Report prepared by: Lindsay Smith.
Departed: 07:30 returned at 15:30.
Sea conditions: E > 1.0 to 2.0m.
Swell: E to 1.0 to 1.5m With ground swell to 2meters.
Weather: overcast in morning clearing later in the day to be fine and sunny
Temperature range: 6 to19.0°C.
Barometric pressure: 1027 HPa steady though out the day.
Wind: North westerly 3-4 knots at first increasing to 6 to 10 knots by mid morning
by late afternoon .
Sea surface temperature:17.0 inshore - 19.6°C. at 200 fathoms.
Primary chumming location: 34° 30'S : 151° 16'E.
A series of cold fronts had past through the southwest of NSW in the previous weeks creating moderate to strong SW winds, this was now was moving eastwards into the Tasman Sea under the influence of a high pressure system the weather was very calm <5 -6 knots inshore rising to 10-12 knots offshore.
It was a very pleasant and comfortable day at sea aboard the Sandra K.
Birds were down in numbers and species diversity. There is large 'Warm Core Eddy' (21.0 +c) and SE drift rate of 1.6 knots directly of the coast. This eddy extends to well inshore to the Wollongong Reef.
Very few birds inshore, an immature Black-browed Albatross and a few juvenile Australasian Gannets past over our wake and were soon joined by a few Silver Gulls. As we cleared the Wollongong Reef Crested Terns and a few juvenile Fluttering Shearwaters. Progressing north east into the low swell we added in quick succession; Campbell, Shy, Yellow-nosed and White-capped albatrosses our tally for the day.
Several Humpback Whales were observed inshore and one swam under our stationary vessel. This was a great hit with all on board.
We were soon joined by Solander’s petrels in worn plumage as we approached the region off the continental shelf. Here we also encountered a small number of Shy, White-capped, Black-browed albatrosses and Brown Skua.
Although uncomfortable for some, we set up a drift-and-berley session just beyond the 200-fathom line and the conditions were soon forgotten as the Banding crew set into action and managed to capture a few birds and band them (This give people the opportunity to be come involved in our research) whilst allowing people to see the birds up close and personal.
Unfortunately it was soon time to head for the safety of the harbour.
Many thanks for the great work done by the team at Taronga Wildlife Hospital.
Humpback Whales swimming under the boat!
Species code: Species name: Numbers:
(Note: numbers in parenthesis = highest count at any one time)
971 Solander's Petrel P. solandri 5 (3)
068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 1 (1)
088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 6
091 SHY ALBATROSS T. cauta 3 (2)
861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 2 (1)
089 Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T. carteri 5 (3)
104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 300+ (300)
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 5 (2)
125 Silver Gull Larus novaehollandiae 20+ (10)
115 Crested Tern S. bergii 40+ (20)
114 White-fronted Tern sterna striata 2
8698 Brown Skua
In the harbour:
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 8 (5)
131 Sooty Oystercatcher 2 (2)
Striaghted Heron 1
Fur-Seal, species not determined.
Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 100+ (70)