Southport Pelagic November 27th

To: <>
Subject: Southport Pelagic November 27th
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 07:02:18 +1000
Hi All, trip report for Saturdays' Southport Pelagic.

Location: Southport.
Date: 27/11/10
 Vessel: 37 ft Steber monohull.
 Crew: Craig Newton (skipper)
Pax: Paul Walbridge (leader & organizer), Rob Morris, Glen Pacey, Jack
Brandt, Brian Russell, Andrew Sutherland, Jon Norling, Nerida Silke,
Chris Sanderson, Gary Oliver, Chris Wiley.

Weather conditions: A slow moving high over the Tasman brought moderate
to fresh winds onto the Queensland coast. Wind, to 17 knots from the
E-SE on leaving the Seaway gradually easing off and from E-NE as the day
progressed. Mainly cloud free skies early on, with some light high cloud
 moving in mid morning. Maximum air temp. 27* barometer 1016 hPa.

Sea conditions: Lumpy conditions early on with an easterly swell to 2
metres with seas to about a metre, this eased off somewhat during the
morning to slight seas on about 1.5 metre swell by mid afternoon.  Sea
surface temperature at the Seaway 23.1* C, rising to 25.4* C at the
shelf-break and 26* C out wide. EAC out wide running at 2.7 knots.

Departed the Southport Seaway at 0600 hrs and with the prevailing
condition decided to head for the *Rivieras*, 26 nm ENE of
Southport. Crossed the Shelf-break at 0900 hrs and reached the final
destination at 0935 hrs. Drifted SSW for 9.5 nm until 1250 hrs then
headed for home. Reached the Seaway at 1510 hrs, duration of trip 9 hrs
10 minutes.
On leaving, just outside the Seaway on the northern edge known as Dead
Man*s there were a few groups of fishing terns comprising of Little,
Common and Crested. Shortly after we encountered a lone trawler which
had little following it save for a lone Pied Cormorant, a few Silver
Gulls and several Wedge-tailed Shearwaters. Crossing the Shelf, just a
few south bound parties of Short-tailed Shearwaters passed through but
on lowering the burley bag over, half  way across the shelf we soon
attracted a few Wedge-tailed Shearwaters in the wake. Gradually, these
were joined by the occasional Pomarine Jaeger with singles of Arctic
Jaeger and Flesh-footed Shearwater just before the Shelf-break. Just
before reaching the final drift point the first Tahiti Petrel of the day
(the first since August) circled the vessel.
Just as we reached the Rivieras a small fishing part was sighted,
comprising of a few Wedge-tailed Shearwaters and 6 Sooty Terns, 2 of
which were juvenile birds which flew over to us and circled just above
our heads. For the next hour or so a few more Wedge-taileds appeared in
the slick along with another couple of Arctic Jaegers, several
Wilson*s Storm-Petrels and more Tahiti Petrels. On scanning deep
down the slick a smaller paler bird could be seen milling around so we
decided to gently run down the slick and investigate. Good job we did as
on arriving at the spot a Gould*s Petrel started circling the vessel
and was shortly joined by a Black-winged Petrel, with the two of them
flying around the vessel together for several passes & the Black-winged
in particular hanging around for some time. If a current is running and
the slick disappears into the distance, it is always wise to scan right
down it just in case. 
At 1250 hrs it was time to head for home and about half an hour into
the return journey a largish dark bird was noted sitting on the water
and as we approached and stopped a Pomarine Jaeger took off but sitting
alongside it was another Black-winged Petrel, strange travelling
companions indeed!! The rest of the journey back to the Seaway was less
eventful with just a few more Wedge-tailed and Short-tailed Shearwaters
and several more Pomarine Jaegers sighted. Just a couple of miles out
from the Seaway a large all dark skua type loomed up but not close and
as it moved south it was joined briefly by a pale phase Pomarine Jaeger
which appeared much smaller and nowhere near as bulky in wing or body.
There appeared to be some altercation between the two and the Pomarine
promptly shot back north and passed by next to us. The larger bird was
almost certainly a South Polar Skua but not enough detail obtained to
say for certain but Brown Skua is highly unlikely at this time of year 
in the region.
Wilson*s Storm Petrel * 12 (5)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater * 110 (36)
Flesh-footed Shearwater * 3 (2)
Short-tailed Shearwater * 74 (20)
Tahiti Petrel * 18 (4)
Gould*s Petrel * 1 
Black-winged Petrel * 2 (1)
Pied Cormorant * 1
Pomarine Jaeger * 9 (2)
Arctic Jaeger * 3 (1)
Sooty Tern * 8 (6)
Little Tern * 10 
Common Tern * 50 (30) 
Crested Tern * 39 (30)
Silver Gull * 6


Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin - 8+ 

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