Showing posts from December, 2017

West Coast Pelagic Repo Cruise Part 4: Vancouver, BC or Bust

December 2-4, 2017

When the alarm woke me on Saturday something was noticeably different. There was no swell. We were no longer on the open ocean. I wasn't sure how far we had come down the Strait of Juan de Fuca but was shocked when I peered outside and could see civilization. Vancouver was straight ahead--we were all the way into the Strait of Georgia, and would likely be at port within a couple hours--the pelagic was over.

After a quick bite to eat we hit the bow to see if we could track down any new species for the trip--there were lots of birds, and lots of new birds, but nothing exciting. MEW GULL, BRANDT'S CORMORANT, and WHITE-WINGED SCOTER all flew by the boat. As we got closer to the port large flocks of BARROW'S GOLDENEYE could be seen near the shore. BALD EAGLE popped up from time to time, soaring high overhead.

Bald Eagle trailing a Tugboat
We passed under Lions Gate Bridge into Vancouver Harbour, and the ship began maneuvering to port. We headed back to the roo…

West Coast Pelagic Repo Cruise Part 3: Pterodromas to the Rescue

December 1, 2017

The second night on the boat passed smoothly. Exhaustion the previous day knocked me out quickly, and my alarm was the first recollection of waking in the dark. We went through the same morning routine as the previous day. Got ready, went to breakfast and then returned to our cabin to grab our gear. Only today there was a letter from the captain at our room. Reading the long form letter, the captain informed the passengers that the ship had not been able to travel at typical speed the previous day, and therefore we would be arriving in port 9 hours late!!!

Now for us, this wasn't an issue. Chris was taking a bus back to Seattle on Sunday, and Dorian and I had flights on Monday. But many a passenger likely had daytime flights on Saturday, and the letter said anything before 7:00 pm Saturday would likely be missed. A couple hours later they updated their assessment and let us know they were able to speed up overnight and given current conditions, we would only be 3 …

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