Trip Report: Eaglehawk Neck pelagic 5 March 2017

Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report – 5th March 2017


Jez Bird, Ruth Brozek, Alan Clarkson, Karen Dick, Rob Hamilton, Mona Loofs-Samorzewski (report compiler), Jim Sneddon, George Vaughan, Michael Vaughan, Peter Vaughan, Brenton Von Takach Dukai, Els Wakefield. Trip organised by Paul Brooks, who was unable to attend.


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


A fairly average trip in terms of diversity and number of species but with very pleasant and enjoyable conditions. No stand-out species, the highlight probably being a very young Wandering Albatross, found later from photos to be banded on the left leg. Plenty of evidence of breeding Australasian Gannets on the Hippolyte with a banded adult also discovered from photos. On our return the deckhand put out a line and hooked up a small tuna – those who wanted took a steak home.


Left Pirates Bay at 0710 hrs and headed down to circumnavigate the Hippolyte before traveling south and then turning east once we reached the shelf-break. The first berley was set over 414 fathoms at 0930 hrs, only drifting 300-400 m due to the wind and tide working against each other. We headed further east and south to berley again at a similar depth at 1112 hrs. We finished with a third very brief berley at 1225 hrs at about 20 nm offshore before heading back to port, once more passing by the Hippolyte, to dock at 1455 hrs.


Left port under overcast skies with a sea mist. The southwesterly swell was under 0.5 m at 0800 with a light southwesterly breeze. Once we passed the Hippolyte the swell increased to approx 1 m with a fresher more southerly breeze, then reached 1.5 m before dropping off again to a 1 m swell at our first berley point. As the morning progressed the cloud dissipated resulting in some sunny patches. The southwesterly swell picked up to 2 m at 1045 with 2 m southerly seas on top, reducing again around midday. The wind dropped out at around 1225 and it remained light for the rest of the trip. Pelagic water temperature was 19.8 °C. Rather pleasant conditions really. None seasick.


Australian/New Zealand Fur Seal: 124 (20) On and around The Hippolyte with 1 in pelagic waters.

Common Dolphin: 2 (2) inshore in the afternoon.

Birds (IOC v 7.1 – max at one time in brackets):

Little Penguin: 6 (2) 2 inshore and 2 offshore in the morning, 2 inshore in the afternoon.

Wilson’s Storm Petrel: 7 (3) 3 offshore and 4 pelagic.

Grey-backed Storm Petrel: 2 (1) both pelagic.

White-faced Storm Petrel: 13 (9) 3 offshore in the morning, the rest pelagic.

Wandering Albatross: 1 very fresh juvenile at the first berley, banded on the left leg.

Antipodean Albatross: 1 gibsoni in pelagic waters.

Black-browed Albatross: 1 inshore in the afternoon.

Campbell Albatross: 1 immature in pelagic waters.

Black-browed type Albatross: 1 inshore in the morning.

Shy Albatross: c50 (31) 9 inshore, 7 offshore, the remainder pelagic. All adult barring 2 immatures.

Buller’s Albatross: 10 (1) 3 inshore, 4 offshore, 1 pelagic and 2 inshore in the afternoon.

Fairy Prion: 2 (2) both pelagic.

Great-winged: 1 pelagic.

Grey-faced: 1 pelagic.

White-chinned Petrel: 20 (20) all pelagic.

Sooty Shearwater: 2 (1) 1 offshore, 1 pelagic.

Short-tailed Shearwater: c1000 (300) 230 inshore, 720 offshore, remainder pelagic.

Fluttering Shearwater: 17 (3) 6 inshore, 7 offshore, 4 inshore in the afternoon.

Hutton’s Shearwater: 2 (1) 1 near the Hippolyte and 1 offshore.

‘Flutton’s’ Shearwater: 5 (1) 1 inshore, 4 offshore.

Common Diving Petrel: 2 (1) 1 offshore and 1 bird in pelagic waters.

Australasian Gannet: c90 (70) inshore, on and around the Hippolyte. Interesting to see 7-8 chicks and 1 banded adult in the morning on the Hippolyte, and 1 immature in offshore waters in the afternoon.

Black-faced Cormorant: c450 (160) inshore.

Silver Gull: 130 (40) 110 inshore and up to 20 around the boat in pelagic waters.

Pacific Gull: 2 (2) inshore.

Kelp Gull: 45 (20) inshore.

Greater Crested Tern: 2 (1) 1 inshore and 1 pelagic.

Forest Raven: 1 near the Hippolyte.


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