Sunday, October 3, 2021

Made it out to Lane County!

 The weather gods finally smiled on us and Oregon Pelagic Tours hit a decent weather window and was able to complete our 10-hour pelagic on September 25. We faced dense fog early, but after a couple of hours, it cleared, and we were able to travel down to Lane County, much to the delight of those participants looking to add pelagic birds to their Lane County list. Ocean conditions were decent for most, but there was enough swell to make trip very uncomfortable for about a third of the passengers -- I suspect the fog obscuring the horizon line was a major factor for most of those individuals. Highlights were 5 species of shearwater, including the elegant BULLER'S, 1 FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER (in Lincoln County, to the disappointment of many), and SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER, BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, several SOUTH POLAR SKUAS, PARASITIC and LONG-TAILED JAEGERS (one possible Pomarine), great views of FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS,  and numerous SABINE'S GULLS. Mammal highlights included several humpback whales, and quite a few northern fur seals, including one curious, young female who stayed close to the boat for a long time. You can see a photo of her on the Oregon Pelagic Tours Facebook page. Remaining trips for 2021 set to go out on October 9 (wait list), October 24 (wait list) and December 4 (spaces available).  

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Poor Conditions Strike Again on 9/12/21

 When I got a call at 5:15 Sunday morning from our skipper, Rob Waddell, I feared the worst. Weather and ocean conditions, already marginal, had gotten that little bit worse, and our skipper was not happy at the prospect of going out. He was good enough to agree to get the Misty ready, and to allow me to talk with my guides and passengers on  the dock and get a consensus on canceling. We talked to our group, and given the conditions, the prudent decision to not try it was made. 

The guides and a number of passengers did go up to Boiler Bay, where we managed observations of several pelagic species during a three hour seawatch. 

Oregon Pelagic Tours never cancels lightly, but if safety is a concern, then sometimes we have to modify our plans, and bow to the whims of nature. However reluctantly. 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

8/28 Pelagic Tried, But Weathered Out

We had a full boat, and the captain of the Misty even got us out over the bar, but a worsening weather forecast made us and all the fishing boats turn around and come in. This is frustrating for everyone involved, but when the skipper decides he does not want to be out there, neither do we. The one light moment was when I later received an email with the "Ballad of the Edmund Fitzgerald" attached. Thank you for that.