Report prepared by: Lindsay E. Smith.

    Departed: 07:15 returned at 15:25.
    Sea conditions: 2.0 - 3m easing later in the day
    Swell: South to 3.0m inshore increasing to 4 m beyond the continental shelf decreasing during the day 1.5mts inshore in the afternoon.
    Weather: Scattered cloud during the morning. Clearing, later in the day.

    Temperature range: 8 to 19°C.

    Barometric pressure: 1016 HPa. Rising

    Wind: South -SW 10 to 15 knots in the morning, easing later in the day. South East 3 to 5 knots in the afternoon.
    Sea surface temperature: 18°-19.2 C

    Primary chumming location: 34° 34 30 s 151 15 05


    A series of cold fronts and gale force winds from the west south west had lashed the coast in the past few days only easing late on Friday night. As we departed the harbour the wind had eased to 10knots from the SW and the seas had abated to 1-2m inshore.

    A few Australasian Gannets were patrolling the inshore waters as were small numbers of Albatrosses including Black-browed, and Shy types feeding on the Giant Cuttlefish which were in good numbers. Once again we had brief views of a small group of White-fronted Terns (6) and 2 Arctic Terns as we cruised past the Wollongong Trap Reef.
    Generally in inshore waters, birds were in smaller numbers than yesterday with fewer Fluttering Shearwaters and Hutton’s Shearwaters. As expected at this time of the year the Wedge-tailed Shearwaters had begun to return and were present in low numbers.

    The Silver Gulls were conspicuous by their low numbers, though a flock of approximately 50 birds followed us throughout the day.

    Albatross numbers were also well down on yesterday. As we headed out past the Trap reef Black-browed, Yellow-nosed and Shy Albatross numbers increased slightly

    As we cruised over the edge of the continental shelf at the 100-fathom line the sea temperature increased to 19.2C. Here we also encountered a strong current flowing North at 1.4knots..
    Here to we were joined by a few Wandering Albatrosses D.exulans and a Northern Royal Albatross which past over our wake circled the boat a few times before landing on the water 50 metres from the boat. Allowing all on board good views.

    Conditions over the shelf were quite comfortable with swells to 2 meters. With light 5-8 knot winds from the SE we were able to stop and drift. The banding team were able to capture and band a few Yellow-nosed and Shy albatrosses. Eventually the birds lost interest in us and alighted well fed on the ocean.
    We set course for the harbour as conditions eased significantly. The wind had dropped to a mere zephyr at 3 knots and the sea flattened out. We stopped briefly outside a reef at 75 fathoms to catch and band a female Wandering Albatross. On our way back to shore we encountered several young Fur Seals and mother and calf Hump-backed Whales. The calf was very active, breaching and tail slapping putting on a good display for all onboard.


    Northern Royal Albatross
    Arctic Tern

    Birds recorded according to the latest Environment Australia Reporting Schedule:

    Species code: Species name: Numbers:
    (Note: numbers in parenthesis = highest count at any one time)

    083 Fairy Prion Pachyptila turtur 1
    068 Fluttering Shearwater P. gavia 30 (10)
    913 Hutton's Shearwater P. huttoni <10 (6)
    086 Wandering Albatross D.exulans 10 (5)
    973 Northern Royal Albatross 1
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris 20+ (10)
    859 Campbell Albatross T.impavida 2 (2)
    091 Shy Albatross T. cauta. >10 (6)
    861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 2 (1)
    089 Indian yellow-nosed Albatross 10+ (7)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 10 (6)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 5 (5)
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 5 (3)
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 200+ (200+)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 15 (6)
    114 White-fronted Tern sterna striata >30 (10)
    952 Arctic Tern sterna paradisea 2 (1)

    In the harbour:

    096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
    100 Little Pied Cormorant, P. melanoleucos 1
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 1

    Other birds:

    131 Sooty Oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginosus 4


    Humpback Whale (Mother and calf)
    Common Dolphin 40+ in several small pods
    Fur Seal 8
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