Sunday, August 22, 2010
Oregon Inlet Pelagics I and II
The next morning I was up early for the drive to Wanchese, stopping at the 7-11 for a breakfast muffin, coffee, and a sandwich for lunch. We left the dock at 6:00am and headed northeast out of Oregon Inlet. It was a two hour run to get to the area where the storm-petrels might be found. We did find some flocks of Wilson's Storm-Petrels and the occasional Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, and some Cory's and Great Shearwaters (photo) on the water. We had good looks at a Minke Whale. But during the whole day we never got a glimmer of the target species, although Brian did his very best to make it happen. We did catch and release a spearfish and hoisted the billfish flag to trumpet that fact. Plus we hooked another, but lost it. Back on shore Chris Hitt, he of the lower 48 big year who was also on the boat, suggested eating at Basnights on the causeway. It sounded like a great idea, so I picked up Joyce and met Chris there. We had a marvelous meal.
The next day was very similar to the first day with not a sniff of the white-faced guy. We did catch a big Mahi-mahi which splattered me with blood since I was holding the ice chest open while the gaffed fish was brought onboard.
On Sunday I decided that it would squeeze the schedule too much if in fact I did the third pelagic trip. So I slept in, had some breakfast, and rode back to Norfolk with Joyce driving while I worked on the to-do list to get ready to go to Alaska. When we got back to our house, I started assembling the items on the list and had it all packed up by the time I went to bed. Tomorrow I have an early flight to Victoria BC where I hope to add the Skylark to the year's list. The pelagics did not add any new birds to the list so the total remains at 690. And by the way Chris called to say that Sunday's trip also did not turn up the White-faced Storm-Petrel.