This is the week of the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival. The first event that I am registered for is a Pelagic Trip out into the Gulf of Mexico. The boat leaves from South Padre Island at 6 am tomorrow, Monday. I believe there will be approx. 30 people on board.
Here is an email that I received from the trip co-ordinator:
Hi Seabirders and Pelagic Fanatics,
I’ve been watching the weather for the last few weeks and in that time there has only been maybe 1-2 days where it would have been calm enough to run a Pelagic. With the passage of the remnants of Hurricane Patricia this past weekend there was a full Gale offshore with 13 foot seas. But just now the long range wave forecast for Monday came out from the NWS and to my relief it looks pretty darn good!! So when the long range forecast looks good I always say let’s hope it stays the same or improves. And when the long range forecast looks bad I always say it’s likely to change by trip day. Is that OK? Anyhow this is a good omen so far.
Last Update: 355 PM CDT WED OCT 28 2015 45NM E Port Isabel TX
Synopsis: A COLD FRONT WILL SWEEP ACROSS THE LOWER TEXAS COASTAL WATERS SATURDAY. SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY CONDITIONS WILL BE LIKELY THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY DUE TO HIGHER WINDS AND SEAS. IMPROVED CONDITIONS WILL RETURN LATE IN THE WEEKEND
Monday 11/2 Southeast winds 7 to 12 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Slight chance of showers and thunderstorms.
There have only been 4 previous Texas Pelagics run during the month of November, and the last one was in 2009. So we don’t really have a lot of good data for what could be expected. However we do know that it is a great time for jaegers. Looking at Atlantic seabird distributions November should also be a good time for rare shearwaters, although we have yet to find one on our 4 November pelagics to date. We did find a Manx Shearwater on our October 10th Texas Pelagic just past. The GoM’s only South Polar Skua was also found in October. Great Shearwater and Sooty Shearwater should also be possibilities in November.
If there is any change to the forecast I may send out another email before Sunday. On Sunday morning around 10am I’ll send out the final pre-trip email regarding the weather and whether or not the trip will “GO” out on Monday as planned. We still have Tuesday as a backup date should that be necessary.
As always I am really excited to get out there and see what we can find on our pelagic adventure, and looking forward to meeting you all.
The Woodlands, TX
It will be a long day out on the water and I am going to spend today studying up on my seabirds. Should be very interesting. Not sure what we will see, but I KNOW there will be lifers for me tomorrow.