Sunday, February 24, 2013

Seaweek 2013 March 2nd-10th - Educators- how to get involved in Seaweek

We are out on the briny (Port Phillip Bay) today with a boatload of educators interested in bringing a marine  education focus into their classrooms. Here's some information about the upcoming Seaweek programs that will be of interest to those wanting some more sea-focussed activities in our local waters.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Two Bays 2013 schedule

Two_Bays_cropped.pdf Download this file


Photo of a Banjo Shark taken in Western Port by Richard Wylie, when onboard for the Catholic Primary Schools immersive classroom day.

Schedule_for_Webpage_2013_Nat_fina1l.pdf Download this file


Monday, November 12, 2012

A view from the bridge of Pelican1- Pacific journey 2012

Captain's Log

Capt_Log_Polynesia.pdf Download this file

Pelican1 moored off Efate, Vanuatu.

Arriving in Port Vila at night

Rize of the Morning Star and Blue King Brown band members relaxing on Pelican1.  The bands were in town for the Napuan Fest in Port Vila

Rize of the Morning Star playing the Napuan Fest

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Cricket song

Black field cricket sings

At night
Over the now gentle paddocks,

That earlier we stumbled and tramped over
Walking the eel path.

Around the campfire
I hear the plaintive refrain
Toorook, Toorook
A Gunditjmara songman sounds the name of
An endangered native potato

By day
The cricket shelters
Multiplying in every hollow and crack of earth,
Turned and churned for pasture

Standing guard over the sensuous curve of the waterways
Which echo the form of the Kooyang*,
Are the eloquent messengers of time past

Scar trees , silent witness, still watching
Make his ancient journey
All the way from the Coral Sea
to the heart of this Country.

* Eel in Gunditjmara

Monday, February 06, 2012

One Fish, Two Fish... Biodiversity and training

Paddy Hernon- Marine Intern for Parks Vic with  a Mosaic Leather Jacket a Mosaic Leatherjacket.

Parks Victoria ran professional development day with ranger staff, scientists and volunteers  on the fourth day of Two Bays 2012. Many of the rangers were from regional Victoria, so it was a chance to connect across the organisation, meet others and share the different needs of the regions. At the same time, staff were involved in habitat mapping, image collection and biodiversity surveys of both Pt Nepean and Pope's Eye Marine Parks.

Parks staff from the coastal regions in Victoria are spread over a great distance and can sometimes find it hard to be heard. It was a way to give staff both a learning opportuntiy and the possibility to share across many levels of management and across the regions in an informal and fun way.

On the MESA  (Marine Education Society of Australasia) site there is a good map and an outline of the five Victorian bioregions that determined the placement of the marine parks 10 years ago. 



Sometimes at the beginning of the day I wonder how we get all the equipment on and off the boat...

Setting up the day- discussions on the trampoline and briefing for diving
in the Pelican1 saloon.
Getting tanked up.
We had Sea Search ID cards to take underwater...

Seen on the day... in Pt Nepean

Depth of  5m- scattered low rocky reef- mixed algae and sea grass cover [sea grass predominately -Amphibolus antarcticus] encrusting pink coralline algae

Fish [common names]

blue throat wrasse [ male and female]
scaly fin [male and female]
leatherjackets - yellow striped , horseshoe , mosaic
zebra fish
herringcale [ male]
Port Jackson shark


red throat ascidian
sand sponge

Moonlighter fish
Habitat mapping Exploring Pt Nepean Marine Park. Divers found under a rock ledge - 40 resting Port Jackson sharks.

Pope's Eye

Looking at the fortification that has now turned into a very productive marine habitat and base for a large Gannet colony.  This was our second dive site for the day.

Photo: Mark Rodrigue
The ever curious Australian Fur Seal
Cowfish - photo- Mark Rodrigue

An Old Wife
The beautiful underwater landscapes that make you want to stay under water for a long time to take them in. 

Strands of Giant Kelp (Macrocystis angustifolia) used to abound around Pope's Eye but is now reduced to a few handfuls of tall strands. This species was abundant along the  coastline of Tasmania but has declined to perhaps 5% of the original size. The research about how much faster the Southern Ocean is responding to climate change may be part of the reason.


Sponge fingers

Puffer fish
Jonno, dive master of the day, very happy that all ran smoothly and safely.


Chinaman's Hat in Port Phillip

As the Pelican crew chatted in the following evening, Garry McKechnie realised that Pelican1 had just clocked 50,000 NM, partly due to the fact that we detoured around Chinamans Hat after diving at both Pt Nepean and Pope's Eye. We toasted the Pelican as we celebrated our many coastal project miles in Australasian waters!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Connecting to Sea Country - Wurundjeri Day


A sharp, warm and breeezy day awaited our Wurundjeri guests for a sail into the Northern parts of Port Phillip Bay. The day was sponsored by Indigenous Partnerships from Parks Victoria. 


David Mullins, riding the stern.

On board we had members from three Wurundjeri families and all were welcomed by Uncle Paddy Wandin.

All the young people on board got involved with learning the ropes and helping us get the boat down the Yarra and out into the Bay. The Wurundjeri creation story is about the formation of the Yarra River and how it flowed down to create the Bay. Unlike the Boonwurrung story which has the rising sea levels creating Nairn.

Brodie was very enthusiastic to be on a big boat and was often asking questions of the crew about Pelican1 and sailing.
Black swan flying near the where the Birrarung (Yarra River) meets the Nairm (Port Phillip Bay). The Wurundjeri 

Many of the kids had not snorkelled before, so they were given a lesson first about how to use the equipment and swim safely. 

And then they all jumped in!

Golfball sponges

Pelican1 anchored on the edges of the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary, but the reef was a little deep to see much. But that did not seem to matter to the kids who were all thrilled to master their snorkelling skills.

They also found a butterfly floating in the Nairn and she was brought back on board, travelling home with us to Docklands at the end of the day. Alice Ewing (a previous Two Bays participant) identified it as the Imperial Jezebel, Delias harpalyce  

All the kids mucked in with Anna (Pelican cook) and helped her make a Banana cake, which we ate on the way home.


Pelican1 sharing the river with slightly larger vessels!


Last time the Wurundjeri came out with the Two Bays project, Bob (who was on board) caught an Australian Salmon. It was not for lack of trying but this time the fish were not biting!


Aunty Winnie and Aunty Vicky with myself, Natalie, Aurora and Sharon.


Aunty Vicky.


The day was a great opportunity to get out and connect with Sea Country.