Sunday, November 10, 2019

December 7 Pelagic Confirmed!

We reached the point where I felt comfortable confirming our last pelagic of 2019 with the charter office, and weather permitting, this trip will go. 
Why would anyone choose to go out on a NE Pacific pelagic in December? Several reasons. 
1. Winter pelagics are not that common, so we are still doing a little bit of exploration, and learning what birds are around this season. 
2. The past two years we have had three species of albatross (Black-footed, Laysan, and Short-tailed), and hope to repeat that again this year. 
3. We have an outside chance at a pterodroma, Mottled Petrel. Full disclosure: this species has been seen exactly once on pelagics off Oregon. We will be lucky to find this species, but our odds are a lot better on the boat than on land! 
4. We have a possibility of finding  Parakeet Auklet -- not an easy species to see south of Alaska. We had one last year. 
5. You get to do an Oregon Pelagic Tours pelagic! Friendly guides, who want to share their knowledge with you, and who look forward to making sure your day on the ocean is as good as it can be. 
There is still space available on this tour.  Join us on the ocean! 

Monday, October 28, 2019

October 26 pelagic -- weathered out

Well, it happens sometimes. You set up a pelagic months in advance, and then the weather just does not cooperate. Sometimes the decision to cancel is straightforward -- the ocean and or weather conditions are bad enough that even the charter says "nope". Sometimes the Coast Guard makes the decision for you, closing the bar. And sometimes we have to make our best decision for our passengers. Conditions for Saturday were for winds up to 16 kts, which is very doable in our boats. The forecast also called for swells of 9 ft, with wind waves of 5 ft. The boat movement would have been extreme, making a trip not only dangerous for all participants, but also making watching birds very difficult, if not impossible. In the face of those conditions, we decided we had no reasonable choice but to cancel. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

What have we been seeing this fall?

This post is way overdue. Oregon Pelagic Tours has been running a series of exciting pelagic trips this fall, and I am going to share some of our notable sightings.
Birdwise, the highlight of the fall has to be the very cooperative HAWAIIAN PETREL that come into our chum slick on our 12 hour deepwater trip on August 24. This is the third sighting on an Oregon Pelagic Tours deepwater pelagic (2 in the fall, one in the spring). 

Other notable bird sightings:
Laysan Albatross 8/18, 10/6
Buller's Shearwater: 8/18, 8/24, 9/14, 9/22, 10/6, 10/12
Flesh-footed Shearwater 9/14
Short-tailed Shearwater 10/6
South Polar Skua 8/24, 9/22, 10/6
Red-breasted Nuthatch 10/6 (first for OPT -- landed on a passenger and a guide) 

Mammals: 
Baird's beaked whale   5 on 8/24/19   
Blue whale   1 on 10/6/19
Fin whales   up to 15 on 10/12/19
Risso's dolphin   6 on 10/12/19
Northern elephant seal  2 on 10/12/19

Great sightings so far in 2019!