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Ed Corey and Rich Hoyer report from a successful May cruise off the Pacific Coast



May 26: Ed Corey and Rich Hoyer report from a successful May cruise off the Pacific Coast

Our May repositioning cruise was a smashing success, with a great diversity of seabirds and marine mammals! As with our April tour, we were able to see all four of our "targets", with great looks at all three petrels AND Laysan Albatross! The Murphy's Petrels were a bit more scarce, but we had good numbers of Hawaiian and Cook's Petrels, including some fairly close to the ship. Our mammal list included Fin, Sei, Humpback and Sperm Whale; Cuvier's Beaked Whale; Orca; Dall's Porpoise; and several pinnipeds, including point-blank looks at Northern Elephant Seal!

We were also treated to spectacular views of the Aurora Borealis (see pictures at the end).

We're excited to offer a Fall tour this October, with a focus on seabird migration and rarities, as well as two more Spring trips in 2025!

Black-footed Albatross were present throughout the voyage, with well over 100 seen by the group. We had lots of opportunities to look at all age classes, too!

Fin Whales were our most numerous whale species, and several gave us up close views as they sounded near the bow.

The Hawaiian Petrel, or 'Ua'U, is a bird quite at home in the deep water off of the continental shelf.

Laysan Albatrosses hold the longevity record for birds, with a female named Wisdom having lived at least 73 years and STILL attempting to nest!

Murphy's Petrels were not nearly as numerous on our May trip, but still gave amazing looks as one passed within 20 meters of the bow!

Jaegers always add a bit of excitement to any pelagic trip, and this close adult Pomarine Jaeger was no exception!

Our ship tacked further offshore than is typical, to adjust for sea conditions. This put is in better range for the uncommon but astoundingly beautiful Red-billed Tropicbird. This is only the second time they've been seen on these repositioning cruises, and we were lucky to observe 4 individuals!

Phalaropes were in strong migration throughout our cruise, with fairly even numbers of Red and Red-necked (pictured here).

Gorgeous Sabine's Gulls were moving north along with us, and we were fortunate to see several hundred over the course of the voyage.

It is not unusual to see shorebirds far offshore in the Spring, though it was quite impressive to have these three Whimbrel keeping pace with the ship for over 2 hours!

 

 

Posted: May 26, 2024