Ashmore 2012; Trip Report Part 1 - Details

To: <>
Subject: Ashmore 2012; Trip Report Part 1 - Details
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2012 13:14:01 +1100
Kimberley Birdwatching's Ashmore Expedition 20-27 October 2012 Summary

By Mike Carter, Rohan Clarke & George Swann (3 November 2012)


Trip Details.

In 2012, the annual Kimberley Birdwatching's (KBW) eight-day 
Broome-Ashmore-Lacepedes-Broome expedition ran from 20-27 October. Logistics 
and permits were organised by George Swann of KBW. Personnel were Jim Allen, 
David Bullock, Chris Evans, Lizzie Fabregues, David Hair, John Lillywhite, Fran 
Standing, Jim Standing, Pam Smith, Mark Swann, Paul Taylor, Allan Volger, John 
Weigel, Rohan Clarke, George Swann & Mike Carter. Our boat was the 
air-conditioned 21 m MV Flying Fish V skippered by George Greaves. Jacqui fed 
and nurtured us and Maurice O'Connor assisted in numerous ways.  

            We sailed from the beach near Gantheaume Point in Broome on 20 
October (Day 1) at 08.00 and spent the next two days and nights travelling at 
sea. We maintained a NW course throughout Day 1 but at night changed our 
heading to NNE. By dawn on Day 2 we were in waters reaching depths of 400 m or 
greater and cruised along the continental slope throughout the morning 
venturing into almost 1,000 m deep water by dusk, passing just to the west of 
Scott Reef after dark. We awoke on Day 3 sailing northerly in water with a 
depth of 780 m and continued in that general direction until ~10.00 when we 
turned to the east heading directly to Ashmore Reef. At  ~12.00, after passing 
the Australian Customs Vessel 'Ashmore Guardian' with it's complement of 
federal government (DSEWPaC) wardens moored at the entrance, we entered the 
lagoon and berthed.

        For the next three nights (Days 3, 4 & 5), we were secure at the inner 
mooring just off West Island. Most members of the party went ashore on West 
Island at dawn each day and on two afternoons, ferried there by three dinghies. 
These were also used to transport us to Middle Island, where we did not land, 
an adjacent sand bar, and next day to East Island where we were able to land. 
Neap tides were a benefit in enabling access to all islands but were 
disadvantageous in that shorebirds did not concentrate at high-tide roosts and 
that we had to wade to the shore of East Island.

        After a last visit ashore on West Island, we released our mooring at 
Ashmore at 09.00 on Day 6 (21 October) and sailed throughout the day on a SSW 
heading through waters of depths between 500-750 m. By dawn on Day 7, we were 
already over the shelf break on a direct course due south for the Lacepedes and 
were over shelf waters of mostly 50-60 m deep that day. We anchored off West 
Island, Lacepedes at 17.05. Next morning, Day 8 (23 October), we were ashore on 
West Island, Lacepedes, from 04.30 to 08.30. Back aboard and tenders stowed, we 
sailed for Broome, berthing at the wharf there at 17.00.

        Weather was mostly hot and humid with cloudless skies and therefore 
constant sunshine although it was hazy on the last two days and a brief 
downpour was experienced on our last night at Ashmore. Light winds and slight 
seas prevailed for most of the trip except on Day 1 when some found the 
conditions uncomfortable.  

        Observations will be posted in Report Part 2.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
Tel  (03) 9787 7136

To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU