July 23, 1994; Port O’Connor; TRIP REPORT

by | Jun 20, 2022

Aboard the Chip XI
Report Transcribed from 1995 Texas Deepwater Pelagic Trips Newsletter
Copyrighted By: Dwight Peake and Mark Elwonger
Sooty Shearwater Recorded on July Pelagic Trip

Seas were rougher than usual as the Chip XI passed through the Big Jetties at 5:00am. But participants quickly regained their equilibrium when the first Leach’s Storm-Petrels appeared around 10:30.

We were given quick looks of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins before the next mixed flock of four storm-petrels showed up, these contained both Band-rumped and Leach’s. At one point we could see the distinctive black smear down the center of the rump of the Leach’s.

The advantage of a fast boat like the Chip XI is that it can keep up with these swift, erratic wave-huggers, and give everyone pretty good looks. We kept our radio headsets out of the spray on this trip, as most of the participants stayed on “yellow alert” to make maximum use of our six hours in deep water.

Then, in mid-afternoon, a medium-sized dark shearwater materialized just 60 yards to port! As it wheeled and zigged just barely above wavetops, we noted its all-dark underneath with silvery pale wing-linings. A Sooty! For only the third live record for the Texas Records Committee!

We ended the day with a total of five Leach’s Storm-Petrels, ten identifiable Band-rumped Storm-Petrels, four storm-petrel species, the single Sooty Shearwater, a dark-backed sterna, Atlantic Spotted Dolphins and a possible sperm-whale breach.



Sooty Shearwater – 1
Leach’s Storm-Petrel – 5
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel – 10
storm-petrel (sp) – 4
dark-backed Sterna tern -1


Atlantic Spotted Dolphins
Sperm Whale – ?

Map of the trip track is unavailable.


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