Port Fairy Pel Report 4 March

Subject: Port Fairy Pel Report 4 March
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 11:01:46 +1100

Port Fairy, VIC, Pelagic Trip Report, 4 March 2001

 Observers: Rohan Clarke, Chris Lester, Maarten Hulzebosch, Richard Loyn, Neil Macumber, Geoff Walker, Peter Crabtree, Ken Burrage, Jan Smith (USA), Jack Barkla, Harry Zawacki and Mike Carter.

 Weather: A ridge of high pressure had unexpectedly moved south to span N. Tasmania exposing us to stronger than anticipated winds.

Fine: mostly cloudy but bright in a.m., mostly sunny in p.m.: mild.

Wind: S.E.: Fresh at first inshore; moderate beyond shelf-break. Strong inshore, (reinforced by sea breeze), in p.m.

 Sea: Rough on 2 m swell inshore; moderate offshore.

            Thus it was a very bumpy ride. In spite of this there were only two cases of seasickness, both brief and mild. Mind you, a few others were a little queasy.

Activity: Sailed @ 07.10. Headed out SSW @ 12Kts. Paused and berleyed for 20 minutes halfway out. Crossed shelf-break (100 fathoms = 180 m) @ 10.25. Beyond shelf, berleyed with shark liver at three sites within 2.7 Nm (5 km) of 38º51’S, 141º50’E. Greatest depth >300 f. Greatest distance reached was c.75 km from Port Fairy (55 km offshore). Headed in @ 13.00. Cruised W & S shores of Lady Julia Percy Island (LJPI) from 15.00 to 15.30. Docked @ 16.30.

Mammals: Common Dolphins, 4 pelagic. Bottle-nosed Dolphins, c. 10 @ LJPI. Australian Fur Seals, one pelagic &1,000’s at the colony on LJPI.

Birds: 20 species of seabird beyond the river mouth was slightly fewer than anticipated. The highlight was a Gould’s Petrel which was around for about 15 minutes & came to within 10 m of the boat. Our only previous record was ten years and two weeks ago. We also had excellent views of 2 White-chinned Petrels. Most listed below were beyond the shelf (i.e. pelagic) unless noted otherwise.

Little Penguin; 2 on LJPI.

N. Giant Petrel; 1. In spite of its proximity (2 m) produced the usual ID debate. 

Great-winged Petrel; 50 (30), (20 gouldi, 30 macroptera). Hungry and tame.

Because our berley was slopping over, this and some other species, followed us in to within 10 km of LJPI.

Gould’s Petrel; 1.

Fairy Prion; 4 (4). Offshore.

White-chinned Petrel; 2 (2).

Flesh-footed Shearwater; 25 (20). One offshore.

Short-tailed Shearwater; 3000 (200), Most inshore, many offshore & 10 pelagic.

Newly fledged young at sea. A good supply of krill and an abundance of “sardines”, (“more than in living memory”), should give them a good start.  

Hutton’s Shearwater; 1 inshore.

Fluttering Shearwater; 10 (3), mostly inshore.

Wandering Albatross; 4. One stage 1 exulans. One st. 5 gibsoni. One st. 3 perhaps antipodensis & one st. 2. The first three very tame.

Black-browed Albatross; 45 (30) all melanophris.

Shy Albatross; 22 (10).

Yellow-nosed Albatross; 25 (13).

White-faced Storm-Petrel; 8 (4) mostly offshore.

Australasian Gannet; 50 (30), only 4 pelagic.

Black-faced Cormorant; 3 on LJPI.

Kelp Gull; 20 on LJPI.

Silver Gull; c.50 on LJPI & 10 elsewhere inshore.

Crested Tern; 26 (10), only 4 pelagic.

 NOTE the absence of Jaegers. They have been very scarce in Victoria this year, particularly Arctic’s, most noticeably in Port Phillip Bay.

                                                              Mike Carter



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