Texas Pelagics

"It's Not Just Birding, It's an Adventure"

2023 Schedule Survey

by | Jun 17, 2022

 Hi Seabirders,

I am already in the process of reserving dates for 2023 Texas Pelagics. And I’ll have to make deposits before too long.  I’m wondering how past and potential future participants feel about the longer 48 hour trips like the one I just ran 2 weeks ago? At the bottom of this page is a quick survey that should take less than 30 seconds to complete. I did it in about 5 seconds with auto-fill. 😉   It would help me immensely if as many past and future participants as possible would fill this out.  I’m asking these questions to help with my planning for 2023.

These are the Pros and Cons that I can think of.


  • They originate from Freeport which is much closer to Texas’ major population centers like Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.
  • “More Bang for your Buck”. For about the same overall cost and time commitment (if you live in either Houston or DFW) as a trip from South Padre, when all lodging, gas and meals are included you can get about 18 hours of productive birding time in pelagic waters as compared to 4-5 hours of productive birding time on a 12 hour trip. Less time driving, more time birding.
  • The longer time in productive pelagic water should (and did) translate to more seabirds, and more rarities. The first 48 hour trip had 10 seabird species which only one trip ever have more than that at 11, and 95 seabirds which was way above average. And we had 2 Manx Shearwaters. We usually find at least 1 review bird but rarely 2.
  • I found the longer trip to be more relaxing with regular meals and sleeping bunks.
  • Since the shelf is traversed on the way out at night when we’re sleeping, there is less boring time waiting to get to good water.



  • If you get seasick 48 hours is a long time to suffer.
  • The trip will have to be run during the week because the MV Flings primary customers, Scuba divers run their trips on weekends.

I’m currently planning to run 2 more 48 hour trips in 2023: one on July 19 – 21 and one on Aug 23 – 25. Also I’m planning to run one trip from Port Aransas in mid-late Sept. I haven’t decided on a trip from S Padre Island yet. So if you as participants prefer the shorter trips not the longer ones, for whatever reason then I’d like to know that. 

There is one other option that is possible. I could run 72 hour trips on the M-V Fling over the weekends plus Monday. They would run from midnight Friday to midnight Monday.  I just added this to the survey.

I would very much like to hear a lot of feedback on this question. Thank you.

Good seabirding,

Gary Hodne

Thank you to the 40 people who took the survey so far! I’d like to try to get 100 people to vote for improved results. I’ve tallied up the surveys so far.

I promise that all the votes were properly counted; no dead people voted; the voting machines aren’t controlled by a dead Venezuelan dictator; no one stuffed the ballot boxes by voting twice; everyone was a legal registered voter; all the electors are official. So here are the results after 40 votes:

FREEPORT 72 HOUR82102038
FREEPORT 48 HOUR171543685
PORT ARANSAS 14-16 HR1014153973
S PADRE ISLAND 12-14 HR5992342

FYI I calculated the weighted total as follows:

(1st place x 3) + (2nd place x 2) + (3rd place) = Weighted Total


2023 Schedule Survey:

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