Latest Trip Report 22 Sept ‘12:
Well what can I say, after a disappointing trip friday with no trawlers, but with good numbers of birds none the less we managed to find a trawler on saturday and hit the goldmine! 5 wandering albatross from juvenile right through to adult as well as a southern royal! 6 whitebacks in one day is one for the record books. Thanks to Cliff Dorse guiding for Cape Town Pelagics trip for this awesome photo of a wanderer - please note this image is copyright.
Two Oceans Pelagics offer specialist pelagic birding Charters operating from Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa. With years of local knowledge Two Oceans has the ability to provide you with the best possible pelagic birding experience. Join David, our Cape Town born skipper and qualified marine biologist onboard Obsession.
A trip offshore into the pelagic trawling zone onboard Obsession is a life time experience. No-where else in the world is it possible to see so many pelagic species in such vast numbers. During the winter months it is not uncommon to see up to 10 000 or more birds on a trip and possibly up to 7 different species of Albatross including icon species such as the wandering and royal albatross’s.
The amazing abundance of pelagic seabirds off Cape Town’s coast is due to coastal upwelling which fuels primary production. During our summer months south easterly winds blow northwards along the west coast. This results in surface water along the coast being pushed offshore by the wind resulting in a gradient or water deficit along the coastline. In order to balance this deficit, nutrient rich atlantic ocean water upwells from depths of 300m. This upwelling water provides the engine driving the cold Benguella current. The nutrient rich water provides the food source and fuels primary productivity which in turn supports large numbers of bait fish providing food for the pelagic birds.
Obsession is a 8.5m (28foot) catamaran powered by twin 200 horse power 4 stroke outboard engines (clean running engines - no diesel fumes). Obsession is licensed to, and comfortably manages to get 30 nautical miles offshore into the trawling zone to see the pelagic species. With a full walk around cabin Obsession will get you within metres of the sea birds fast. The ride from Hout Bay to the pelagic trawling zone is about 30 nautical miles. Obsession can cruise up to 25 knots under calm sea conditions providing a fast ride to maximise time spent offshore. We guarantee you up to 4 hours offshore with the birds. Obsession does have an enclosed loo onboard.
Pelagic birds tend to congregate around trawlers and longliners as this is where they can find easy pickings in the form of scraps from the commercial fishing trawlers and longliners. Here they can be seen in their thousands! Many of the birds come almost within touching distance of the boat, affording unsurpassed photographic and birding opportunities.
Two Oceans are members of Cape Town Tourism. Obsession undergoes an annual safety survey by the South African Maritime Safety Authority and carries full safety equipment onboard at all times. Radio contact is maintained throughout the day with coastal radio stations, allowing for a comfortable and safe trip.Booking a Pelagic Birding Trip with us is an experience you will never forget!
Likely sightings on winter trips (May to September)
shy albatross, atlantic and indian yellownose albatross, wandering albatross (rare), northern and southern royal albatross (rare), grey-headed albatross (rare), black browed albatross, white chinned petrel, shooty shearwater, pintado petrel, great shearwater, northern and southern giant petrels, antartic fulmar (occasional), wilson’s storm petrel, broad -billed prion (very rare), antarctic prion, cape gannet, spectacled petrel (rare), soft plumaged petrel, artic and subantartic skuas,
Likely sightings on summer trips (October to April)
shy albatross, white chinned petrel, sooty shearwater, cory’s shearwater, soft-plumaged petrels, spectacled petrel (occasional), manx and flesh-footed shearwaters (rare), great-winged petrels, european storm petrels, wilsons storm petrels, leach’s storm petrel, black-bellied storm petrel, arctic, pomarine and subantartic skuas, sabines gull, grey phalarope (rare).
We run our Pelagic trips throughout the week and on the weekend. If you are interested in doing a pelagic please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the make an enquiry button on the left hand side of the webpage.
Our trips depart from HoutBay onboard Obsession. Our trips include an experienced guide/s (depending on group size), refreshments and a light lunch. There is a possibility of getting sea spray on the boat so please remember to bring warm, waterproof clothing, a beanie to keep your ears warm (optional) as well as sunscreen and a hat as one can very easily get sun burnt. We look forward to having you onboard!
For further information or to book a Pelagic Birding Trip, please email email@example.com.
Adult grey headed Albatross photo taken by Capt. Dave 5 May 2010 off Obsession, First recorded Adult in SA waters in over 50 years!
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