Proficient Pearson Painters

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-25 knots West
  • Sky: overcast, then sunny, then overcast
  • Water: 2′ chop

Ecological

  • Much frenetic elephant seal activity throughout the island and surrounding waters.
  • The speed with which they go from slow motion sparring to sleeping side by side is adorable.
  • One seal was even snoozing on the ramp with his head under water.
  • Between 11 and 15 elephant seals on Great Race.
  • We discovered several seagull nests with eggs in them. First ones of the year!

Maintenance

  • The four of us engaged in much painting.
  • The boathouse floor was finished, along with the derrick room floor, and the yellow on the jetty.
  • In the afternoon we used the shorefront pressure washer to remove algae from several walls.
  • As is customary out here, we cleaned off the solar panels.

Boats

  • Kyle and Guy brought out the pressure washer and various other items at 8:10.
  • One rental boat was caught fishing illegally within the reserve.
  • I called Pedder Bay Marina to inform them.
  • One coast guard boat passed through the reserve today.
  • Also a few eco-tours.

Visitors

  • Kyle and Guy briefly to drop off items.
  • In the late afternoon, Maya, Tazi, and Ali came over to the eco-guardians house for tea, cookies, and the American version of Rubber Soul.

A Windy Census

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-25 knots West in the morning, picking up to 30-35 by noon.
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 3′ chop

DSC_6368

Ecological

  • I oversaw an enthusiastic day long census with Maya, Tazi, and Ali.
  • Discovered a new Black Oystercatcher nest with 3 eggs!
  • Maya and Tazi discovered a new Canada Goose nest.
  • I begin to suspect that our new elephant seal male is actually Chuckles.
  • If he did nothing but eat for 3 months straight, that would explain his girth.
  • Saw a Steller Sea Lion branded 9628.
  • We found a blood star, and Maya showed us various chitons.
  • Maya and Tazi did a transect.
  1. Harbour Seals: 190
  2. California Sea Lions: 42
  3. Steller/Northern Sea Lions: 39
  4. Elephant Seals: 15 (13 on Great Race, 2 in the Southern waters)
  5. Seagulls: 225 (Glaucous-winged)
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 82
  7. Canada Geese: 36 (14 on Great Race, 22 flyovers)
  8. Black Oystercatchers: 8 (plus 2 nests with a total 5 eggs)
  9. Harlequin Ducks: 3 (2 male, 1 female)
  10. Cormorants: 3
  11. Barn Swallows: 2

Maintenance

  • We cleaned the solar panels.
  • Finished cleaning the boathouse floor with T.S.P.
  • Repainted some rusty propane tanks.
  • Sanded the westward facing bench by the Students’ house.

Boats

  • Several eco-tours came by in the morning, but as wind picked up they disappeared.

Transect Peg Locations on Great Race Rocks

Expand this map of Great Race Rocks in order to see the numbered pegs in red around the shoreline. Some of these pegs were intended as intertidal locators, and some as subtidal tethering pegs. The ones with question marks still need to be located to be sure.

Some of the  pegs were established pre-1980 and some were established after 2000.

centrelargeandislepegs
Peg 1: off west side of jetty end- subtidal
Peg 2: off point of bay west of jetty–subtidal
peg 3: further along north side– subtidal
peg 4: off base of cliff– subtidal (proved impractical because of high current)
peg 5: inter and subtidal
peg 5a:later installation- inter and subtidal
peg 5b: later installation-inter and subtidal
peg 6: for tidepool locator and intertidal and subtidal
peg 7: for subtidal minimal use
peg 8: for subtidal not used
peg 9: for subtidal not used
peg 9 : for subtidal not used
peg 10: for subtidal not used
peg 11: subtidal not used as too close to old outfall.
peg 12 inter and subtidal
peg 13: used for annual intertidal algae stratification lab exercise.
peg 14: subtidal- outer extreme North East corner.
peg 14b: inter and subtidal concrete mound with stainless steel hole for peg – inter and subtidal
peg 15: large boat mooring post — used for intertidal lab exercises
peg 15a: inter and subtidal concrete mound with stainless steel hole for peg – inter and subtidal

To be added later: links to webpages with data from these pegs:

The Return of Chunk!

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 15 knots West most of the day, 30-40 in the evening.
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: 2′ chop

DSC_6343

Ecological

  • This morning there was a new large male elephant seal on Great Race.
  • He is far larger than any of the other ones here.
  • Then in the evening Chunk arrived on the Western part of the island, equalling the new male in size.
  • Chunk was last reported as being on Great Race on March 4th of this year.
  • Chuckles was last sighted on Great Race on February 29th of this year.
  • I don’t think the other one is Chuckles, as I remember Chuckles being smaller.
  • 15 in total on Great Race.
  • Lots of entertaining e-seal sparring and interactions, much to the delight of the students.

Maintenance

  • In the morning, the 4 of us finished uncovering the brick feature under the flywheel.
  • We also cleaned the algae off of the flywheel and cleaned the solar panels.
  • In the afternoon we scraped paint chips off the white railings near the derrick.
  • Did the old water sampling method, as the YSI wasn’t turning on.

Boats

  • Lots of eco-tours today.
  • Most of them appeared to go too close to the sea lions.
  • Several sailboats out on the water; beautiful!

Other

  • Approximately 10 DND blasts today at the more easterly detonation station on Bentinck.
  • This included blasts at 9:30, 9:40, 10:00, 12:48, 12:49, & 12:51.
  • The initial blast scared several sea lions into the water.
  • By my personalized scale, the first five were medium blasts, the final five were huge.
  • For those of you wondering, my scale goes something like this: small, medium, big, huge, massive.

DSC_6329

Arrival of the Students!

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-25 knots West
  • Sky: mostly cloudy
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • 14 elephant seals on Great Race.
  • 1 on Middle Rock.
  • I saw 6 cormorants today. Higher than most census counts these days.

Maintenance

  • Cleaned some windows this morning.
  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • The students did more window cleaning after they had settled in.

Boats

  • Kyle and Guy brought out Maya, Tazi, and Ali to stay at Race Rocks until the 30th.
  • About a dozen eco-tours came by today.

Visitors

  • Maya, Tazi, and Ali are now staying in the Students’ House.
  • They will be of much help in the chore and social departments.

A Fine Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots West
  • Sky: mix of sun and cloud
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • 14 elephant seals on Great Race.
  • The e-seals “slept in” so to speak, before migrating down to the ramp for water play time.
  • Some of them continued their sparring back on the grass.
  • Noticed a few seagull fights.
  • In the evening an eagle was harrowing the seagulls.

Maintenance

  • More painting!
  • More weed whacking!
  • Set up the Student House for tomorrow’s incoming three!

Boats

  • Several eco-tours, though not as many as yesterday.
  • Most of them appeared to get too close to the sea lions near the derrick.
  • Also one pleasure craft that did the same.

 

A Dozen+ Eco-Tours

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind :15-25 knots West
  • Sky: mix of sun and clouds
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • Down to 14 elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • Lots of sea lions on the rocks near the derrick.

Maintenance

  • Glued the edge of the desalinator bunker door back on.
  • Cleaned the solar panels.

Boats

  • Between 15-20 eco-tours came into the reserve today; I lost count.
  • Most of them appeared to be too close to the sea lions at one point or another.
  • Once there were 4 eco-tours in the reserve at the same time.
  • Another time there were 5 eco-tours within the reserve.
  • Two times the small Prince of Whales boats went THRU the South Channel.
  • When marine mammals are present, this channel is too narrow for boats to pass through (the minimum distance for boats viewing marine mammals is 100 metres!)
  • Both times there were many sea lions present, including several that were already swimming in the channel or near the entrances.
  • Most of the sea lions were at the right hand entrance to the channel. Unfortunately both times the boat had already passed thru that entrance before I could get a photo.
  • I did get some photos of one PoW boat in the middle of the channel, and exiting it.
  • Several pleasure craft passed through the reserve as well, including a sail boat that was towing a smaller boat (reminiscent of motorhomes that tow cars).
  • I wasn’t able to get photos of all these boats, as I didn’t always have the camera on me. I also accidentally deleted a few photos.

 

Boats too close?

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 15-20 knots West
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • 15 elephant seals on Great Race.

Tower of gulls

Maintenance

  • More painting!

Boats

  • At least 8 eco-tours today.
  • Several of the tours, and one pleasure craft, appeared to be too close to the marine mammals.
  • The guidelines specify a distance of at least 100 metres.

New Tiny Elephant Seal

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots SW
  • Sky: overcast in the morning, sunny all day!
  • Water: calm
  • Beautiful day!

Ecological

  • Saw a California sea lion branded U33 (perhaps U?33)
  • 16 elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • A very tiny seal (though weaner sized, based on its coat a yearling) spent the afternoon on the rocks near the jetty.
  • It had very little interaction with the bigger elephant seals, and then it swam away.
  • 3 elephant seals on Middle Rock.
  • Saw a hummingbird today.

Brand U33

Maintenance

  • Painting.
  • Ran the desalinator.

Boats

  • Many eco-tours came by today. At least 10.
  • Some of them appeared to be too close to the sea lions near the derrick.

Black Oystercatcher Nest!

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 25-30 knots West in the morning
  • The rest of the day 15 knots West.
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 2′ chop

Ecological

  • Finally discovered a Black Oystercatcher nest!
  • 2 eggs are inside the “nest”.
  • Their nests are made of rocks and shells.
  • Census day.
  • I don’t seem to see any Black Turnstones or Surfbirds anymore.
  • Also less Bald Eagles.
  • And the Otter has been gone for a while.
  1. Harbour Seals: 117
  2. Northern Sea Lions: 32
  3. California Sea Lions: 22 (one branded U 687)
  4. Elephant Seals: 20 (17 on Great Race, 3 on Middle Rock)
  5. Seagulls: 327
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 114
  7. Canada Geese: 21 (14 resident geese, 7 stopovers)
  8. Black Oystercatchers: 10 (plus 2 eggs!)
  9. Harlequin Ducks: 8 (6 males, 2 females)
  10. Cormorants: 4
  11. Barn Swallows: 2
  12. Bald Eagle: 1 immature
  13. Savannah Sparrow: 1

Maintenance

  • Rust painting.
  • More thistle weed whacking.
  • You can cut them down like you’re the Queen of Hearts, but they grow back.
  • Cleaned the solar panels.

Boats

  • Four or so eco-tours came by today.