MSI Sets Sail for the Farallons!

MSI to host renowned Birder Martijn Verdoes for wildlife cruise to the Farallon Islands aboard Research Vessel Derek M. Baylis.

On Saturday, October 13, the Marine Science Institute is proud to host an amazing public event. Join us as we set sail aboard the research vessel Derek  M. Baylis to the Farallon Islands. During the fall, the Baylis takes scientists from Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station out to the islands to tag the great white shark population found there this time of year.

Tom Wylye of Wylie Design Group designed the vessel as a green alternative to traditional research vessels, powered by the wind and an efficient auxiliary engine. The Baylis will be our platform for the day as we explore the wildlife along the continental shelf and the Southeast Farallon islands.

As a special addition to the crew we will also have a bird expert on board. Hailing from Holland, Martijn Verdoes is an expert birder and his photos have appeared in many publications around the globe. Martijn works regularly for Monterey Seabirds, whose offshore trips allow him to keep current on the new arrivals during yearly migrations. He assures me that we should see several species of puffins, murres, and other pelagic (open-ocean dwelling) species.

You can see Martijn’s work on his blog: http://agamiblog.blogspot.com/search/label/Martijn%20Verdoes

The Farallon islands have a rich and sordid history. Visitors are not allowed on the islands, which have been a wildlife sanctuary since 1974. One story about the rocky islands history is the Egg Wars. During the gold rush period, many groups went to the islands searching for sea bird eggs, and in many cases fighting over rights to collect the eggs on the island. During the population explosion that happened in the San Francisco at that time, there apparently were very few chickens and even fewer eggs, so these hardy souls went to the island, often in improvised boats, to reap the easy pickings on the island and return to the city to sell the eggs. The reports said the eggs were not very tasty in omelets but were OK for baking. I can only imagine how the fishy eggs tasted.

This is a rare opportunity to join MSI on an exciting adventure.  There are limited spots so sign up soon.  Click HERE for more details.

Note From Matijn:

     This time of year is great for birding and we should see several species of Shearwater – Sooty, Pink-footed, Buller’s to name a few-, alcids – like our smallest alcid the Cassin’s Auklet, the Common Murre and if we’re lucky the amazing Tufted Puffin for which the Farallon Islands are the southern most breeding grounds – and we could see an Albatross species or two – the Black-footed and the more uncommon Laysan Albatross.

posting by James Bender

MSI Programs Director

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