Heavy rain tests our floating otter cam platform….
You may remember that, back in July, I built a floating platform for our HD otter cam. It is always a risk putting an expensive kit near a river that is renowned for its volatile nature, but our desire to capture footage of our otters meant we were keen to give it a go. Having already lost a number of trail cams to this location after the river rose, I did not want it to happen with an HD IP camera! I created a floating platform from part of a pallet and some insulation foam. The platform was tested in the pond and I mounted the cam on top, testing it again.
Carrying the platform down to the bank, I set it on 4 stakes so it rested into position. I tethered the platform high onto the bank. I hoped that, if the river rose too quickly for us to remove the cam, it would float on its platform until we could pull it in and save it.
As the rain started to set in this weekend, I kept checking the icatcher app on my phone as I can access all the cameras on site. I could see the river was rising, and by Sunday, I was getting worried. I knew it would have to wait until Monday morning for Pete and Tom, who would be working in the garden, to rescue it. First thing this morning, I checked the camera! Good news! It was working, which meant it was not submerged and I could see that it was floating.
Texting Pete and Tom I asked them to go down and pull the whole platform and its camera to safety. Shortly, I received a phone call…. something had chewed through my tethering rope, so the camera was floating on its platform, secured only by the Cat5 cable it was plugged into! The trouble was, the platform was still some 6 foot below the bank. Amazingly, they managed to lasso the platform and pull it up the bank to safety! I owe them big time!
With the river levels capable of rising huge heights overnight, we will probably have to settle with a Bushnell in that position from now until the Spring. I have also built a floating platform for this, so will be installing it as soon as the levels drop. Otherwise, I will miss capturing footage of our otters!