Sunday, November 21, 2010


During another trip to California (the state of, in the U.S.A.), we were fortunate to spend a glorious day at sea with some of our favorite people in the world. The swells were mountainous at times, but far apart, and the wind did not come up until the afternoon. It was a comfortable ride. We motored from the harbor in Bodega Bay, CA toward the Bodega Canyon and to the Cordell Bank. The Cordell Bank is a mountain range beneath the ocean, approximately 25 miles offshore, and it has an abundance of wildlife around and above it. There were seabirds and marine mammals around us from beginning to end - it was the kind of day every true pelagic enthusiast loves. Below is a report of the day, written by our pal Rich Stallcup. Marco had his video-camera at the ready and documented a few salient scenes and species of the trip, including a look at the array of chum available. He was able to shoot some excellent seabird footage in spite of the swells and low light levels. Not all the species on Rich's list are in Marco's video. And be prepared for a long wait to download if you are on a slow connection. (Marco wanted to edit the video down to 3 minutes or so, but I talked him out of it.)
Subject: [NBB] 10/3/10 Cordell Bank trip
GOOD MORNING!Yesterday I accompanied a group of 35 friends and colleagues on apelagic trip to and beyond CORDELL BANK achieving 1000 fathoms.The "weather" started out more promising than any of us (who had beentracking) expected but it did deteriorate the farther and deeper we wentuntil there were towering swells and deep troughs. It was good that theduration between mountainous waves was 13 seconds.The seabirds and marine mammals were most excellent and there was NOlet-up in the action or obvious mal-de mer.Here is the list, conservatively estimated or carefully counted by me.An * means only a few of us were involved. Otherwise, most everyonewas seeing and being inspired and humbled by the majesty of it all.

Black-footed Albatross-11
Northern Fulmar-20
Pink-footed Shearwater-300
Flesh-footed Shearwater-4
Buller's Shearwater-430
Sooty Shearwater-35
Short-tailed Shearwater-5
Wilson's Storm-petrel-1*
Fork-tailed Storm-petrel-1
Leach's Storm-petrel-1
Ashy Storm-petrel-25
Black Storm-petrel-9
Red Phalarope-30
Red-necked Phalarope-8
Pomarine Jaeger-22
Parasitic Jaeger-11
Long-tailed Jaeger-2
South Polar Skua-3
Sabine's Gull -2200 !! (there was one swirling flock flushed by the loud exhalation of a Blue Whale)
Common Tern-2
Arctic Tern-6
Elegant Tern-18
Common Murre-940 (many well offshore)
Pigeon Guillemot-3 (near Bodega Head)
Marbled Murrelet-4 (off Pinnacles Beach)
Cassin's Auklet-20
Rhinoceros Auklet-95
Blue Whale-14
Humpback Whale-12
Gray Whale-1
Meslopodon (sp.?)-1*
Harbor Porpoise-3
Dall's Porpoise-10
Pacific White-sided Dolphin-4
Minke Whale-2*

The only lost migrants were a Long-billed Dowitcher , an after-hatch year "Audubon's" Warbler(identified this morning from Gil's digital photo) and a Wilson's Warbler.
Peace, love and GO GIANTS RICH

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