Pickersgill Trap trip October 2022
The weather forecast for the Wednesday night prior to our intended departure was for a sever southerly blow and snow to ground level. Not ideal conditions for a Strait crossing but three of the four forecasts were showing a substantial easing of the wind etc by Thursday afternoon, so I delayed the DOC gear inspection till 2 pm on Thursday and we kept our fingers crossed for a Thursday afternoon departure. After the gear check we got some groceries and the dingy loaded on Southern Cross while the wind was still fairly brisk in the marina. We went out for a look at about 5 pm and it found 15kts with out much sea so kept going. The brothers Island’s had 20 – 25Kts of southerly but still not much sea so the trip was completed with a couple of hours on the Pickersgill mooring in the last of the sun getting ready for a big day on the island in the morning.
After motoring the boats over from Burneys beach to Pickersgill mooring we dinghied to the respective drop off points and began a day of walking in the bush doing about 35 traps each. Conditions were fairly dry and the remaining southerly kept everyone from overheating.
After completing the first day the consensus on the performance of the new app was a big thumbs up. The trap syncing was considerably improved, and the servicing time was reduced because of that.
The following morning I recorded the bird song that could be heard from the mooring. 18 months ago there was no bird song so it is a sign that the rat reduction work is having some effect. The recording can be heard here.
Turn the volume up.
The second day was clear and calm, we finished the bait and gas on the remaining traps. This was an easier day and we enjoyed a couple of afternoon drinks and a de brief. Also reviewed some trapping camera action which revealed quite a lot more birdlife captured in the cameras than any previous footage.
Sunday morning, we completed the 10 traps in sunshine bay, corrected a few faulty chirp caps and reset the cameras that hadn’t been done to complete the work.
Time to look at getting back. There was a fairly strong Northerly during the afternoon with gusts of 46Kts recorded at the Brothers. Getting home was looking dicey but there was a gap in the evening. If that didn’t pan out we could be stuck till Tuesday?? Leo the other boat that made the trip was going back to Picton so one of Southern Cross crew elected to go with them and get the ferry just in case the weather didn’t calm down.
After a shower and a bit of a boat clean Gary and I decided to go out and have a look. The brothers Island wind speed had moderated to 29Kts which was not ideal however you never can tell. Getting out towards cook rock the wind had definitely moderated, there was 1.5M of sea with wind against tide and failing light. Decided to have a go and enjoyed a 19 – 20Kt sleigh ride home with the moon on our port bow. It was a better ride than we had expected from the forecast and wind speed info. Got in around 9.30pm and that completed another trip to Pickersgill / Matapara.
Thanks to the crew of Leo and Southern cross for making this trip the enjoyable experience it was.
That is the last bait gas and camera trip for 2023. Just a tracking tunnel trip to go.
Bring on Summer.
See you out there.