Prepare for your Charleston trip

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Payment address:
Oregon Pelagic Tours
P.O. Box 184
West Linn, OR 97068

Tim Shelmerdine

Port: Charleston
Charter: Betty Kay Charters
Departure Time: 7:00am
(arrive 30 minutes early)

What to bring:
  • $10 cash. Consider a tip of $5-10 for the deck hand and captain. Hand it to them as you get off the boat.
  • Food. Bring plenty of water to drink, and food enough for the length of trip you are on. Bland foods are best. Saltines can combat nausea.Some birders find candied ginger or ginger cookies effective.
  • Binoculars. 7x and 8x are better than 10x because of boat movement. Do not bring spotting scopes on board.
  • Camera. Many birds may be as close as 20-50 feet. Camcorders are popular too.
  • Clothes. Waterproof shoes or boots that have good traction are a must. Regardless of the weather, raincoat and rain pants are almost always necessary due to wave splash and spray. Do not underestimate the need for warm clothes. The wind can be quite cold -- even in summer, so dress in layers. Wear a hat for protection from sun or rain, but not one that can blow away easily.
  • Sun screen and lip balm are essential, even in foggy or cloudy weather.
  • Sunglasses can be helpful.
Miscellaneous: 1) Most trips are not recommended for children under 12 years of age--ask to bring younger ones. 2) Pregnant women should not participate. 3) Please, for the comfort of others, no smoking. 4) Remember, we are on a "bird searching" trip, therefore no sightings are guaranteed. Some birds are seen only briefly or at a distance, and are missed by some participants or even trip leaders. Please let us know your target birds and we'll make a special effort to help you identify them if we detect them. 5) Pelagic trips are physically tiring and seating is limited. If you have special needs please let us know in advance so we can accommodate you. 6) Trips may cancel due to high waves (not rain). Seas can improve dramatically overnight. The decision to cancel a trip is made at the dock or, frequently, the evening before the trip--no sooner. A final trip update is sent via e-mail the afternoon prior to the trip. If you do not have e-mail, call between 6-8 PM the night before the trip. Always have alternate plans--just in case. If the trip cancels due to weather, your entire trip fee will be refunded. 7) Driving to Portland to catch a plane or other after-trip appointments: Trips may end sooner or last longer than stated, depending upon conditions. You also may be more exhausted than you think after the trip, and need to rest, clean up, and eat. Afternoon traffic can be painfully slow back to the Willamette Valley. Allow ample time for any after-trip appointments.

Terms & Conditions: Reservations are made on a first-paid, first-reserved basis. Send a personal check, payable to Oregon Pelagic Tours, for the full trip amount, along with names of each participant for which you are sending payment. Please enclose a separate check for each trip date. Oregon Pelagic Tours can also bill passengers through PAYPAL, however a small additional charge per person will be added to PAYPAL bills.   Cancellations in writing for a refund are allowed up to 21 days before the trip, less a $10 per person cancellation fee. No refunds within 21 days of the trip. No refunds if you miss the boat or decide not to go at the last minute. If the trip cancels due to weather or insufficient signup, you will receive a full refund. Liability: The charter is fully certified and insured. Oregon Pelagic Tours. and its guides, and any other entities engaged in promoting or endorsing these trips, including the American Birding Association and Portland Audubon Society, act only as an agent for the carrier of these trips and cannot be held responsible for any injuries, accidents, lost, stolen, or damaged articles, seasickness, or other misfortune resulting from participation on these trips.

How to get to the boat

Betty Kay Charters: 7788 Albacore, Charleston, OR 97420. 1-800-752-6303. 
Take the Cape Arago Highway to Charleston. Take the first right turn after crossing over the small arm of the bay.

Driving to Charleston:
Portland: 4 hours (I-5 to exit 162, Hwy 38 to Reedsport, Hwy 101 to North Bend, Cape Arago Hwy to Charleston)
Eugene: 3 hours
Medford: 3 hours
California: 2 hours on Hwy 101

Motel Recommendations

Red Lion Hotel
1313 N. Bayshore Drive
Coos Bay, OR 97420
$90-106 per night, very nice

Best Western Holiday Motel
411 N Bayshore Drive
Coos Bay, OR 97420-2311
$94-109 per night

The Last Word On Seasickness:
Unfortunately, a handful of people on nearly every trip suffers from motion sickness. Use these suggestions to reduce your chances of being ill.

  • Rest. Get plenty of sleep the night before your trip. This is listed first because it is the most important prevention.
  • Amidships. Stay above deck, in the open in the middle of the boat where there is less movement.
  • Fresh air. Stay out of diesel fumes and away from sick passengers.
  • Horizon. Minimize the use of your binoculars if ill; look at the horizon. Stand to keep your head level, rather than sitting or lying down. Do not read your bird books on the boat.
  • Medications. Scopolamine, by prescription only, is the most-effective medication for motion sickness. Try the Scopace tablets rather than the Transderm Scop patch, which can fall off. As for over-the-counter motion sickness remedies, all are antihistamines. Consult your pharmacist about taking Bonine 12 hours before your trip, then again 2 hours before your trip. Dramamine and Merizine work quickly but wear off quickly and cause drowsiness. Don't over-medicate! Antacids or Pepto-Bismol before and during the trip may help.
  • Food. Eat a bland breakfast 2 hours before getting on the boat. Reduce your liquid intake. Bring deli sandwiches to snack on. No alcohol, candy, juicy fruit, or greasy food up to 12 hours before getting on the boat. Sip water continuously, but in small amounts. Do not get full, hungry, or dehydrated. Continuously munch on saltines.
  • Alert. Stay active in searching for birds. Do not allow yourself to become bored.
  • Don't think about it. Some of it is psychological. Don't think about how odd you feel. Don't talk about being seasick. Don't make a bet with your buddy about who's going to get sick first--you both will if you play this game.
  • Over the rail. If you become ill anyway, remember: over the rail and down wind. Many people recover somewhat after being ill.