Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report, 6th December 2014

Subject: Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report, 6th December 2014
From: Paul Brooks <>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 08:03:00 +1100

Penny Beaver, Ruth Brozek, Mike Double, Ian Halliday, Rob Hamilton, Golo
Maurer, John Tongue, Shirley Tongue, Peter Tongue, Kimberley Tongue,  Els
Wakefield, and Paul Brooks (organiser and report compiler)


The Pauletta, skippered by John Males, with deckhand Adam.

Conditions and Activity:

Set out at 0705 hrs under overcast skies with some light drizzle. A light
southerly breeze blew with a swell around 1 m; light seas picked up
somewhat as we headed towards the Hippolytes. Nearing Cheverton Rock,
conditions became quite sloppy with some spray; conditions remained similar
as we headed east towards the shelf break. We berleyed with Atlantic salmon
frames and tuna oil beyond the shelf east of the Hippolyte in 320 fathoms
from 0930 hrs. The southerly breeze was around 15 knots with gusts to 20
knots; swell was low but the sloppy conditions continued with some waves to
3 metres keeping us on our toes Occasional squalls brought rain and higher
winds for periods. Drifted north into about 220 fathoms at 1150 hrs before
heading north to set up another slick at 1225 over 400 fathoms. Conditions
were similar with some waves to 4 metres. Drifted in to 340 fathoms before
setting sail for home at 1315 hrs, arriving at 1510 hrs. Water temperature
was around 15 deg C inshore, rising to 15.8 deg C out wide.  One seasick.


Australian/New Zealand Fur Seal: About a dozen on the Hippolytes and 1
female frolicking near the boat for a while out wide.

Birds (IOC v 4.2 – max at one time in brackets):

Little Penguin: 2 (2) Observed offshore by one observer.

Wandering-type Albatross: 1 A quite white, large bird with a large bill was
a good candidate for an *exulans* wanderer.

Antipodean Albatross: 8 (6) 7 adult male Gibson’s and 1 female Gibson’s,
all in pelagic waters.

Southern Royal Albatross: 2 (1) Pelagic.

Black-browed Albatross: 4 (4) 2 juveniles and 2 adults began following the
boat in offshore waters all the way to our first berley stop.

Campbell Albatross: 8 (8) At least this many – 7 adults on the water around
the boat at once with one sub-adult.

Shy Albatross: c. 60 (18) 5 inshore in the morning, 8 offshore, the
remainder pelagic.

Southern Giant Petrel: 1 immature in pelagic waters.

Northern Giant Petrel: 1 immature in pelagic waters.

Fairy Prion: 12 (3) 3 offshore in the morning, remainder pelagic.

Great-winged Petrel: 1 in pelagic waters; race *gouldi*.

White-headed Petrel: 4 (1) Pelagic waters.

MOTTLED PETREL: 5 (2) A couple of birds gave good views at close range.
All in pelagic waters.

GOULD’S PETREL: 12 (2) A couple of birds were quite curious, making
repeated, close passes of the boat.  Up to another dozen birds seen at a
distance.  All in pelagic waters.

COOK’S PETREL: 4 (1) Sighted our first almost immediately after pulling up
for our first stop.  All pelagic.

White-chinned Petrel: c. 50 (36) 3 offshore in the morning, remainder
pelagic, many of which followed the boat between stops.

Sooty Shearwater: c. 80 (c. 70) Completely replaced Short-tailed Shearwater
at our first berley stop, where there were up to 9 birds around the boat at
once.  While motoring between stops, we disturbed a raft of around 70
birds, a high number for an Eaglehawk trip.

Short-tailed Shearwater: c. 2000 (c. 300) Common from near the Hippolyte to
the shelf break but absent in pelagic waters.

Hutton’s Shearwater: 1 offshore in the afternoon.

Wilson’s Storm Petrel: 6 (3) All pelagic.

Grey-backed Storm Petrel: 3 (2) All pelagic.

White-faced Storm Petrel: 6 (3) All pelagic.

BLACK-BELLIED STORM PETREL: 2 (1) The first bird showed up within a minute
of us pulling up for our first stop.  The second bird showed well at our
second stop.

Common Diving Petrel: 1 Offshore in the afternoon.

Black-faced Cormorant: c.190 (c. 100) c. 30 inshore in the morning, c. 160
on the Hippolytes.

Australasian Gannet: c. 50 (c. 20) 18 inshore in the morning, c. 30 on the
Hippolytes and 2 pelagic.

Swamp Harrier: 1 over the Hippolyte.

Silver Gull: c. 100 (c.70) Inshore and on the Hippolytes; 1 pelagic.

Pacific Gull: 2 (2) Adults at the southern head of Pirates Bay.

Kelp Gull: c. 105 (c. 50) 27 inshore in the morning, c. 70 on the Hippolyte
and 6 offshore in the morning.

Greater Crested Tern: c. 31 (3) 2 inshore in the morning; 1 at the
Hippolytes, 2 offshore in the morning; remainder pelagic.

Jaeger sp.: 7 (2) Too distant to ID to species level - 6 birds in pelagic
waters, 1 offshore in the afternoon.  Good numbers for Eaglehawk.

Parasitic Jaeger: 2 (1) 1 dark morph and 1 light morph, both in pelagic

LONG-TAILED JAEGER: 2 (1) 1 dark morph and 1 light morph, both in pelagic

Forest Raven: 1 on the Hippolyte.

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