New England Coastal BIrds

New England Coastal BIrds

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pelagic trip to Block & Alvin Canyons (Intro)

The full photo trip report is posted "above" this preliminary report (Pelagic Trip to Block and Alvin Canyons (Part 1)). Here are pictures of our ship departing from port (Hyannis, MA) in the early morning of July 16, 2011, heading south into our 18-hour trip 100miles out to the ocean canyons along the edge of the continental shelf, in search of warm Gulf Stream eddies and the wildlife associated with them....
The excitement of the 4am departure from the dock,  seen from the top deck of our 100-foot "Helen H" ship
Keith setting up to do his photography from the extended pulpit (the "whale walk") beyond the bow
Two of the sixty outstanding naturalists and birders on board: Peter Flood (from Cape Cod Bird Club) and Todd McGrath with the cap (visiting trip leader from HatterasNC and California pelagics) at 5am  
Todd joined this trip from his California-based pelagic tours..... Pelagic Birding | California Pelagic Birding | Pelagic Charters | So Cal Birding  and  Pelagic Birding Tour |

Heading out, going south past Martha's Vineyard (on your left) around 5:20am at sunrise

Hopefully scientists will find useful the observations collected by far-ranging pelagic wildlife surveys including this July 16, 2011 pelagic trip. This data may help them establish the baseline for comparison needed to measure impacts as we add large wind turbine farms and other energy machinery placed in these offshore waters. 
Many thanks to the Brookline Bird Club for their outstanding trip (which drew 60 knowledgeable people including naturalists from as far away as California, Washington state, Pennsylvania, NJ, NY, NH, VT and 9 from CT).  Thanks also to the spacious 100foot HelenH and its crew.
And here is our map comparing the route of the July 16 trip (on left in blue) with last year's late August overnight trip (on right in red and white, thanks to Steve Mirick)...

Keith's full trip report, with plenty of photos, is posted "above" this interim post. The Brookline Bird Club published their preliminary report at...  The Massachusetts Birding List and their nautical charts with water temps here...  Pelagic trip nautical maps and temp charts  with the most interesting chart of temperatures being this one (with our ship's track shown by the black loop which dips down into the warmer orange colored waters, then goes east, and then returns north)... SeaSurfaceTempOverlay.jpg (923×837)    Many thanks to Steve Mirick for this water temperature chart, showing our pelagic track as a black line counter-clockwise loop, and how it got our pelagic trip into the warm (reddish) water at its southern extreme....

Canyons where our ship explored on July 16th....

Steve Mirick published a trip report on NHbirds on July 18th... New Hampshire Birds .  On July 20th the BBC published their official report on the MassBirds list....  The Massachusetts Birding List  and Nick Bonomo also published a good report, with photos the the Whale Shark.... Shorebirder: 16 Jul - BBC 'Extreme' Pelagic; WHALE SHARK, LT Jaegers+ .

Tom Robben