*29^th August 2010* SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA.
Report prepared by: Lindsay E. Smith.
*Departed: *07:15 returned at 15:25.
*Sea conditions:* 2.0 - 3m easing later in the day
*Swell:* South to 3.0m inshore increasing to 4 m beyond the continental
shelf decreasing during the day to 1.5m inshore in the afternoon.
*Weather:* Scattered cloud during the morning. Clearing, later in the day.
*Temperature range:* 8 to 19°C.
*Barometric pressure:* 1016 HPa. Rising
*Wind:* South -SW 10 to 15 knots in the morning, easing later in the
day. South East 3 to 5 knots in the afternoon.
*Sea surface temperature:* 18°-19.2 C
*Primary chumming location:* 34° 34 30 s 151 15 05
A series of cold fronts and gale force winds from the west south west
had lashed the coast in the previous few days only easing late on Friday
night. As we departed the harbour, the wind had eased to 10 knots from
the south-west and the seas had abated to 1-2m inshore.
As yesterday, a few Australasian Gannets were patrolling the inshore
waters as were small numbers of Albatrosses including Black-browed, and
Shy types feeding on the Giant Cuttlefish. Once again we had brief views
of a small group of White-fronted Terns (6) and 2 Arctic Terns as we
cruised past the Wollongong Trap Reef. Generally in inshore waters,
birds were in smaller numbers than yesterday, with fewer Fluttering and
Hutton's Shearwaters. Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were again present in low
The Silver Gulls were conspicuous by their low numbers, though a flock
of approximately 50 birds followed us throughout the day.
Albatross numbers were also well down on yesterday. Heading out past the
Trap reef Black-browed, Yellow-nosed and Shy Albatross numbers increased
slightly. As we cruised over the edge of the continental shelf at the
100-fathom line the sea temperature increased to 19.2C. Here we
encountered a strong current flowing north and we were joined by a few
Wandering Albatrosses /D.exulans/ and a *Northern Royal Albatross* which
past over our wake circled the boat a few times before landing on the
water 50 metres from the boat, allowing all on board good views.
Conditions over the shelf were quite comfortable with swells to 2
metres. With light 5-8 knot winds from the SE we were able to stop and
drift. The banding team were able to capture and band a few Yellow-nosed
and Shy albatrosses. We set course for the harbour as conditions eased
significantly. The wind had dropped to a mere 3 knots and the sea had
flattened out. We stopped briefly outside a reef at 75 fathoms to catch
and band a female Wandering Albatross. On our way back to shore we
encountered several young Fur Seals and mother and calf Hump-backed
Whales. The calf was very active, breaching and tail slapping putting on
a good display for all onboard. **
*Northern Royal Albatross *
Birds recorded according to the latest Environment Australia Reporting
*Species code: Species name: Numbers:
*(Note: numbers in parenthesis = highest count at any one time)
083 Fairy Prion /Pachyptila turtur/ 1
068 Fluttering Shearwater/ P. gavia/ 30 (10)
913 Hutton's Shearwater/ P. huttoni/ <10 (6)
086 Wandering Albatross /D.exulans /10 (5)
*973 Northern Royal Albatross 1*
088 Black-browed Albatross /Thalassarche melanophris/ 20+ (10)
859 Campbell Albatross /T.impavida /2 (2)
091 Shy Albatross /T. cauta/. >10 (6)
861 White-capped Albatross /T. steadi/ 2 (1)
089 Indian yellow-nosed Albatross 10+ (7)
104 Australasian Gannet/ Morus serrator/ 10 (6)
106 Australian Pelican/ Pelicanus conspicillatus/ 5 (5)
981 Kelp Gull/ Larus dominicanus/ 5 (3)
125 Silver Gull/ L. novaehollandiae/ 200+ (200+)
115 Crested Tern/ Sterna bergii/ 15 (6)
114 White-fronted Tern /sterna striata />30 (10)
*952 Arctic Tern */sterna paradisea/ 2 (1)
*In the harbour:*
096 Great Cormorant/ Phalacrocorax carbo/ 1
100 Little Pied Cormorant,/ P. melanoleucos/ 1
106 Australian Pelican/ Pelicanus conspicillatus/ 1
131 Sooty Oystercatcher/ Haematopus fuliginosus/ 4
Hump-backed Whale: (Mother and calf)
Common Dolphin 40+ in several small pods
Fur Seal: 8
For previous trip reports and selected images from this trip visit
All Pelagic Trips from NSW are operated at no profit to the organizers,
being operated as group boat charters for the benefit of all who wish to
join us. If you would like to join one of these trips please contact us
as detailed below:
*To make a booking on the SOSSA Wollongong Pelagic Trips* These departs
on the 4th Saturday of each month contact: *SOSSA: Phone 02 4272 4626
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