Straight across the strait

Saturday August 24, 2013

[From the trip East Coast Odyssey]

The wind picked up again overnight, to nearly 30 knots, which was starting to tire both us and the birds.  At times we had 20-30 birds gliding in the lee of the boat, and even landing on the water for a brief respite.  The excellent numbers of seabirds continued all day, and we had some special moments, with a Soft-plumaged Petrel and a White-headed Petrel making distant passes around the ship.  Towards the end of the day we entered a patch of highly productive water, and suddenly we were surrounded by hundreds of seabirds of many species.  Along with a swirling mass of Great-winged and Cape Petrels, we also had a large flock of Grey-backed Storm-petrels dancing across the water, and Fairy Prions shearing around.  A small flock of Flesh-footed Shearwaters foraging were also our first shearwaters of the trip.  This amazing flock of birds lasted til sunset, when it got too dark to see anymore.  Later in the evening we finally sighted the lighthouses on the southern coast of Victoria near Mallacoota.  By morning we would finally see land again!




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