Vessel: 37ft Monohull, MV Grinner
Skipper: Craig Newton
Pax: Paul Walbridge (leader & organizer), Brian Russell, Jim Sneddon, Richard Fuller, Greg Anderson, Grant Penrhyn, Ross Gallardy, Alex Ferguson, Heyn Dekocq, Colin Lunt, Inger Van Dyke, Henry Marshall, Ellen Thompson.
Light SE to E winds, 10-15 knots. Light cloud cover producing hazy conditions, visibility less than excellent. Barometer 1018 hPa, max. air temperature 27° C.
Light seas mostly, max. .5 of a metre on up to 1.5 metre swell. Sea surface temp. 26° C at the Seaway, 27.52° C at the Shelfbreak & 27.84° C at the widest point.
Left the Seaway at 0611 hrs, travelled out over the Shelf with some diversions, reaching the Shelfbreak at approx. 1000 hrs & the widest point at 1109, approx. 50 klms ENE of the Southport Seaway. Spent the next 1 ½ hours drifting, leaving for home at 1230 hrs arriving back at the Seaway at 1550 hrs. Duration of trip 9hrs 39mins.
On leaving the Seaway several trawlers were heading in and the next 40 minutes were spent zigzagging between them with several hundreds of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters present along with Pomarine Jaegers, Crested Terns, Silver Gulls and two species of Cormorants. An amusing sight was one trawlers’ outrigger guy ropes festooned with Little Black Cormorants.
Just after 0700 hrs in 47 fathoms in an area known to locals as ‘spot X’ a huge amount of bait fish produced the first Tahiti Petrel & Streaked Shearwater of the day plus several Wedge-tailed Shearwaters and Southports’ 2nd record of Red-footed Booby. Kept heading out with more species appearing such as Flesh-footed Shearwater, Arctic Jaeger, Common Noddy, Hutton’s Shearwater and Sooty Tern.
On reaching the widest drift point, the next hour and a half didn’t produce much more than a few more Tahiti Petrels and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters plus a solitary Great-winged Petrel. On leaving for home however a second Red-footed Booby arrived (both these birds were adults, different plumages).
Heading back over the Shelf, several Tahiti Petrels kept appearing until just offshore from the Seaway where 2 were present with a third Streaked Shearwater, 70 Wedge-tailed Shearwaters and a Pomarine Jaeger. Congratulations are in order for INGER, she’s finally seen the ‘Southport Chook’. Richard can now get a good nights sleep!!!
Wedge-tailed Shearwater – 691 (500)
Flesh-footed Shearwater – 4 (2)
Streaked Shearwater – 3 (1)
Hutton’s Shearwater - 2 (1)
Tahiti Petrel – 15 (5)
Great-winged Petrel – 1
Red-footed Booby – 2 (1)
Little Black Cormorant – 18 (16)
Pied Cormorant – 3
Pomarine Jaeger – 6 (1)
Arctic Jaeger – 4 (2)
Common Noddy – 2
Sooty Tern – 3 (2)
Common Tern - 1
Crested Tern – 213 (150)
Silver Gull – 61 (60)
Inshore Bottle-nosed Dolphin – 3
Offshore Bottle-nosed Dolphin - several