Tackling Trap Lines
November 12, 2018

Today we have decided to tackle all of the remaining trap lines near the five fingers peninsula.  My trap line runs along the coastline of five fingers, and we have an early start to make sure we catch low tide.  I continue to be shocked by the variation in the scenery.  The beach I am dropped on is calm at this part nearest to the island, and at low tide it’s littered with shellfish and crayfish.

As I make my way along the shoreline, darting into the bush to rebait traps, the rocks get larger and larger and the sea rougher and rougher.  There are a few sea caves, steep cliffs and I have to navigate through some rock tunnels and waterfalls. I can tell the sea is wild here when it’s windy.  Fortunately, it’s another calm, blue day.  By lunchtime I am almost finished my trapline and I have reached a beach with beautiful surfing waves and oval white boulders.  Along the way there have been some grassy meadows with fresh deer prints and again I have seen kaka soaring high above and heard rifleman squeaking nearby.  Curious robins keep coming to inspect the traps.  I have found three mice in my traps.  The Southern Winds has been docked nearby as we are all doing trap lines in it’s vicinity, so it doesn’t take long to come over and pick me up. The afternoon is spent in the sun waiting for the others, but it’s a short day for everyone.  Liz and Shinji are spending the night in bivvys and Jamie has happily returned to yesterday’s cod for dinner.  We pick up Sandy and Gadget who have finished on Anchor Island and will be inspecting some barges around the Sound tomorrow.

Up early the next day, it’s my birthday and I’m on dinghy duty again.  My boat is tackling some more of the Resolution Island coastline.  Some of the traps really do require some rock climbing and agility, but it’s pleasing to find nothing in any of the traps.  We encounter some seals and penguins, see more dolphins leaping in the distance, and cross to the mainland to start making our way back for lunch.  Again, as soon as we check the mainland traps we find a plethora of clues.  The traps themselves are full of stoats and rats, but there is possum poo nearby, and mice poo on some of the plates – those mice were very lucky they chose traps that weren’t set to a mouse weight!  After lunch we continue along the mainland.  We see yet another cruise ship, and I’m glad I’m on my tiny little dinghy instead.  The ship dwarfs the Southern Winds.  We shoot down Wet Jacket Arm to Oke Island to reset two traps on that island, which is abundant in sea birds, and then make our way back along the coastline.  By the end of the day we have covered many kilometres of traps and my fingers are sore from the strain.  Rain has begun and when we return to the Southern Winds twelve hours since we left, I am relieved to have some hot food.  After dinner, thoughtful Nic presents a carrot cake engraved with “Happy 25th Pippa” from some hidey hole and the onslaught of a raucous happy birthday song begins.  I’m sure this will be a memorable one.  Time has flown and we only have one more day before we make the journey home.

Pippa Halliday

Pippa Halliday

BLAKE DOC Ambassador 2018