Explore The Great Unknown (And Be Back To Work Monday Morning)
We are planning the deepwater trips for 2010 now. We should have the itineraries, trip descriptions and prices posted her by mid-November. We are planning a trip on May 15-17, Aug 16-18, and Oct 2-4.
SATURDAY: SoCal Weekend Deep-Water Trips from San Diego depart Saturday morning at dawn. We bird our way out to sea, over the birdy Nine-mile Bank, "The Ridge" at the Thirty-mile Bank and the 42 Fathom Spot. We enjoy a delicious restaurant-style dinner around San Clemente Island on Saturday evening. We doze off in our individual bunks and wake Sunday morning more than one hundred miles offshore at the edge of the Continental Shelf - about as far south and west as you can go in the ABA area. Two full days of birding at sea. It doesn't get any better than this.
SUNDAY: The primary focus of the second day of these trips is to explore life zones in deep waters where southern hemisphere birds are usually found only by research ships. No day trips venture this far. We will hunt for mega-rarities, birds with fewer than 10 accepted records in all of California - the birds that people whisper about. Deep water birding on the continental shelf is a different experience than the bird-rich life zones closer to shore. Read more about the experience of deep water birding.
TWO FULL DAYS: We'll spend all day Saturday and all day Sunday - from sunrise to sunset - birding. All Sunday will be spent at the edge of the continental shelf or at the edges of submarine mountains (seamounts and banks) in the albatross/pterodroma/tropicbird zone. Sunday evening we will have dinner, celebrate our sightings, go to sleep and wake up at sunrise Monday morning back in San Diego.
RARITIES & MEGA-RARITIES seen on chartered pelagic seabirding trips in southern California since 2000 include Hawaiian Petrel, Cook's Petrel, Murphy's Petrel, Bulwer's Petrel, Streaked Shearwater, Tristram's Storm-Petrel, Ringed Storm-Petrel, Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel, Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, Red-TAILED Tropicbird and Craveri's Murrelet. If we see one of the rarities, it's a good day. If we see a mega-rarity, we'll be very lucky because none are probable - that's why they're called mega-rarities.
SLEEPING QUARTERS: Sleeping quarters on Grande overnight trips are bunkhouse style in a big co-ed bunk room with 50 bunks. Your personal bunk is 6' 3" long and 2 feet wide with a mattress, pillow with fresh pillowcase, and a wool blanket. The rest is up to you. Some folks bring sleeping bags, most kick off their shoes and sleep in their clothes under the blanket. For couples only: we have five roomy double beds in the Captain's bunkhouse reserved for couples. Please request by email if you would like one of these more spacious accommodations, reserved for couples only on a first-reserved, first-served basis. PERSONAL HYGIENE: There are 2 heads, one male, one female. You may wish to bring a small towel, although it is not necessary as each head has a small wash basin with paper towel and a liquid soap dispenser. SEATING - Grande has a spacious salon/cabin/galley with plenty of comfortable "restaurant-booth" seating for meals, reading, resting socializing or napping. Seating is very limited on the spacious, stable aft deck, and you're strongly encouraged to bring a sturdy nylon outdoor folding chair aboard. If you prefer to be where the action is, outside on deck the entire day, 10 - 14 hours is a long time to be on your feet -- you'll appreciate a chair. MEALS & BEVERAGES - Grande has a full service galley and large salon/galley with restaurant-style booths. Full breakfasts, breakfast sandwiches (delicous), burgers (delicious), sandwiches, a full 3-course evening dinner including desert and beverages (water, soft drinks and beer) are available on board for purchase. You may bring your own food, drinks and snacks (pretzels, saltines, bagels, wheat thins, gingersnaps or triscuits are favored by many to keep stomachs settled). Oh, and bring a chair. You will thank us. A PEEK INTO GRANDE (and evening dinner being prepared on Grande): About half way into this video you see the cook making dinner and what the evening dinners look like: http://www.grandesportfishing.com/video.htm While the video is about fishing, it gives you a peek into Grande. Just mentally take out the fishermen/women and insert birders with binoculars in place of fishing poles! Enjoy!
Craveri's Murrelet as seen from Grande (c) S.N.G. Howell
Red-billed Tropicbird (c) Todd McGrath
Cook's Petrel (c) Todd McGrath
Buller's Shearwater (c) W. Terry Hunefeld
Long-tailed Jaeger (c) Matt Sadowski
Laysan Albatross (c) Todd McGrath
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