Southport Pelagic 27th March.

To: <>
Subject: Southport Pelagic 27th March.
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 07:19:11 +1000
Southport Pelagic 27th March 2010
Vessel: M.V. Grinner, 37 ft Steber monohull.
Skipper: Craig Newton.
Leader & Orginizer: Paul Walbridge
Pax: Rob Morris, Chris Attewell, Rod Gardner, Larry Dunis, Stuart
Warren, Kevin Delahoy, Jim Sneddon, Andy Jensen, Brian Tynan, Owen
Prowse, Andrew Stafford, Judy Leitch, Robert Meagher, Carl Billingham.
Weather conditions: With a high over the Tasman and a ridge extending
up the Queensland coast, light S-ESE winds to less than 10 knots
prevalent throughout the day. Some light cloud present most of the day
with the occasional scudding squall passing by. Visibility, generally
very good, maximum air temp. 29* C. Barometer 1020 hPa.
Sea conditions: Calm seas on less than 1 metre swell for most of the
day with at times, mirror like conditions. Sea-surface temps. 25.3* C at
the Seaway, rising to 26.4* C halfway across the Shelf and 27.4* C out
wide. EAC at widest point running 2.7 knots N*S.
Summary: Left the Southport Seaway at 0635 hrs and headed ENE to the
area of ridges and canyons known as Jims Mountain approx. 26 nm from the
Seaway. Reached the final drift point at 1015 hrs where we drifted south
approx. 7 nm until it was time to head back at 1250 hrs. Arrived back at
the Seaway at 1530 hours, total duration of trip 8 hrs 57 mins.
On leaving the Seaway there was a fair bit of boating (fishing
activity) but few trawlers and only a few Silver Gulls, Crested Terns
and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters present. After a few miles of travel the
skipper loaded up a berley bag to be dragged behind. Unlike the previous
month however and probably due to the lack of wind, very little appeared
behind the vessel, just the occasional Wedge-tailed Shearwater. One or
two Fluttering Shearwaters passed astern plus a lone Arctic Jaeger but
the first surprise of the day was the appearance of the first Tahiti
Petrel at 0833 hrs, still well on the Shelf at roughly the 50 fathom
On reaching Jim*s Mountain at 1015 hrs started the drift and on
throwing berley over the first Wilson*s Storm Petrel appeared in the
slick. There was several game boats after marlin present and near one of
them large numbers of cetaceans were sighted along with large tuna. We
headed over to this area but whatever baitfish were being worked must
have been down deep and just one or two Wedge-tailed Shearwaters
present. Continued the drift from this location and very gradually birds
started to appear but not in any great variety, just Tahiti Petrels a
Flesh-footed Shearwater and another Wilson*s Storm Petrel, when the
surprise bird of the day appeared in the shape of an immature Masked
Booby. This bird made several passes around the vessel, diving for bait
fish, not a species we see every year.
Over the next two hours or so more birds continued to appear from
downwind, such as it was and the dominant species by far was Tahiti
Petrel, followed by Wilson*s Storm Petrel. A lone Pomarine Jaeger
appeared in the slick harassing the shearwaters and just about in full
plumage with near full *spoons*. The wind by now was near
non-existent with the water looking quite *glassy* and many of the
birds being more content to rest on the water than feeding.
Steamed back for home at 1250 hrs and after just a few minutes a lone
juvenile Common Noddy crossed astern, then nothing for several minutes
until almost back onto the Shelf when the second Masked Booby of the day
appeared. This bird showed several plumage differences to the first bird
and it too made several passes around the now stationary vessel, diving
for surface fish, the last Tahiti Petrel of the day appeared with this
bird. The remainder of the trip was mainly uneventful and the only new
species being added were a lone Hutton*s Shearwater and a fishing
party of Little Terns just before the Seaway.
Wilson*s Storm Petrel * 15 (6)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater * 34 (5)
Flesh-footed Shearwater * 9 (3)
Fluttering Shearwater * 5 (1)
Hutton*s Shearwater * 1
Tahiti Petrel * 35 (10)
Masked Booby - 2
Pied Cormorant * 1
Pomarine Jaeger * 1
Arctic Jaeger * 1
Common Noddy -1
Little Tern * 8
Common Tern * 7 (5)
Crested Tern * 51 (20)
Silver Gull * 110 (60)
Risso*s Dolphin * 4+
Offshore Bottlenosed Dolphin * 30+
Common Dolphin (Long-beaked) * 4+
The next Southport Pelagic is in April 17th with a few spaces still
available. Contact Paul Walbridge on (PH) (W) 07 3139 4258 (H) 07 3256
Cheers * Paul W.

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