Sunday Aug. 18, 2019 Buena Vista Audubon pelagic
We had a good day offshore with some surprises, and an unplanned adventure.
First off a Red-footed Booby came into the boat twice for as close a look as anyone could hope. This bird about 22 n.miles west of the tip of Point Loma.
Next was an adult Nazca Booby again came into the boat at about 26 n.miles from the Point. This bird right on the Mexican border and could be counted in both countries if one wished.
Last was a photographed Townsend's Storm-Petrel.
Other birds seen were Pink-footed, Sooty and Black-vented Shearwaters, Black, Ashy, Leach's chapmani, Storm-Petrels. Red and Red-necked Phalaropes, Parasitic Jaeger, Craveri's Murrelets, Cassin's Auklet, Sabine's Gulls, Common, Least, Elegant, Royal and Caspian Terns.
Also seen Elephant seal, California Sea Lion, Common and inshore Bottle-nosed Dolphin.
and last a Mako Shark.
Then the adventure. As we turned to move up the Thirty Mile Bank the starboard propeller shaft snapped, the prop slipped back into the rudder and we were dead in the water !! Now only able to turn circles on one engine.
This required a crew member to go over the side and to tie off the prop shaft to pull the prop and shaft off the rudder. The first try broke the rope! The second try with a number of crew, passengers and leaders pulling succeeded. We now had steering back but running on one engine. We worked and birded our way back to San Diego Bay.
Tough pill to take as the Thirty Mile Bank seemed to have a fair amount of life and further exploration certainly would have been ideal. Still nice to know skill and knowledge of the crew got us home safely. Sad that we cut the trip some what short and that owner / Captain James will lose some of his prime fishing season to put the boat in the yard for repairs.
We will be back and ready to go for the next trip Sept. 22nd
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports