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  1. Supertanker pelagic birds from April 12 and 13 LINK
    DATE: Apr 14, 2018 @ 7:42am, 5 month(s) ago
    I had the opportunity to ride as a guest on a supertanker traveling from Long Beach to SF Bay, generally 40 to 65 miles offshore.  The route began at midnight, so really began at sunrise south of Santa Cruz Island. Viewing decks (near the stern) were actually plentiful, but the ones with the best and most wind-protected views were high and far from the water (e.g. the bridge)-- and the birds were usually first seen crossing the bow. Given NW winds of 20-40 kts throughout the trip, using a scope was difficult unless I chose a protected spot with limited views-- so there was a tradeoff. 
    Highlights were similar to those posted by Ron Thorn a couple days ago:
    April 12
    Ventura County (south of the Channel Islands)
    9 Sooty Shearwater
    6 Pink-footed Shearwater
    1 Black-vented Shearwater
    11 Pacific Loons
    3 Bonaparte's Gulls
    2 Scripp's Murrelets
    Santa Barbara County (mostly 50 miles out from Pt Concepcion)
    1 Black-footed Albatross
    1 Cook's Petrel (between Rodriguez Seamount and Arguello Cyn)
    1 Pink-footed Shearwater
    2 Western Gulls
    (total of 5 individual birds in 2 hours of seawatch!)
    (night time from Pt Concepcion area to Pt Sur area)
    Monterey County
    1 Black-footed Albatross
    4 Cook's Petrel
    1 distant pterodroma very white below, very dark above 
    4 dark Procellarids (shearwaters or petrels)
    2 Northern Fulmars
    Santa Cruz County
    1 Black-footed Albatross
    5 Northern Fulmar
    We made the turn inland near Pioneer Seamount and only encountered a few fulmars and murres from then on.  I only saw 3 whale blows, which were all at south end of Gulf of the Farallones. 
    This was a one-off opportunity, so don't expect more!  The crew did say they sometimes see little birds that hang around the ship and some stay with it for days. This tanker's "milk run" is typically Valdez to WA or CA and back.
    all for now, 
    Steve Hampton
    Davis, CA
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