Southport Pelagic April 16th 2011.

To: <>
Subject: Southport Pelagic April 16th 2011.
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2011 07:38:35 +1000
Hi All, here is the pelagic report for Southport for April 16th;

Southport, Queensland
Date: 16/4/2011
 Vessel: 37 ft Monohull, MV Grinner
 Crew: Craig Newton (skipper), Darren Shingles (deckie)
 Pax: Paul Walbridge (leader & organizer), Rob Morris, Andrew Walter,
Brian Russell, Glen Pacey, Robert Burgoyne, Brian Coates, Jim Sneddon,
Richard Noske, Stuart Warren, Richard Baxter, Inger Van Dyke, Andy
Jenson, Stuart Pickering.

Weather conditions: A series of lows off eastern Australia with a
trough to the east of the Queensland coast brought increasing rain to
the SEQ coast. Heavy cloud early on the coast, lightening off and
getting higher further out to sea until late morning when cloud
increasing and squalls appearing along with water spouts. Winds light,
5-10 knots from ENE for most of the morning until early afternoon when
the southerly change came through with SSE winds 25+ knots. Visibility
good for most of the day but gradually deteriorating later in the
afternoon. Maximum air temp. 24* C, barometric pressure 1016 hPa.

Sea conditions: Light seas, on <1 swell on leaving the Seaway all the
way out to the drift point beyond the Shelf-break. With the arrival of
the southerly change conditions rapidly deteriorated with seas rising to
2 metres on up to 2+ metre swell. Sea surface temps. 24.3* C at the
Seaway, rising to 26* C at the Shelf-break and a maximum of 26.7* C out

Crossed the Seaway at 0643 hours and with the trawlers already docked
headed straight for the *Riviera* grounds 28 nm east of Southport.
Crossed the Shelf-break at 0930 hrs, reaching the drift point at 1020
hrs. Drifted south at approx. 2 knots until 1250 hrs, then proceeded
slowly back down the slick, the headed for home. Reached the Seaway at
1610 hrs, total duration of trip 9 hrs 27 mins.
With all the baitfish reportedly around surprisingly little bird life
on leaving the Seaway, just a solitary juvenile Australasian Gannet
(early) and Wedge-tailed Shearwater and Crested Terns, so we headed
directly out to the *Riviera* grounds. The first interesting
sighting just 5 nm offshore was the first Wilson*s Storm-Petrel of the
day followed by singles of Fluttering and Hutton*s Shearwaters. 
Little of note for the rest of the journey across the Shelf but with
Richard Baxter tossing over the occasional spoonful of berley combined
with the berley bag, we had a small following of Wedge-tailed
Shearwaters out to the Shelf-break. 
On reaching the drift point at 1020 hrs it wasn*t long before the
first Wilson*s Storm Petrel appeared followed quickly by several
Tahiti Petrels and the first Providence Petrels of the season. Over the
next hour and a half they were mainly the species feeding along the
slick with the occasional Wedge-tailed Shearwater. Just on 1200 hrs a
pale phase  Kermadec Petrel appeared briefly around the vessel before
disappearing down the slick and reappearing occasionally in the
distance. Also at this time the only Pomarine Jaegers and an Arctic
Jaeger turned up harassing the other birds and picking at the surface.
One or two Flesh-footed Shearwaters began circling the boat but Tahiti
Petrels and Wilson*s Storm-Petrels remained the dominant species with
new birds arriving frequently.
1250 hrs and the first fresh gusts of wind signalled the imminent
arrival of the forecasted southerly *buster* and it was time to head
for home. As we did the customary motor down the slick a Short-tailed
Shearwater arrived at the rear of the vessel and several Tahiti Petrels
and Providence Petrels continued to follow us in the wake. In fact one
or two Tahiti Petrels continued to follow distantly in the wake for some
time. Heading back and now well and truly on the Shelf several more
Wilson*s Storm-Petrels, Tahiti Petrels and Providence Petrels
continued to appear along with another Short-tailed Shearwater and
Flesh-footed Shearwater with the last significant sighting of the day
being of a single Tahiti Petrel, some 11 nm from shore.
Wilson*s Storm-Petrel * 61 (20)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater * 19 (10)
Flesh-footed Shearwater * 3 (1)
Short-tailed Shearwater * 2 (1)
Fluttering Shearwater * 1 
Hutton*s Shearwater * 1 
Tahiti Petrel * 26 (5)
Kermadec Petrel * 1 
Providence Petrel * 13 (4)
Australasian Gannet * 1 
Pomarine Jaeger * 2 
Arctic Jaeger * 1 
Crested Tern * 5 (3)


Offshore Bottle-nose Dolphin - many dozens towards the end of the
drift, feeding with lots of surface tail-slapping, many young with

The May 21st trip has had to be cancelled due to the vessel being on
the Steber slipway for important half-life upgrades. The next pelagic is
now on June 18th with plenty of spots still available. Contact Paul
Walbridge on:

PH: (H) 07 3256 4124  (W) 07 3139 4584   E-mail:

 Cheers - Paul W.

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