Yesterday, we had a perfectly "tropical" day on Monterey Bay...warm, balmy T-shirt weather, and glassy-smooth seas: oh so critical for finding those desirable Xantus' and Craveri's Murrelets! In all, we had knock out views of 6 CRAVERI'S MURRELETSand 2 XANTUS' MURRELETS, sitting on the water, great photo-ops! Two other individuals were seen, in the typical, flyaway position, and therefore not identified to species. It was quite satisfying to see these hard-to-find alcids.
This past week a strong push of warm water from the south (the Great Southerly Push) has reached Monterey Bay. Our sea surface temperatures ranged from 58F near the harbor to 64F inside the bay! Albacore, bait fish, jellies, and krill are everywhere. There is a tremendous amount of food and marine life feeding on it! Whales and dolphins were concentrated about 1.8 miles off of Point Pinos. (Easily seen from the point the evening prior to our trip). It is just an unbelievable show right now. The Beaufort conditions ranged from 0->.5. Owing to the very calm conditions, most of the tubenoses were sitting on the water, not flying. Two flocks of BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES numbered 19 and 14 each. SABINE'S GULLS continued to build in numbers and the first LONG-TAILED JAEGER flew over our boat! Afternoon sunshine provided us with a great opportunity for photography. I shot an entire roll of film on an Ocean Sunfish (Mola mola)! Yes, we did see one sucking in those little sailors again! (By-the-wind-sailors- see July 25th report). The first fall NORTHERN FULMAR for Monterey Bay showed up on this trip. It was feeding on a dead seal carcass.
Our next trips with spaces available are:
from Monterey: August 8 (this Friday!), 23, 31 and September 7, 14, 15, 26;
from Bodega Bay: August 9 (this Saturday!) and September 12, 19, 28;
from Santa Cruz: September 13, 27;
from Fort Bragg: September 21.
We hope that you can join us on these trips. Several Shearwater Journey's leaders will be on each trip, as usual. Please check the schedule.
The complete list for the August 2, 2003 Monterey Bay trip follows:
RUDDY TURNSTONE-5, flybys
PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN-90
NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE DOLPHIN-50
CALIFORNIA SEA LION-+
SOUTHERN SEA OTTER-18
BY-THE-WIND SAILORS +