HOW MANY DAYS ON THE ISLAND?
It was supposed to be 8, but hey team, due to lumpy seas we can only get you there for 5. Oh well, at least we can get stuck into a few jobs here at Coles Bay for a few days. So we oil the seat and lookout at Friendly Beaches, we oil the numerous timber slats for the new chain ladder at Hazards Beach which we had cut and drilled beforehand. We take a load of rubbish to the tip, we clear the workshop area of weeds and tidy up part of the workshop. We find 2 Sea Spurge on Muir’s Beach. We go to the Douglas Apsley N.P. and clear the drains and check the people and vehicle counters. We pick up rubbish at the Wineglass Bay carpark, up to the lookout, and around all the campgrounds. Can’t face another night of food we had packed for the island? Let’s go to the pub!
It’s Friday! We are go!
6 people and their gear, the working bee gear, the summer campground host program gear, 3 boatloads. The weather is great. The island is….shhhhh, paradise! But we only have 5 days! We lug the gear up to the cottage, we set up the 2 large turbo tents. Someone get inside and push up! What do I do with this bit? Anyone got some more tent pegs? Boxes of stuff everywhere. Anyone found the toilet paper? How do you start the gas fridge? I think the solar panel lead goes through the shed roof somehow. Hey, I found a fruit cake and some lollies! Ranger Fiona Everts is a sweetie. And a new coffee percolator and coffee? Boy, you sure spoil the vollies Fee!
Everyone kitted up? Look out for ticks, long pants and shirt? Let’s spray periwinkle and gnash gorse. The periwinkle looks good except for the large open patch but in other areas it has gone or there are only small seedlings. The boss is pleased. We treat it all with 15 loads (150 litres of herbicide). We pull or paste a few thousand gorse, very few flowering size, but we do not have time to venture further afield as planned as we are due to leave on the Tuesday changeover to the first of the campground hosts. We sked with skipper Steve on Monday at 4pm. He talks weather stuff but it boils down to ….sorry guys, the seas are too lumpy. Talk tomorrow. Expect the unexpected version 2? We gnash a few thousand more gorse, we cut up the old carpet used for the successful solarisation of the periwinkle and cart it along the beach ready for it to be taken off the island, and we have one day mostly confined to base due to rain, but on Wednesday night we get the nod, and on Thursday we have a smooth fast trip back to Coles Bay.
We leave the island knowing that the main gorse infestations have been cleared, the periwinkle has been severely knocked back, the pygmy possum is safely back in the oven glove after trying out Mike’s wine cask, and the base camp is looking tickety boo. How many days on the island? It was 7.