Here's what was seen outside the harbour on the SOSSA pelagic from Kiama on the MV Kato on Saturday 27 February 2016. The list uses the BARC Australian Checklist (v2015 July based on IOC v5.2) for taxonomy, nomenclature & order of species and gives fairly conservative numbers. For the commoner species the numbers are estimates. There's also a .jpg file from Google Earth showing our route.
Leaving at 07.30 hrs Eastern Daylight Savings Time we headed ESE into the swell generated along the NSW coast by ex tropical cyclone Winston, gettiing as far the shelf edge where we made the first of our four chumming stops over the day. This was at 34° 45 01 S; 151° 10' 05 E, 29.5 km ESE of the harbour in 140m+ waters, where we chummed for half an hour while drifting south 686m in the strong 4 knot current. We then moved 500m SE to 34° 45 32 S; 151° 10 14 E, 30 km ESE of the harbour in slightly deeper 150m+ waters, where we chummed for another half hour while drifting south 622 m.
Oceanic Bottle-nosed Dolphins
In an effort to find more birds, we moved out further E past the shelf edge into pelagic waters at 34° 45 09 S; 151° 13 14 E, 34.2 km ESE of the harbour, where we stopped and chummed for about an hour, drifting 1.38 km S in the period. Finally we moved out E again to 34° 45 45 S; 151° 15 55 E, 38.4 km ESE of the harbour, where we stopped and chummed for half an hour, drifting 888 m S, before turning west at 13.08 hrs and proceding directly back to the harbour where we arrived at 15.35 hrs.
Sea conditions were affected by the 1-1.5 m easterly swell generated by Winston, but, fortunately, the strong current from the north was not met by strong winds from the south, so seas were bumpy but not uncomfortable. Sea temperatures were about 23° inshore and 24.5° past the shelf edge. There were a few light showers in the morning with the cloud cover starting to break up in the afternoon.
Species seen, maximum at any one time in brackets:
Black-browed/Campbell Albatross - 2 (1) immatures, both inshore and did not approach the boat
091 Shy Albatross - 1 (1) followed us back in for some time but did not come close enough for determination as to whether cauta or steadi
075 Great-winged Petrel - 30+ (10+) New Zealand breeding gouldi, predominantly at the shelf edge and in pelagic waters
853 Streaked Shearwater - 1 (1) reasonable views at our first chumming spot; the highlight bird of the trip
069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater - 25+ (5)
070 Sooty Shearwater - 3 (1)
071 Short-tailed Shearwater - 10+ (3)
072 Flesh-footed Shearwater - 50+ (10+)
Fluttering/Hutton's Shearwater - 4 (1) all passed too far off for satisfactory views
104 Australasian Gannet - 2 (1) adults
125 Silver Gull - 10 (5)
115 Greater Crested Tern - 3 (1)
128 Parasitic Jaeger - 1 (1)in pelagic waters at our 4th stopping point; jaegers of all species were surprising by their virtual absence today
2+ Oceanic Bottlenose Dolphin, including a calf, in pelagic waters.
6+ Common Dolphins on the way back in.
We also saw a shark sp. and a marlin sp. on our way out.