WHALES & SEABIRDS 2.5-Days of Luxury on the SEARCHER Whale and Seabird Natural History Adventure Sponsored By: Searcher Natural History Tours Saturday May 28 to Monday May 30, 2011
On Memorial Day weekend, SEARCHER Natural History Tours is off in search of Blue Whales, Risso's Dolphins, Common Dolpins and who knows what other marine mammals that are seldom – if ever – seen from shore.
Seabirds are on the docket, too. We’ll probably see southern-hemisphere breeding Pink-footed and Sooty Shearwaters, Black Storm-Petrels, South Polar Skua (Antarctic thugs raised as youngsters on a diet of penguin), Red-necked Phalarope, Pomarine and Parasitic Jaegers, Xantus's Murrelet, Cassin's Auklet (we will probably see 6-7 of these 9 species).
Further out in deeper water (the San Clemente basin or the Cortez and Tanner Banks beyond San Clemente) we may find Black-footed or Laysan Albatrosses, Flesh-footed Shearwater, Leach's & Ashy Storm-Petrels, Red-Billed Tropicbird, Brown Booby, Blue-footed Booby, Sabine's Gull and Arctic Tern (we’ll probably see 3 or 4 and maybe 5 of these 10 rarer species).
Much larger than the biggest dinosaur, heavier than a DC-10 jet liner, bigger than three school busses, Blue Whales are the largest animals ever to live on the face of the earth – and SEARCHER plans to get up close and personal with them. Late spring and early summer is a great time to look for these majestic creatures; they migrate annually from their winter breeding grounds in warm tropical waters where they mate and give birth. In the summer they return to California and parts north where they feed for 3-4 months on the rich supply of krill and other food which occur in huge numbers along western North America.
Where we go is dependant on where whales and birds are "life zones" are being seen. Another factor is the seas. SEARCHER is an ultra-comfortable 95-foot boat that can handle pretty much any types of seas, but a primary consideration in any route is the comfort of passengers. The beauty of this trip plan is that even if we encounter a rare late spring storm, we can spend a lot of productive times in the lee of San Clemente Island. The usual moderate seas of late May/early June should allow us to poke our noses further out to explore the wonders that await in the deeper waters on the other side of San Clemente.
Day 1: Board SEARCHER at 8 a.m. at Fisherman's Landing in San Diego. Motor to the Nine Mile Bank in search of migrating offshore blue whales and dolphins. We'll spend the rest of the day over deep-water areas to encounter pelagic birds and other marine life.
Day 2: Spend the entire day offshore searching and observing marine mammals and birds.
Day 3: Cruise past Los Coronados Islands (in Mexican waters) to view the nesting colonies of Brown Boobies, Brown Pelicans, Brandt’s Cormorants, and look for oystercatchers and other booby species which have been known to “show up” with the Brown Booby colony. We’ll also look for Elephant and Harbor Seals, California Sea Lions and other animals that use these remote islets for resting, nesting, and feeding. Arrive back to the dock at Fisherman's Landing by noon on Memorial Day.
We don't know exactly what we see until we're out there. That's the facinating aspect of riding SEARCHER, you'll see things that the average person will never see in their entire life. It's always great fun, and we hope you'll join us.
LEADERS for this trip will include marine mammal and seabird experts. Boarding Time: 8:00 a.m. Departure Time: 9:00 a.m. Return: Monday, Memorial Day, by noon
ADVANCE RESERVATIONS: Advance reservations are $TBD and include all meals, snacks, beverages. Reservations for this trip are handled by Searcher Natural History Tours (619) 226-2403 or the Searcher Natural History Tours website
This site is owned and operated by the Buena Vista Audubon Society 2202 South Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054 (c) 2007-2010 Buena Vista Audubon Society, Oceanside, California. All rights reserved. All photos copyrighted.