Southport Pelagic 15th March 2008.

To: <>
Subject: Southport Pelagic 15th March 2008.
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2008 07:31:14 +1000
Hi all, here is the report for saturdays pelagic out from Southport.

Vessel: 37ft Monohull M.V.Grinner
Skipper: Craig Newton.
Crew: Gailforce.
Pax: Paul Walbridge (Leader & organizer), Willem Renema, Wendy
Wilesmith, Rob Morris, Brian Willey, Brian Russell, Jim Sneddon, Jan
England, Steve Murray, Rod Gardner, Tom Wheller, Nigel Adlam, Alan
Crawford, Greg Anderson.

Weather conditions: A High over the Tasman with a ridge extending alone
the east coast of Queenslandbrought 10-15 knot E-SE winds to south coast
waters. Some coastal cloud early on brought a few light showers,
clearing to a fine day out wide with little cloud cover and good
visibility. Max. air temp. 27* C. Barometer 1020 hPa.

Sea conditions: Early on, seas to about 1 metre on about a 1.5 metre
swell, out wide seas   abating somewhat on about a 1.8 metre swell.
Current out wide running at about 2 knots. Sea surface temps. 24* C
inshore, rising to 25.7* in Slope waters. The sea surface temps. out
wide have averaged 2-3* C cooler this summer.

Left the Seaway at 0700 hrs and with a tide running and with an E-SE
swell slowed down to about 7 knots to keep in the comfort zone but still
managed to find the occasional *hole*. Due to the time taken to get
out across the Shelf, decided to drift just after entering Slope waters
at 1050 hrs. Proceeded to drift and release *chum* until 1253 hrs,
then proceeded for home, arriving back at the Seaway at 1515 hrs. This
was a bit earlier than normal but some of us had to get back to
Brisbaneto vote in the local council elections. Total duration of trip 8
hrs 15 mins.

On leaving the Seaway, several trawlers were returning from a nights
work so we looked out for any shearwater rafts, large numbers of Silver
Gulls were working the trawlers still but it wasn*t until after about
15 minutes that we encountered the rafts of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters,
disappointingly that is all there was, about 150 of them. Proceeding on,
we hadn*t even reached the 50 fathom mark, when the first 2
White-necked Petrels of the day flew past heading SW. Just 5 minutes
later they were followed by a dark phase Kermadec Petrel with another
dark-phase bird just 5 minutes later. We had a large tuna in a mesh bag
towed behind the vessel and tubenoses were starting to show a real
interest as a Great-winged Petrel had now appeared (race gouldi), a
somewhat uncommon bird in these waters.

By 1000 hrs we were approaching the Shelf-break as a 3rd dark phase
Kermadec Petrel approached the vessel followed by another Great-winged
Petrel and shearwaters were now starting to appear. When a 3rd
White-necked Petrel arrived we decided to stop and drift just into Slope
waters. Over the next couple of hours or so the numbers of Great-winged
Petrels peaked at nine with even more White-necked and Kermadec Petrels
plus a very close Gould*s Petrel. One White-necked Petrel was very
accommodating even landing on the water, with some great flight shots
taken as it made several passes to within metres of the vessel. I*ll
be putting a couple of snaps onto ABID. One or two Wilson*s Storm
Petrels were also now patrolling the slick, we had no sharks liver for
this trip but still, a few Tahiti Petrels were showing and approaching
close but the numbers were down on last month.

With the turnaround at 1253 hrs we still encountered a few birds back
on the Shelf with a solitary Pomarine Jaeger, Hutton*s Shearwater and
yet another close flyby Gould*s Petrel. Didn*t quite match the March
trip of a couple of years back but all in all a most satisfactory days
birding, conducted in relative comfort with no sickness reported.


Wilson*s Storm Petrel * 6 (3)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater * 175 (150)
Flesh-footed Shearwater  - 9 (4)
Hutton*s Shearwater * 1
TahitiPetrel * 7 (3)
Kermadec Petrel * 4 (1)
Great-winged Petrel * 16 (9)
Gould*s Petrel * 2 (1)
White-necked Petrel * 6 (2)
Pomarine Jaeger * 1
Crested Tern * 35 (20)
Silver Gull * 123 (120)

Cetaceans * nil!!

Next trip is on April 19th, some spots available but filling quick.
Contact Paul Walbridge:
Phone: (H) 07 3391 8839 (W) 07 3139 4584

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