Southport Pelagic July 17th.

To: <>
Subject: Southport Pelagic July 17th.
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2010 07:09:42 +1000
Hi All, here is the report for the 17th July Southport Pelagic.

Southport, Queensland.
37 ft monohull, M.V. Grinner
Craig Newton (skipper)
Paul Walbridge (organizer & leader), Burnice Starkey, Brian Russell,
Rob Morris, Chris Wiley, Chris Sanderson, Andrew Stafford, Dan Coleman,
Decie Coleman, Gary Cranitch, John Norling, Glen Pacey, Kevin Delahoy,
Joe Gilmour, Sam Gilmour.

Weather conditions:
As a high moved east across southern Australia strengthening ridge of
high pressure brought mainly clear conditions, and moderate S-SE winds
to southern Queensland waters. A fine clear day, with just some light
cloud appearing mid afternoon, visibility excellent. Wind, light from
the SW in early morning, strengthening and from S-SE to 15+ knots as the
morning progressed, with a lightening off in late afternoon. Air temp.
19* C maximum, barometric pressure 1024 hPa.

Sea conditions:
Light seas on a moderate swell on leaving the Seaway, which with the
change of wind direction gradually increased until at the widest point
up to 1.5 metre seas on a 2+ metre swell from the south. Almost
negligible current out wide and sea surface temps. 17.9* C at the
Seaway, 21.8* C halfway across the Shelf, rising to 22.5* C at the
Shelf-break and 23.1* C at the widest point.

Left the Seaway at 0700 hours & with no trawler activity, headed
directly out to the system of ridges known as the Rivieras, approx. 28
nm almost due east of Southport.  The idea being, with little or no
current and a southerly wind we would drift north to Jim*s Mountain.
Crossed the Shelf-break at approx. 0945 hrs and reached the first drift
point at 1040 hrs. Left for home just after 1300 hrs, arriving back at
the Seaway at 1617 hours * total duration of trip 9hrs 17 mins.
With no trawlers returning, little bird activity on leaving the Seaway
save for a few Crested Terns, Silver Gulls and Australasian Gannets.
Shortly after though the first Fairy Prions started to appear, along
with Fluttering Shearwaters and Providence Petrels turned up whilst
still on the *Shelf*. On reaching the *Rivieras* at 220 fathoms
we stopped for a drift and tossed over the berley with little bird
activity present.
Gradually birds started to appear, a few Fairy Prions and Providence
Petrels with small numbers of Wilson*s Storm-Petrels and Black-bellied
Storm-Petrels. At 1234 hrs a Black-browed Albatross appeared some
distance away down the now substantial slick but seemed to show no
interest in coming to the back of the vessel.  Not long after a
*gannet* type flew right over the vessel quite low down, actually
an immature Masked Booby, dark eyed and presumably a Lord Howe bird, a
species that seems to be turning up more frequently. Although new birds
were still coming into the slick, mainly from the north it was getting
close to leaving time so it was decided to head back down the slick to
get closer to the Black-browed so people could photograph it. 
Sure enough the albatross, a juvenile bird was sitting on the water
looking fat and not really interested in flying, although it did so,
lazily, a short distance. Also here, was some sort of *current line*
with flotsam and detritus concentrated along the surface, with several
birds, mainly Fairy Prions and Providence Petrels showing some interest
in it. On the way back another Black-bellied Storm-Petrel was sighted
just before the Shelf-break and mostly Australasian Gannets when back on
the Shelf plus a few more Fluttering Shearwaters. A single Yellow-nosed
Albatross was sighted when half way back, heading toward the coast.
Wilson*s Storm-Petrel * 6 (3)
Black-bellied Storm-Petrel * 4 (2)
Black-browed Albatross * 1
Yellow-nosed Albatross - 1
Fairy Prion * 10 (4)
Fluttering Shearwater * 19 (10)
Providence Petrel * 30 * (7)
Australasian Gannet * 30 (20)
Masked Booby * 1
Crested Tern * 12 (4)
Silver Gull * 12 (6)

Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin - small numbers
Humpback Whale - 5

Cheers - Paul W.

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