PTERODROMA DEEP WATER WEEKEND In Search Of: Cooks, Mottled & Stejneger's Petrel Featuring: Craveri's Murrelets and Red-Billed Tropicbirds GRANDE - San Diego - 56 hours Sponsored By: Buena Vista Audubon Society Saturday, Sunday, Monday Oct 2-4, 2010 Returning to the dock at 3:00 p.m. Monday afternoon
Cook's Petrel (c) Dave Pereksta
Mottled Petrel (c) Matt Sadowski
This weekend double-overnight trip has only one purpose: to spend an entire day, from sunrise to sunset, in the 2,000+ fathom waters around, near and on the San Juan Seamount. We'll spend the entire day in the heart of the zone where 136 Cook's Petrels were seen on July 25, 2009.
We'll depart on Grande Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. from Point Loma Sportsfishing marina. We'll head west to explore the bird-rich Nine Mile Bank then head west, spending the day keeping our eyes out for Craveri's Murrelets among the life zones of 'The 182," the Thirty Mile Bank and the Sixty Mile Bank.
We'll proceed west into the Red-Billed Tropicbird zone past San Clemente Island and after sunset sail past the Cortez and Tanner banks, all to the edge of the Continental Shelf just south of the San Juan Seamount in 10,000 fathom water (2 miles deep) where we will awaken on Sunday morning to spend the entire day hunting pterodroma and other tubenoses.
The day will be ours to explore beyond the shelf edge in the deep waters off the San Juan Seamount and Patton Escarpment. Exactly where we will go depends on the weather, the seas, temperature breaks, bird reports and bird sightings. The additional 8-hours tacked on to this trip (56 hours instead of 48 hours) allows us to remain in the deep waters beyond the shelf edge around the San Juan Seamount for the entire day. After our "sunset chum slick" Sunday evening, Grande will turn towards San Diego.
Monday we'll re-cross many of the same features we crossed on our outbound leg Saturday, giving us another great opportunity to expore the Thirty Mile and Nine Mile Banks for Craveri's Murrelets on our way in.
STORM-PETRELS: The autumn Southern California 2009 pelagic season was a spectacular one for storm-petrels. Our October 3, 2009 trip found nearly 2000 Black and Least Storm-Petrels at the Nine Mile and Thirty Mile Banks. We also saw nearly 700 Common Terns and a dozen Sabine's Gulls. That incredible trip also logged 2 or 3 Blue Whales, Risso's and White-sided Dolphin and Elephant Seals. A week later, on October 10, 2009, we recorded 8,000 Black and 1750 Least Storm-Petrels from Grande and enjoyed a close interaction with a Humpback Whale on the Nine Mile Bank -- all that after a Brown Booby shot over Grande just 5 miles off shore.
CRAVERI'S MURRELETS: This is an time of year and the perfect waters in which to see Craveri's Murrelet (see photo below). September and October are prime times to find this eluvise alcid, and the only place in ABA waters it can be found is off SoCal, notably San Diego. The September 2009 Searcher trip recorded a Craveri's Murrelet on the north end of the Nine Mile Bank. Four were well seen and photographed from Grande on Oct 4, 2008 (see photos by Steve Howell below). Glimpses of two elusive birds were had by a few from Grande on Oct 3, 2009.
Weather this time of year is usually pleasant with light seas. The target birds for this region are Craveri's Murrelet and unusual or rare pterodromas: Cooks, Stejneger's and Mottled Petrel. More trip information.
LEADERS & SPOTTERS for this trip include SoCal pelagic expert Paul Lehman.
ADVANCE RESERVATIONS: Advance reservations are $300.
$25 EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: Reserve on or before September 15 for $275 and save $25.
RELEASE: All participants are required to provide a completed release form prior to boarding Grande. RESERVATIONS: Telephone Point Loma Sportfishing (the landing) seven days a week at (619) 223-1627. Tell them to wish to make a reservation for a birding trip on Grande and give them the date of departure. IMPORTANT DETAILS: Click for IMPORTANT INFORMATION about the boat, the landing, driving directions, maps, lodging, weather, refund and cancellation policies, on-board facilities, meals and snacks,
HOW TO PREPARE: Click for tips on how to prepare, what to wear, what to bring and when to arrive.
EXPECTED & POSSIBLE SPECIES: The target birds for this region are pterodroma: Cooks, Stejneger's and Mottled Petrel. It's a bit like a treasure hunt - we never know what we'll find! Learn more about what species we will probably see and what species might be seen.
CANCELLATION POLICY: Trips on this website are sponsored by different organizations using different boats departing from different landings and harbors. As such, policies vary from trip to trip. Prior to registering, please familiarize yourself with your trip's policies regarding reservations, cancellations, refunds and substitutions as well as reviewing driving directions, check-in times, procedures and equipment allowed on the boats.
NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS: Occurrence and identification of the Leach’s Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) complex off southern California (click the PDF icon at the right)
Craveri's Murrelet from Grande (c) Steve N.G. Howell
PARKING: There is a large parking at Point Loma Sportfishing for $5 a day. Enter the lot using the Emerson & Scott entrance and you'll be right at the landing 100 feet inside the parking gate so you can drop off your gear the seek permanent parking. Free parking is available on the residential streets around the harbor (for day trips) but street parking is very limited in summer months. If the landing parking lot is full, you'll be directed to a lighted off-site self-serve pre-pay parking lot about a block away that has always had space (bring $5 per day in folding money for the lockbox).
GEAR UNLOADING: You may pull into the landing parking lot, unload your gear directly in front of Point Loma Sportfishing and then park in the lot or seek on-street parking. You're not charged if you're in the parking lot for under 30 minutes.
START YOUR DAY STRESS-FREE: We recmmend that you arrive at the landing an hour prior to scheduled departure to allow plenty of time to find the landing, unload or transport gear, obtain a boarding pass at the Point Loma Sportfishing Landing ticket window, sign the manifest, use the landing's restroom, get a cup of coffee, visi with friends and board Grande 30 minutes before scheduled departure. All trips depart on-time without waiting for late-comers. Boarding begins 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure. More tips and hints on our trip preparation page.
DEEP WATER LIFE ABOARD GRANDE
Cook's Petrel 25 JUL 2009 (c) Todd McGrath
(c) Todd McGrath and Jon Feenstra
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