Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pelagics are so much fun!

Especially if you are fortified with Dramamine....

My guy preparing to set sail on the Thelma Dale V out of Lewes Delaware.

We drove down to Lewes the night before and shacked up in a hotel with 3 birding buddies, including Dan Haas of Nervous Birds and Ross Geredien of Good Migrations.  

I must say it is not everyday that this gal spends the night with 4 guys in an overly priced motel. 
Anywho, all was necessary, because we needed to be on deck for a 4AM anchor up.

The day was gorgeous as we headed out 90 miles off the Delaware and Maryland coasts.  
Wilson's Storm Petrels ruled the day, as they danced on the wave tops. 
There were many Maryland birders hoping to lift Maryland lists (Cute Husband being one), so the Captain was constantly pinged with "Are we in Maryland or is this Delaware or New Jersey?" as we looked out across open water.
As we entered Maryland waters, we had the bonus of spying 3 Band-Rumped Storm Petrels and 4 Leach's Storm Petrels!  Cory's, Greater and Audobon's Shearwaters also joined the offshore party.  

It felt great to break back the pages of our trusty field guide to pages we rarely studied. It also felt most great to not be sea sick.

See my Navy hat?  I was meant for a life at sea!

There were other wonders 90 miles offshore, such as this large group of Pilot Whales.
We also saw our first Fin Whale, watched Bottlenose Dolphin play in the boat wake and a Portuguese Man O' War and a Mako Shark reminded us that swimming 90 miles off shore could have some hazards.

The crew were fishermen at heart and did some fishing during birding action.   This is a flashy Mahi-mahi who had the misfortune of taking to a lure. 

Mahi-mahi or Dolphin Fish are incredibly beautiful.  They lose their brilliant rainbow colors a few hours after leaving the water.   I gained a whole new respect for this tasty fish which I had only seen as a white fish on a plate.  

So, Most Cute Husband, when can we go pelagic-ing again?

1 comment:

Louis and Vencka said...

Great to see you had a wonderful and amazing trip! I do miss going to "sea".