Shearwater Journeys is pleased to have you join us on our exciting nature trips to observe some of the pelagic wildlife off Fort. Bragg. Please read the following information carefully, as it will add to the enjoyment of your trip.
TRIP INFO: Please meet the boat, TREK II, at the Wharf Restaurant in Noyo Harbor at 6:30am. The boat will depart at 7:00 am SHARP. We cannot wait for latecomers who will forfeit their fee. Parking is free. Please check in with the leader before boarding the vessel. As always, if you are unfamiliar with the departure point, we recommend visiting it the day prior to the morning of departure. We will return at approximately 3 p.m., or as late as 7 p.m., if we run the full 12 hours. It is not wise to make connecting airline flights the evening of the trip, as delays can occur.
WARM CLOTHING should be brought in large quantities, including head-to-toe rain gear, gloves, and waterproof boots. Persons in open-toed shoes will not be admitted to the boat and will forfeit their fee. You must wear shoes. A large man's handkerchief is good for wiping spray from glasses. Ponchos must be secured at the waist with a belt to avoid blowing around. Bring sunscreen. It can be cool at any time of the year, including summer, on the ocean.
SEASICK MEDICATION is highly recommended and, to be effective, must be used at least one hour PRIOR to boarding. There is no need to be embarrassed about this common problem, but it does require your attention. The best cure for seasickness is prevention. If you have never used seasick medication before, check with your doctor. Be sure to read the warning label. Avoid wearing perfunes, colognes, and hairsprays. (Smells can affect seasickness). Eat a non-greasy, high protein breakfast (a full stomach is less likely to betray you). Do not drink alcoholic beverages the night before the trip and go to bed EARLY! Pretzels and carbonated beverages during the trip can be helpful to settle your stomach. Limit your coffee intake the morning of the trip. Get a good night's sleep. The most common cause of seasickness is lack of sleep. We cannot bring you back to the dock, if you get seasick. Remember, the key to avoiding seasickness is to take preventive measures PRIOR to the trip.
SNACKS are NOT available, as there is no GALLEY on board. Bring an ample supply of food, crackers, and liquids.
CAMERAS and BINOCULARS are essential, however telescopes, tripods, and folding chairs, are not permitted on board. Bring plastic bags to protect your equipment from spray. Bring field guides, too! Shearwater Journeys cannot be liable for loss or damage to your personal property.
WEATHER could be rough, as we will be heading directly offshore with no protection from the prevailing northwesterly winds. If it is raining, do NOT assume the trip will be cancelled. Conditions can and often do change drastically overnight. So, in most instances, we will not know until the morning of the trip whether or not we can go. Sometimes, we may board the boat and go out a few miles to see if the forecast is correct (it often is not). In this case, there may be a charge of $10-40, depending on how long we stay out. Cancelling the trip due to unsafe weather conditions is at the captain's discretion. It will not help for you to call me at home the day prior to the trip because I will not be there. On occasion, heavy winds may force us to return an hour or two early. The trip will be considered completed and there will be no refunds. You should have alternative birding plans for the area. Be sure to have a copy of Kris Carter's A Guide to Finding Birds in Mendocino County and John Kemper's Birding Northern California (available from ABA Sales: 800/634-7736).
REFUNDS can ONLY be made if Shearwater Journeys is notified in writing FORTY-FIVE (45) DAYS in advance of the departure date of the trip (using the postmark date). You must cancel in writing as answering machines are unreliable. There are NO exceptions. If you cannot make it at the last minute, try to sell your ticket to one of your friends. NO SHOWS and persons who abandon the boat at the dock, automatically forfeit their fare. If you need to change your reservation from one trip to another date, you must do so 45 days in advance of the departure date of the original trip, in writing. There is a $12 fee to change your reservation. There are no refunds for group reservations. A $20 handling fee will be deducted from EACH reservation for all refunds, except for those canceled for foul weather, in which case the full amount will be refunded. Trips may be canceled by Shearwater Journeys due to undersubscription, hazardous weather, or acts of God. In no event, however, shall our liability exceed the obligation to refund the amount you paid us.
Regretfully, we can longer accomoodate wheelchairs. If you have other medical problems, including replaced hips or knees among other things, please consult with me prior to the trip. For safety reasons, pregnant ladies cannot be admitted. No one under 18 years of age will be admitted.
SMOKING is NOT permitted on the boat. This is for everyone's comfort.
MOTELS in Fort Bragg can book up early at certain seasons. It is advisable to book your room ahead of time.
Surrey Inn 707/964-4003; Surf Hotel 707/964-5361; Seabird Inn 707/964-4731; Harbor Lite 707/964-0221 Beachcomber Inn 707/964-2402 are a few of the listed motels in the area by the CSAA guide. Ask for a AAA discount, if you are a member.