Southport Pelagic 17th April 2010.

To: <>
Subject: Southport Pelagic 17th April 2010.
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 07:25:36 +1000
Hi All, here is the trip report for Saturday;

                                     Pelagic Trip Report 17th April

Vessel: M.V.Grinner.
Skipper: Craig Newton.
Leader & Organizer: Paul Walbridge.
Pax: Richard Baxter, Inger Van Dyke, Trevor Skipper, Carol Skipper,
Heyn De Kock, Brian Russell, Rob Morris, Julie Sarna, Cheryl Arnott,
Stuart Warren.
Weather Conditions: A near stationary high over the Tasman caused a
ridge to form up the Queensland coast. Light SW winds inshore early,
soon swinging around to SSE-SE and gradually increasing during the day
to maximum velocity of about 20+ knots late afternoon. Generally fine
but with light to moderate cloud cover for most of the day with some
slow moving rain squalls out wide. Visibility very good, max. air temp.
25*C, barometric pressure, 1020 hPa.
Sea Conditions: Varying conditions, seas to 1.5 metres on up to 2+
metre swell early on moderating slightly out wide in the drift but
chopping up again with increasing winds on the way back. Sea surface
temps. 24.1*C at the Seaway, 25.7*C at the Shelf-break & 26.4*C at
widest drift point. EAC running at just over a knot out wide.
Summary: Left the Seaway at 0650 hrs and proceeded as quickly as
conditions would allow out toward Jim*s Mountain (which we didn*t
reach) arriving at the drift point just after the Shelf-break at 1035
hrs approx. 24 nm ENEof Southport Seaway. Maintained this drift until
1300 hrs, we then headed for home, arriving back at the Seaway at 1600
hrs. Total duration of trip, 9 hrs 10 mins.
On leaving the Seaway, not much activity but a lone trawler was noted
just to the NE making its way back, so headed toward it. Nothing of real
note behind this vessel, just the usual Crested Terns, Silver Gulls and
a few late Wedge-tailed Shearwaters but also three species of Cormorant.
Continued on our way across the Shelf with the first Wilson*s Storm
Petrels appearing well before the Shelf-break plus a lone Short-tailed
Shearwater and the first *good* bird of the day in the shape of a
very pale intermediate Kermadec Petrel appearing briefly around the
vessel on just reaching *Slope* waters. A fair bit of baitfish was
detected on the sounder and there was a game-fishing tournament being
conducted in the general area so it was decided to drift. 
The first Tahiti Petrel soon appeared followed quickly by a Providence
Petrel and several Wilson*s Storm Petrels and these species plus one
or two Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were basically it for the next hour
until a second different, darker plumaged,   intermediate Kermadec
Petrel appeared which approached very closely, for the cameras.
Flesh-footed Shearwaters had now started to appear when the surprise
bird of the day appeared heading upwind toward the slick, a lone
White-faced Storm Petrel. In more than three decades of pelagic trips
off of Brisbane & Southport this species hadn*t been sighted, now
there are records for the last two April trips. A few more Tahiti
Petrels, Wilson*s Storm Petrels and Providence Petrels continued to
appear from downwind and then a 3rd Kermadec appeared, this time an all
dark bird.
About half an hour into the trip back home and back on the Shelf an
adult White-tailed Tropicbird was flushed up from the sea-surface,
providing good views for most but it quickly headed off eastward. Not
much then of note, save for a few Wilson*s Storm Petrels and both
Wedge-tailed & Flesh-footed Shearwaters, until just a few miles east of
the Seaway a full adult Masked Booby circled the vessel briefly. It
should be noted that sizeable flying fish were sighted quite close in to
the coast; boobies of all species love to chase them down. The only new
species then added was a lone Fluttering Shearwater, shortly before
entering the Seaway.
White-Tailed Tropicbird * 1
Wilson*s Storm-Petrel * 45 (10)
White-faced Storm-Petrel - 1
Wedge-tailed Shearwater * 53 (20)
Flesh-footed Shearwater * 7
Short-tailed Shearwater * 1
Fluttering Shearwater * 1
Tahiti Petrel * 9 (2)
Kermadec Petrel * 3 (1)
Providence Petrel * 12 (3)
Masked Booby * 1
Great Cormorant * 1
Little Black Cormorant * 1
Pied Cormorant * 4
Pomarine Jaeger * 1
Crested Tern * 26 (20)
Silver Gull * 43 (40)
Offshore Bottle-nose Dolphin * 1+
Common Dolphin * 10
The next trip is on the 15th of May with several spots still available.
Contact Paul Walbridge on (W) (07) 3139 4258, (H) (07) 3256 4124 or
 Cheers * Paul W.

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