March 2022 MCCFOP Pickersgill Trip - Rat trapping in covid times

One week before departure we had 8 or 9 participants however this dwindled in the face of Covid infections and absences plus a strong southerly front that had been intensifying over the previous 3 forecasts. Fortunately, there appeared to be no rain forecast so we decided to get over there and get it done despite the numerous reasons to stay home!

The calm forecast for the crossing was pretty wide of the mark with 30kts being registered at the Brothers weather station before we left Mana. The wind was with the tide and hadn’t been on the water to long, so it wasn’t too bad but no fishing before we went into Queen Charlotte and picked up the Burney’s beach mooring for lunch and afternoon preparations. It was raining lightly around Pickersgill that afternoon and blowing a decent southerly. Did cross our minds that this might be a mistake but once you are there what can you do.
First day it drizzled early but cleared as we motored the dingy to Pickersgill. Blowing 55kts + at the Brothers but still nice in the bush so we loaded up the 40 lures and gas canisters for the day and went our separate ways on the allotted tracks. Pretty dry under foot and progress was ok. We planned to knock off some of the harder tracks early so concentrated on the south face with a rendezvous planned for about 1pm. Worked out well so we had lunch and did some easier going but higher tracks in the afternoon. Fairly bumpy dingy ride back to the mooring that afternoon with some willy-wars? sweeping past. The first day was done with the objectives completed. Couple of beers and dinner followed.

Day 2 was pretty much the same but a bit bluer sky and some work on the sheltered northern face of the Island. I dropped Dwayne off at the Northeast corner and came back to the Southwest corner with the dingy so we could do our respective tracks and end up at the Dingy without covering to many previously walked tracks.   Another 7 hours in the bush completed Day 2 and thoughts of this weekend being a mistake were receding. Wasn’t even too bouncy on the way back to the boat.

Day three was not going to get it all done but it was close. The Southerly had moderated to 30Kts at the Brothers with a possibility of getting home on Monday afternoon so we loaded up tried to finish it off but it wasn’t to be after a few technical difficulties we still had some work to do on Monday morning.  Chirp caps and monitoring cameras to attend to as well as bait and gas for 2 or three traps. Started to see recent trap activity as we walked past previously set traps. There is video of a weka taking a rat away from a trap here
And the cameras caught two deer here

Monday saw the work finished and there was still a bit of wind so what do you do? Dinner at Punga Cove restaurant to toast completion etc.

Calm at Punga and the food was good. The restaurant was 2/3rds full on a Monday night to.

A calm crossing on Tuesday morning completed the mission.

Next time will be July 2022 if it looks like something you are interested in let me know.

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