With all of the pelagic trips occurring off the East and West Coasts, it is time that one occurs out into the oceanic regions of the Gulf. Right now, during the summer months, this should be the time when all of the specialties occur. I found one group that has a five day pelagic that travels up to 150 miles offshore in Southern California. This should be sufficient to reach the Florida Escarpment around 150 miles offshore. The Florida Escarpment is the very beginning of the open ocean and is where the Loop Current occurs, which should be the area where all the birds are. Species such as Black-capped Petrel, both tropicbirds, and Red-footed Booby could be very common out there. We once thought Murphy's and Cook's Petrel were very rare in the ABA area, but were found out to be very common beyond 60 miles off California. Pelagics in the past few years in the Gulf have yielded Yellow-nosed Albatross, Leach's Storm Petrel, and Long-tailed Jaeger; these are all rarities in the Gulf.
The differences between California and Florida are tremendous. For the five day pelagic in California, the birders would be exploring the various ridges, banks, canyons, and seamounts. For this trip out in the Gulf, it would be a straight route to the Florida Escarpment.
I am thinking that this trip could cater to non-birders and the tourist industry as well. Sarasota needs to be known for the open ocean, not just the coast. There are lots of other marine animals in the far offshore regions of the Gulf. This could be a great way to view species such as Leatherback Sea Turtle, Whale Shark, Sperm Whale, Pantropical Spotted Dolphin, and Spinner Dolphin.
Here are some links including the one for Southern California:
If anyone needs some info and wants to make ornithological history, please let me know.
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