Port Fairy Boat Trips 2003

Subject: Port Fairy Boat Trips 2003
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 13:56:53 +1000

Dear Birding-Ausers,

As I advised recently on this network, I have taken over the organisation of the
monthly pelagic trips out of Port Fairy (Victoria) from Mike Carter for the rest
of 2002. I have had a flood of enquiries for spots on trips this year and have
to announce that, unfortunately, all trips for this year are fully booked with a
waiting list for each.  Some waiting lists only have 3 or so people on them, so
if, you are desperate to add your name, please let me know.

I have recently started taking bookings for the 2003 trips.  So, for those of
you who want to think about a boat trip from Port Fairy in 2003, here are some

Normally, the trip is organised for the first Sunday of each month (with some
exceptions).  Because of the fickle nature of the weather in the Southern Ocean
resulting in conditions that will be too rough or dangerous, many trips are
postponed to the second Sunday of the month.  (If that trip does not go, the
trip is then cancelled.)

Each trip can accommodate 12 people.  There is a waiting list established when a
trip is fully booked because, for various reasons, we have people who have to
pull out, often at the last moment.  The cost of the trip is in the order of
$60-80, depending on the number of people on the boat - of course, it is dearer
if we don't fill the boat as the hire cost is divided between the sea-birders.

The dates for trips in 2003 are as follows.  (If the trip is postponed, then the
next attempt will occur on the date in brackets.)

19 Jan  (no postponement date)
2 Feb  (9 Feb)
2 Mar  (16 Mar)
6 Apr  (13 Apr)
4 May  (11 May)
1 Jun  (15 Jun)
6 Jul  (13 Jul)
3 Aug  (10 Aug)
7 Sep  (14 Sep)
5 Oct  (12 Oct)
9 Nov  (16 Nov)
7 Dec  (14 Dec)

Surprisingly, some of the earlier trips are filling quickly, so, if you want to
make a booking, please advise your preferred dates and include contact telephone

When you get on a trip, you have a number of responsibilities.  No later than a
week before the trip date, you are expected to confirm with the organiser (me
for this year, Mike for next year) that you are still OK to go.  (If you don't
do this, you may lose your place.)  As the weather is the major factor in
whether the trip proceeds, on the Friday evening before the trip, you must
contact the organiser to confirm that the trip is actually on - after 7.30 pm,
please.  My contact number at home is 03 9370 7418.

If you are a waiting list, I will contact you if a vacancy appears.  However,
you can contact me at any time to check whether I expect any possibilities for
you to actually get on the boat.

The organiser tries to arrange rides for those that need then (especially from
Melbourne), although there are no guarantees.  We can normally arrange
comfortable and inexpensive accommodation in Port Fairy, as well as a Saturday
evening meal at a local pub.

On the day, we leave early (between 6 and 7, depending on the season) and return
latish (at about 4).  As well as the obvious binoculars and cameras, you need to
take warm clothes, protection from wet weather, food and drink and some sort of
seasickness prevention medication.  (Many people have decided not to bother with
the latter and have found that it is a very long day if they are sick.)

What will we see?  That depends on many factors, including the season, the
weather just before the trip and on the day, el Nino and la Nina, whether the
birds are hungry or not ...................... and luck.  But, Port Fairy is an
excellent place for albatrosses, some petrels, several shearwaters and some
terns and skuas.

If you have any other queries, please contact me.



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