Eaglehawk Neck (Tasmania) Pelagic - 28 September 2008
SUMMARY: A fair trip in reasonable conditions. The weather was quite
reasonable as a cold front was supposed to bring poor weather early in the
day. In fact, it only arrived as we returned to Pirate's Bay, which was
probably fortunate for us. The main highlights were the WHITE-CHINNED
PETRELS, GREY-BACKED STORM-PETREL and GREAT SKUA.
VESSEL: The Pauletta with skipper John Males and his son Michael.
OBSERVERS: Geoff Bromfield, Mike Bysouth, Tonia Cochrane, Mike Double,
Evelyn Ebsworth, Rose Ebsworth, Stuart Hull, Antti Kause, Chris Lester,
Rosemary Lester, Marlene Lyall, Rob Morris , Amanda Thomson, Bill
WEATHER: On the way out, it was fine and sunny with only light cloud. The
wind was from the west at about 15 knots. Out at the shelf, the wind was
a brisker 20 knots, initially from the north-west and then reverting to
the west as the change approached. Late in the day, it clouded over as
the front approached from the south-west and it rained heavily on us on
our return leg.
SEA: Initially, quite calm with a sea of less than 1 m and no swell. At
the shelf and beyond, there was a modest 1 m swell with sea of less than 1
m. On the way back in, the swell was still about 1 m with a sea of over 1
ACTIVITY: Sailed at 07.25 EST from Pirates Bay (PB). We went south down
along the coast and out past the Hippolytes and then on to our first stop
in 70 fathoms at 43º 09.107'S 148º 08.833'E, which was 13 nm from PB. The
birds were mostly shearwaters and not very interested in us. We moved on
after a brief stop to 43º 10.813'S 148º 13.447'E in 235 fathoms (10.6ºC)
and berleyed from 09.40 to 10.30. This was 1.5 nm past the shelf break and
16 nm from PB. We then moved north-east to 43º 09.218'S 148º 19.822'E
from 11.00 to 11.30, which was 5.5 nm past the shelf break. Then, to 43º
08.760'S 148º 23.331'E, which was 8 nm from the shelf break, in 600
fathoms (10.4ºC) from 12.00 to 12.30. On the way in, we stopped outside
the shelf break at 43º 04.450'S 148º 15.257'E in 250 fathoms (11.1ºC) from
13.30 to 14.10. This was 1.5 nm from the shelf and 14 nm from PB. We
arrived back in PB at 15.50 in a heavy shower.
Australian Fur Seals: At the Hippolytes.
BIRDS: 22 species of seabird observed beyond the bay indicated reasonable
diversity but numbers of most species were very low, except for
Short-tailed Shearwaters, The birds were not very interested in the berley
and mostly did not approach the boat very closely at all. Unless noted
otherwise, all listed below were near or beyond the shelf break (i.e.
pelagic). Numbers in brackets were the most seen at any one time.
Highlights are in capitals.
Common Diving-Petrel: 2.
Northern Giant Petrel: 2 (1).
Cape Petrel: 2 (1).
Great-winged Petrel: 4 (3).
Fairy Prion: 100 (20).
WHITE-CHINNED PETREL: 2 (1).
Short-tailed Shearwater: >1,000 (200).
Sooty Shearwater: 1.
GREY-BACKED STORM-PETREL: 1.
Wilson's Storm-Petrel: 2 (1).
Wandering Albatross: 1
Royal Albatross: 4 (2). One Northern.
Black-browed Albatross: 4 (2).
Shy Albatross: 100 (25).
Yellow-nosed Albatross: 6 (4).
Australasian Gannet: 10 (3). Inshore and on the Hippolytes.
Black-faced Cormorant: 35 (20). Mostly inshore and on the Hippolytes.
Pied Oystercatcher: 1. Along the shoreline.
GREAT SKUA: 1.
Pacific Gull: 10 (7). Inshore.
Kelp Gull: 100 (20). Inshore mostly along the coast.
Silver Gull: 50 (20). Inshore mostly along the coast.
Crested Tern: 26 (20). Most along the coast.
Also at the Hippolytes:
Peregrine Falcon: 1.
Black Currawong: 1.
Welcome Swallow: 1.
FUTURE TRIPS IN 2008 and 2009:
30 November 2009 (currently full, but waiting list is very short)
22 February 2009 (spots available)
27 September 2009 (spots available)
29 November 2009 (spots available)
If you are interested in a spot on any of these trips, please contact me.
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