Leach's Storm-Petrel photo (lower left) by Tim Lenz (www.flickr.com/photos/59323989@N00/3891874596/) via creative commons on Flickr (see licence here: creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en). Adjustments done to the photo were cropping, fading the edges and flipping it (horizontally rotating it so the bird faces the other direction).
Triangle Island is an island located off the tip of Vancouver Island. It is the largest and most diverse seabird breeding colony in British Columbia and it is one of the best breeding spots for Tufted Puffins and Cassin's Auklet in Canada. Other species that breed here include Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklet, Pigeon Guillemot, Pelagic Cormorant, Leach's and Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels, and more.
The island is a protected reserve, so without a permit you cannot go on or get too close to the island. However, staying a distance of 500 meters away, boats are allowed to explore the area and view the seabirds as they feed around the island.
I will be on Malcolm Island, off of Port McNeill for the island's annual spring bird count this late April. I am hoping to get a boat out there (probably leaving from Port Hardy) on Friday April 25 2014 to go see the seabirds at the start of their breeding season. Hiring boats to go out there is very expensive, so I am hoping to gather a crew of birders to go out there with me. Right now I am just trying to see how much interest there is in the trip to see what type of boat to try to hire. I have offers from whale watching companies varying from fairly small boats to large boats that can take out as many 47 people. The more people that would come, the cheaper it will be. So if you think you are interested please send me a note (send me a note through the contact page on my website or send to firstname.lastname@example.org). Remember that it is not a free trip, we are talking $125-$230 plus tax, depending on the amount of people that want to come. If you tell me you are interested it does not mean you are committed to coming and paying, I just want to see how much interest there is in general.
One serious consideration about these trips is the weather. The water around Triangle Island is open ocean which means that on a stormy day it can be extremely rocky and sometimes unsafe to go out. It is often foggy too. So what I'm saying is, I might be able to book a trip but there is always a risk of last minute cancellation due to weather. This would be for the safety of the people on the boat. Any boat we will be taking if we go will be very safe and equipped with safety equipment, however.
Because the weather may cause cancellation, I do not recommend coming up to the area from a place like the Okanagan (or maybe even Vancouver unless you really are willing to risk it) because that would be quite a trip to take for nothing!
The trip itinerary would be something like this:
We would leave from Port Hardy (probably, maybe Port McNeill) fairly early in the morning. It would take about 2 hours to get to the island on most boats. If we see something good on the way there we can slow down, but probably not for too long because we want to get as much time around the island as possible. Once at the island we would spend a few hours circling the area hoping to see all the species that breed on the island (see first part of this email) and maybe other seabirds too like shearwaters and even an albatross or two. After a few hours around the island, if the weather is good, we might move around a larger area maybe a bit farther out for a larger chance at other species like Black-footed Albatross (no guarantees though!). We would then depart back for the marina and get back before it gets too dark.
If you are interested, please send me a note! If you think anybody else might be interested, please send them this.