Birder's Guide

MAR 2014

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 73 of 91

Pelagic Prep 72 Birder's Guide to Travel | March 2014 board. Eat well the day before, eat lightly the evening before, get rest, and main- tain your bathroom routine so you are not bloated or constipated. If you've opted to take seasickness medication, it must be taken well before boarding. I apply my Transderm Scop when I naturally wake in the middle of the night. Eat a simple starch and protein breakfast, avoiding greasy or acidic foods (including orange juice). If you need cof- fee, chase it with an antacid tablet. The Comforts of Home Don't be anxious about onboard rest- rooms. Charter boats have a standard private toilet (also known as the "head"). With that worry out of your mind, stay hydrated and in the wind. Yes, using the head means a tiny chance of missing a lifer Great Skua, so hurry! Many women have told me they are reluctant to sign up for a pelagic be- cause "it's only men on the tours". True, women typically are in the minority. But remember that one of the pioneers of pelagic birding tours is female: Deb- ra Shearwater of Shearwater Journeys . And Brian Patteson's lead spotter on Seabirding pelagic trips is Kate Sutherland . Eight Steps to Enlightenment (or, at least, Bliss) Onboard •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• If you start to feel overheated, fushed, or queasy (which is not un- usual), don't panic. But don't ignore it—follow these steps immediately to prevent the onset of seasickness: 1 • Stop using your binoculars or cam- era, or reading your feld guide. 2 • Move to midships or a bit aft, where there is less motion. 3 • Face the breeze, for fresh air on your face. Do not go inside. 4 • Remove clothing layers, especially knit hat or gloves, to cool off. 5 • Stay away from diesel fumes or chum odors. 6 • Look out and focus on the horizon. 7 • Bend your knees slightly and let your body absorb the wave cadence. 8 • Relax and enjoy the beautiful ocean view. You'll be back to looking at shearwaters and storm-petrels in no time! Fairy Prion is found in the cold waters of the Southern Hemisphere, and heading out on a pelagic trip is almost certainly the only way you'll be able to see and identify one. Photo © Julian Robinson About to leave port in Hatteras, North Carolina. Triple-check to make sure you have everything you need before you arrive! Photo © Diana Doyle Continued on page 74 10-Pelagic Prep.indd 72 3/4/14 1:28 PM

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