Hi MOBirders:

First off let me say that this is not intended in any way to be a commercial
announcement.  I'm posting because I think this will be of interest to
Missouri birders who have traveled with Shearwater, those who are planning
to, those who have a Shearwater trip on their bucket list and those who are
simply curious.

Debi Shearwater, who is, if not already probably should be, legendary in the
birding world, on Aug 3 announced her retirement effective next year at the
end of her 44th season.  She is planning to pack it in after she leads the
last of her trips in October, 2019.

I had the opportunity to join two of Shearwater's California pelagic trips
this past week:  Aug 3 out of Monterey and Aug 5 out of Sausalito to the
Farallon Islands and beyond.  Aug 3 marked the inaugural pelagic trip of her
43rd year.  She announced her retirement during her briefings at the start
of each trip.

Both pelagics were real adventures and I, for one, felt fortunate that she
ran the Aug 5 trip in light of the small craft warnings offshore which kept
the whale watching boats in the harbor that day.  But through rolling ride,
fog and sea spray we got to see the islands, part of the Farallon Islands
NWR, the famous puffins, other pelagic birds, whales and a whole lot more.
We passed under the Golden Gate twice that day.

I didn't win any "who came the farthest" awards by a long shot as they would
have gone at least to the birders from Ohio, South Carolina and Germany.
There were also French speakers but I don't know if they were visiting from
Quebec, France or elsewhere.

Good luck and good birding,

Mike Thelen
Univ City, StL Cnty, MO
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