDS] Re: Pelagic Boat trip pricing? (Long)
                  >
                  > Todd,
                  >
                  > Thank you for taking the time to explain. Now it all makes sense to
                  > me. I appreciate that you took the time to write it all down.
                  >
                  > Thanks,
                  >
                  > Doug Aguillard
                  > San Diego, CA
                  > doug@...
                • lilithm3@juno.com
                  Ditto, Todd. As a program director for a non-profit organization, I book lectures, workshops, classes specific to that organization s purpose and we ve seen a
                  Message 8 of 10 , Feb 9, 2009
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                    Ditto, Todd.

                    As a program director for a non-profit organization, I book lectures, workshops, classes specific to that organization's purpose and we've seen a major drop-off in attendees because of the economy. The presenters must cover their costs (coming from out of the area or out of state or country), we must have our share to keep the place running, and the attendees must be able to afford it.

                    So, whether that organization or a pelagic trip, it all comes down, in this economy, to each person deciding where to put their money...and it's getting considerably harder to afford Really Cool Stuff when basic needs have to be met.

                    Todd, thanks again for breaking it all down. I didn't know about the tipping (I have only one Monterey Birds trip and one Sea & Sage Audubon local trip under my belt, and both were about three years ago), nor a few other salient points.

                    Believe me, when the economy recovers and I (hopefully) get a very long-deferred raise, I'll celebrate by signing up for a series of pelagic trips!

                    Sue Jorgenson
                    Fullerton CA

                    -- "aguillard2469" <doug@...> wrote:
                    Todd,

                    Thank you for taking the time to explain. Now it all makes sense to
                    me. I appreciate that you took the time to write it all down.

                    Thanks,

                    Doug Aguillard
                    San Diego, CA
                    doug@...


                    --- In CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com, "toddamcgrath" <toddamcgrath@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > Calbirders,
                    >
                    > As a leader of Pelagic birding trips on both coasts, I have a
                    pretty
                    > good understanding of the elements that go into the pricing of a
                    > pelagic birding trip.
                    >
                    > One of the primary components is fuel. On a whale watching trip
                    > (especially gray whales), they don't have to travel far, and so
                    even if
                    > they stay out 4 hours, they don't use nearly half as much fuel as a
                    > pelagic birding trip, where we want to run from flock of birds to
                    flock
                    > of birds, and have specific offshore points we would like to reach.
                    >
                    > Next is the capacity of the boat. Most of the So Cal trips do not
                    book
                    > the boat up to capacity, because looking at birds does not
                    facilitate
                    > carrying as many folks as whale watching. The Condor Express can
                    carry
                    > 100+ people on a whale watch, but we generally book about 55 for a
                    > birding trip. That leaves plenty of room around the boat.
                    >
                    > distance plays a factor. On one of the large slow San Diego boats,
                    a 10
                    > hour trip might only cover 40 miles. A 12 hour deepwater trip on
                    the
                    > Condor Express covers around 200-250. (think fuel). Longer trips
                    > (anything approaching 12 hours) also require at least two captains
                    > aboard, which also raises the price substantially.
                    >
                    > Also time of year, and the opportunity of the boat owner to do
                    > different things with the boat also impact the price. I can get a
                    good
                    > charter rate in December out of San Diego, but in July that same
                    trip
                    > will be more than double, because the boat owner can take out
                    fisherman
                    > who will generally pay more than birders, drink more beer out of
                    the
                    > galley and tip the crew generously for assisting with the catching
                    and
                    > cleaning of fish. Plus the boat owners like to fish, and some
                    require a
                    > premuim to do something else during the peak season.
                    >
                    > The leaders. If there are 5 leaders on the boat, then that is 5
                    spots
                    > that aren't paying customers. You don't need 5 leaders to find a
                    whale,
                    > or a pod of dolphins, but for birding, you want to have a good
                    number
                    > of leaders around the boat to point things out. On a 50 person boat
                    > that is 10% of the charge.
                    >
                    > Tipping the mates. On fishing and even some whale watches, the
                    crews
                    > get tips, and those tips are in addition to the price. Many (but
                    not
                    > all) birding trips include all or a part of that gratuity in the
                    price.
                    > A mate on a fishing trip earns much larger tips than on a birding
                    trip,
                    > but they need some minimum level of pay to make it worthwhile.
                    >
                    > Also the Audubon groups are not completely non-profit. They often
                    > provide insurance coverage for the trips, provide web space and
                    other
                    > avertising, and have their staff or vlounteers work on the
                    bookings.
                    > They generally price the trips so that they will not lose money if
                    the
                    > trip doesn't sell out. Over the course of the season, they make
                    profits
                    > on some trips, lose a bit on others, and try to be in the black at
                    the
                    > ned of the year.
                    >
                    > When I look at the variety of costs for pelagics, it makes sense to
                    me,
                    > and I am pretty sure that no one is getting overpaid. I know I'm
                    not
                    > getting paid at all.
                    >
                    > Todd McGrath
                    > Marina Del Rey CA
                    >




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                  • lilithm3@juno.com
                    Ouch. Excellent point, Geoff. That s why I had to replace my inherited binocs with a $50 pair of Bushnell binocs (10x50) from Wal-Mart. I would absolutely love
                    Message 9 of 10 , Feb 9, 2009
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                      Ouch. Excellent point, Geoff. That's why I had to replace my inherited binocs with a $50 pair of Bushnell binocs (10x50) from Wal-Mart. I would absolutely love to have a nicer pair of binocs but it's just going to have to wait until my sixteen year old daughter graduates from high school and college and is reasonably able to support herself. :-)

                      Any more these days, I have to combine birding with business trips or vacations, instead of taking a trip for birding purposes. The last such trip was two years ago with a two-day Salton Sea trip sponsored by Sea & Sage Audubon (led by Vic Leipzig) and I had to save for several months for that and carpool with two others. If you want to reckon the return of that trip in terms of adding lifers to the list, it was an enormous success for me and worth every penny. On the other hand, when I took my first few days off in almost two years and headed to Buellton and Solvang for a badly-needed break in late November, the birding return was almost nil, other than being very relieved to see a flock of Yellow-Billed Magpies looking for grapes at a winery between Buellton and Solvang (not too far from Buttonwood and Zaca Mesa wineries, before the Fess Parker winery). Incidentally, that flock numbered some ten YBMs squabbling noisily and swooping across the road several times.

                      Sue Jorgenson
                      Fullerton

                      -- "Geoffrey Rogers" <oreortyx@...> wrote:
                      Doug, Sue, and all,

                      I see the reasoning here as explained by Todd but still wonder what we have
                      wrought by following the ABA's advice to tell the world that we're birders
                      and we're spending money. This surely has increased optics prices and
                      spawned a high-end marketing effort in bird tour companies, festivals, bird
                      CD-loaded Ipods and everything else advertised in Birding magazine. I guess
                      for the "gainfully employed but underpaid" like Sue, me, and some there's
                      no turning back.

                      Geoff

                      Geoffrey L. Rogers
                      San Diego, CA
                      oreortyx@...



                      > [Original Message]
                      > From: aguillard2469 <doug@...>
                      > To: <CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com>
                      > Date: 2/9/2009 3:10:46 PM
                      > Subject: [CALBIRDS] Re: Pelagic Boat trip pricing? (Long)
                      >
                      > Todd,
                      >
                      > Thank you for taking the time to explain. Now it all makes sense to
                      > me. I appreciate that you took the time to write it all down.
                      >
                      > Thanks,
                      >
                      > Doug Aguillard
                      > San Diego, CA
                      > doug@...




                      ------------------------------------

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                    • Clay Kempf
                      Excellent job of explaining the complexities of pricing by Todd. One other point that factors into the comparative costs of a whale watching trip vs. a birding
                      Message 10 of 10 , Feb 10, 2009
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                        Excellent job of explaining the complexities of pricing by Todd.

                        One other point that factors into the comparative costs of a whale
                        watching trip vs. a birding trip is the profit margin of the operator.
                        Most whale watching trips (and fishing trips) are scheduled and booked
                        by the same company operating the boats. These operators usually began
                        as fisherman/fishing boats, and many have branched out to learn basic
                        whale identification or have hired a token marine mammal "expert".

                        Birding companies, on the other hand, require greater skill and more
                        experienced leaders. Consequently, most are separate entities rather
                        than boating operators, and hire the boats as a charter. The result
                        is that the charter company charges the birding tour operator a rate
                        comparable to the retail rate of a fishing trip or a whale watching
                        trip. If the birding tour operator sold the trip out at fishing trip
                        prices, they would do nothing more than cover expenses. So the bird
                        tour operator has to increase their price further to make any profit.
                        Throw in the additional factors Todd mentions (more fuel consumed;
                        leader space, and costs for the non-sold spaces), and you can see how
                        quickly the additional costs will add up.

                        Last year I was a leader on about 20 pelagic trips, and the number of
                        passengers on those trips varied wildly...from completely sold out
                        trips with a couple of people standing next to the boat hoping for
                        last minute cancellations, to a few trips in which the passengers
                        barely outnumbered the leaders. Companies (e.g., Shearwater Journeys)
                        that offer a lot of trips out of a variety of ports have to make up
                        the cost of these under-booked trips (aka money losing trips), so that
                        the trips "go" even when the trip operates at a loss. This allows out-
                        of-area (or, out of country) passengers to book pelagic trips (and
                        associated travel) with a reasonable assurance that trip will be a go.

                        While all of these reasons are understandable, they don't provide the
                        price relief that was probably hoped for in some of the comments made.
                        Then again, its one of the reasons that pelagic birding is such a
                        treat, and adds to the excitement and adventure of the outing, in much
                        the same manner that finding a rare bird does. Throw in a few marine
                        mammals, and that rare seabird truly turns the outing into a lifetime
                        memory!

                        Clay Kempf
                        Monterey Bay
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