Heard Island Trip VACANCY

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Heard Island Trip VACANCY
From: Richard Baxter <>
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 2010 16:03:38 -0800 (PST)
Hello all,
              This is a non-profit trip and the first time posted on 
For several years I've been organising a once in a lifetime birding expedition 
to Australia's Heard Island in the Indian Ocean Sub-Antarctic.  The trip is 
well advanced in the planning, deposits paid and the boat booked with a 
departure date of the 10/11/10.  The trip has been full for a many months but I 
now have a vacancy
We are departing Mauritius on the 10 November 2010. Spring is when the wildlife 
returns to breed and also when the weather is more favourable.  There are 
direct flights from Melbourne to Mauritius. We are departing from Mauritius so 
we have a tail wind most of the way back to Australia.
After departing Mauritius we’ll sail to Round Island to see Trindade Petrel 
(Round Island Petrel) and then south through the waters of Barau’s Petrel and 
the mega rare Mascarene Petrel.
The route we are taking is to sail directly to Australia's McDonald Island, 
which is 35km west of Heard Island.  We will not get permission to land on 
McDonald Island, so we'll maybe zodiac along the shoreline.  From here we sail 
across to Heard and spend 7 days here going ashore and mooring at both ends of 
the island to explore the Atlas Cove area, Corinthian Bay and Spit Bay as well 
other areas where Adelie and Chinstrap Penguins have previously been seen such 
as Long Beach.  Depending on weather conditions, we are hoping during our seven 
days to be able to reach most of the remote beaches on the less visited side of 
the island.
If we have favourable weather and we survey the island in less than seven days, 
our intention is to head south to the Heard Island shelf waters where, Emperor 
Penguin, Snow Petrel and Antarctic Petrel have all been recorded at this time 
of year. 
After finishing on Heard we'll sail directly for Fremantle. Being a private 
charter we'll ensure we’re crossing Heard Island's productive shelf waters at 
the best time and will also be slowing down to maximise our time in Australia's 
200nm EEZ off the WA coast on our return.  On several previous AAD trips, 
Barau’s Petrel has been sighted following their ship into Australian waters 
200nm off WA.
The trip is 35 days and we’ll spend about 14 days in Australian HIMI Territory. 
 Our yacht is the new purpose built Antarctic Expedition vessel “Convergence”.  
 The boat is owned by the current captain of the supply ship Aurora Australis 
and he’s been to Heard Island nearly twenty times.  Scott Laughlin is the 
owner/skipper and on board will be two master/skippers, a chef, a decky and 8 
The cost for the trip is $15,000.  All other passengers thus far are Aussie 
Possible species include:
Chinstrap Penguin- Seen on most spring visits.
Adelie Penguin – Seen on some spring visits.
Emperor Penguin – Recorded on Heard Island in spring and seen on surrounding 
shelf waters and along the convergence.
Antarctic Petrel – Many spring records.
Snow Petrel – Recorded near shelf waters in spring and along the convergence.
South Georgian Diving Petrel – Between 10,000 & 100,000 breeding pairs on HI.
Fulmar Prion – 10,000 breeding pairs on HI.
Heard Island Sheathbill – Common.
Barau’s Petrel – regularly recorded on return trip.  Recorded within 200nm of 
Macaroni Penguin – 1 million breeding pairs.
Other more common species include: Blue Petrel, Grey Petrel, South Polar Skua, 
Southern Fulmar, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Kerguelen Petrel, Antarctic 
Tern, HI Cormorant etc.
For further info, bird lists etc, please contact me direct.
Richard Baxter

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