Friday, April 9, 2010


4 - 5 April: AT SEA & NEW CALEDONIA: The seas finally calmed and we were no
longer riding in the trough— a relief to many on board. We are now beyond
the Tasman Sea, and entering the Coral Sea where the water warmed
considerably. We continued to make really good time, pushed along by a
favorable current. Gould's Petrels and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were around
in good numbers. But, the seabird highlight was a Collared Petrel, just off
the bow. If accepted, this will be the first record for the country of
Australia! We arrived at New Caledonia hours ahead of schedule and very much
hoped for an unscheduled landing. The French authorities were not so easy to
deal with, especially as this was Easter Monday. All businesses were closed.
Finally, our staff was able to secure a slew of taxis that would take us to
Mount Koghi, a 45 minute ride. Several of the endemic bird species are
easier to see here, especially the Cloven-feathered Dove. It was a very,
very successful outing! We not only succeeded in finding the dove, but also
Metallic Pigeon, New Caledonian Imperial Pigeon, Horned Parakeet, Streaked
Fantail, Southern Shrikebill, Dark-brown Honeyeater, New Caledonian
Myzomela, New Caledonian Friarbird, Barred Honeyeater and Striated Starling.
On the ride down from the mountain, our taxi driver, Anna, played many
songs, including, "That's Amore"! We sang all the way back to the dock!
Debi Shearwater, at sea in the Western Pacific

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