Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report – 5th March 2017
Jez Bird, Ruth Brozek, Alan Clarkson, Karen Dick, Rob Hamilton, Mona
Loofs-Samorzewski (report compiler), Jim Sneddon, George Vaughan, Michael
Vaughan, Peter Vaughan, Brenton Von Takach Dukai, Els Wakefield. Trip organised
by Paul Brooks, who was unable to attend.
The Pauletta, skippered by John Males, with deckhand Michael Males.
A fairly average trip in terms of diversity and number of species but with very
pleasant and enjoyable conditions. No stand-out species, the highlight probably
being a very young Wandering Albatross, found later from photos to be banded on
the left leg. Plenty of evidence of breeding Australasian Gannets on the
Hippolyte with a banded adult also discovered from photos. On our return the
deckhand put out a line and hooked up a small tuna – those who wanted took a
Left Pirates Bay at 0710 hrs and headed down to circumnavigate the Hippolyte
before traveling south and then turning east once we reached the shelf-break.
The first berley was set over 414 fathoms at 0930 hrs, only drifting 300-400 m
due to the wind and tide working against each other. We headed further east and
south to berley again at a similar depth at 1112 hrs. We finished with a third
very brief berley at 1225 hrs at about 20 nm offshore before heading back to
port, once more passing by the Hippolyte, to dock at 1455 hrs.
Left port under overcast skies with a sea mist. The southwesterly swell was
under 0.5 m at 0800 with a light southwesterly breeze. Once we passed the
Hippolyte the swell increased to approx 1 m with a fresher more southerly
breeze, then reached 1.5 m before dropping off again to a 1 m swell at our
first berley point. As the morning progressed the cloud dissipated resulting in
some sunny patches. The southwesterly swell picked up to 2 m at 1045 with 2 m
southerly seas on top, reducing again around midday. The wind dropped out at
around 1225 and it remained light for the rest of the trip. Pelagic water
temperature was 19.8 °C. Rather pleasant conditions really. None seasick.
Australian/New Zealand Fur Seal: 124 (20) On and around The Hippolyte with 1 in
Common Dolphin: 2 (2) inshore in the afternoon.
Birds (IOC v 7.1 – max at one time in brackets):
Little Penguin: 6 (2) 2 inshore and 2 offshore in the morning, 2 inshore in the
Wilson’s Storm Petrel: 7 (3) 3 offshore and 4 pelagic.
Grey-backed Storm Petrel: 2 (1) both pelagic.
White-faced Storm Petrel: 13 (9) 3 offshore in the morning, the rest pelagic.
Wandering Albatross: 1 very fresh juvenile at the first berley, banded on the
Antipodean Albatross: 1 gibsoni in pelagic waters.
Black-browed Albatross: 1 inshore in the afternoon.
Campbell Albatross: 1 immature in pelagic waters.
Black-browed type Albatross: 1 inshore in the morning.
Shy Albatross: c50 (31) 9 inshore, 7 offshore, the remainder pelagic. All adult
barring 2 immatures.
Buller’s Albatross: 10 (1) 3 inshore, 4 offshore, 1 pelagic and 2 inshore in
Fairy Prion: 2 (2) both pelagic.
Great-winged: 1 pelagic.
Grey-faced: 1 pelagic.
White-chinned Petrel: 20 (20) all pelagic.
Sooty Shearwater: 2 (1) 1 offshore, 1 pelagic.
Short-tailed Shearwater: c1000 (300) 230 inshore, 720 offshore, remainder
Fluttering Shearwater: 17 (3) 6 inshore, 7 offshore, 4 inshore in the afternoon.
Hutton’s Shearwater: 2 (1) 1 near the Hippolyte and 1 offshore.
‘Flutton’s’ Shearwater: 5 (1) 1 inshore, 4 offshore.
Common Diving Petrel: 2 (1) 1 offshore and 1 bird in pelagic waters.
Australasian Gannet: c90 (70) inshore, on and around the Hippolyte. Interesting
to see 7-8 chicks and 1 banded adult in the morning on the Hippolyte, and 1
immature in offshore waters in the afternoon.
Black-faced Cormorant: c450 (160) inshore.
Silver Gull: 130 (40) 110 inshore and up to 20 around the boat in pelagic
Pacific Gull: 2 (2) inshore.
Kelp Gull: 45 (20) inshore.
Greater Crested Tern: 2 (1) 1 inshore and 1 pelagic.
Forest Raven: 1 near the Hippolyte.
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