Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Trip Report -- OPT September 17 Garibaldi 8-Hour Pelagic

 With a shallow bar at the mouth of the bay, even getting out onto the ocean from Garibaldi can be a challenge. We were extremely fortunate to have a one day window of nice weather and excellent ocean conditions. 17 passengers and 2 guides were aboard the F/V Alaska Sunrise, capably run by knowledgeable Skipper Curtis and helpful Deckhand Terry. We ran out about 20 miles, found some shrimp boats, and although we missed some targets, saw most of the expected species, although some in low numbers. For example, we only had 9 Black-footed Albatross, but made up for the low number with a Laysan Albatross. We had over 500 Sooty Shearwaters, but soon realized that we were seeing Short-tailed Shearwaters as well. 71 is certainly too low, and we had large flocks that were unapproachable so had to leave many dark shearwaters unidentified. We worked hard for our jaegers, seeing one definite Parasitic, two definite Pomarine, but zero Long-taileds. 8 South Polar Skuas went far to make up for that miss. Among other highlights were the attractive Sabine's Gulls and Buller's Shearwaters, and a nice, mixed group of Pacific white-sided, northern right whale and Risso's dolphins. A Wandering Tattler, Surfbirds, Black Turnstones in the bay made the trips out and back interesting and added to the trip list. A good day was had by all.

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