Shift Change

Overcast. Moderate Southerly winds in the am, moderate West in the pm.
The barometer has been slowly falling today. Forecast is for gale force West tomorrow afternoon.

3 tour boats
1 halibut boat

Business as usual in the reserve today. I saw the pair of Caspian terns again today. The big male elephant seal moved over to the Energy building.

Off station from 1400 to 1600 to pick up Julie.
-prep for shift change
-shift change training

Water Heater

Clear skies. Light variable winds in the am, moderate West in the pm.
The barometer has been steady all day. Forecast is for similar weather tomorrow.

24 tour boats
2 recreational fishing boats passed through
1 halibut boat off the West edge of the reserve

Business as usual for the animal life in the reserve today. The elephant seals went down to the water midday to cool off. The gulls are noisy and trying to attack me. I saw the river otter this afternoon by the crane deck. Max spotted an Oystercatcher nest right next to the jetty walkway, on the West side just as the ramp steps up. There were a lot of tour boats today. They are sometimes hard to count because some boats make several passes through the reserve on their way West and on their way back to the city. But I saw all the usual boats today. There was an aircraft carrier by Esquimalt harbour most of the day, it left late this afternoon.

Max brought out the hot water heater technicians today. He also took away the broken ladders, which was much appreciated. Chris brought two groups out in Second Nature for a tour through the reserve, but they didn’t stop on land. I’ll be taking the techs back to the college this evening.
-worked on Whaler bilge pump and running lights
-continued shift change prep
-finalized draft of SOPs and sent it to Chris

Animal Census

Clear skies. Light South early this morning and strong to Gale Westerlies the rest of the day. The barometer has been falling steadily all day. The forecast for light in the am, strong West in the pm continues. 6 tour boats 3 halibut boats Animal Census Elephant Seal: 7 Harbour Seal: 267 Eagle: 3 Gull: 332 Pigeon Guillemot: 30 Oyster Catcher: 7 It is now the season of the Gull and Harbour seal, with a few hundred of each using the reserve. There are two large male elephant seals on Great Race, and only one Elephant seal out on Middle Rock. There are no Sea lions left in the reserve, they have all gone to their breeding grounds. If the Oystercatchers are nesting, I can’t find their nests, although I am pretty limited with where I can go because there are so many Gull nests on the island. I saw the Caspian Terns again today, this time they flew really low over the East side of the island making their tell-tale squawking noise. The island is drying out and all the grass is turning brown. Despite the lack of rain, the cistern is still full. It will be interesting to see if we can make it through the summer without having to top it up with seawater from the fire pump.


Overcast sky. Strong to Gale Westerlies all day. Force 6-7.
The barometer peaked midday and then dropped. The forecast is for the strong Westerlies to continue.
June has proven to be a very windy month. Usually a bit calmer in the morning, and blowing string West by mid-afternoon.
Big tides today: 0.1m low, 2.8m high. And strong currents: -6.7kn and +5.7kn. The flood is probably a lot faster at the surface with these strong West winds.

6 tour boats

Business as usual in the reserve today. The Gulls are getting very defensive of their nests. A few Eagles flew over throughout the day. There are 5 elephant seals behind the boat shed.

-Island wide putter/tidy
-Shift change prep

Back on Station

Overcast, with moderate Westerlies in the am. Clear with Gale force West in the pm.
The barometer is on the rise. The Gale is forecasted to continue tomorrow.

Looks like business as usual for the animals in the reserve today. The cranking wind is keeping the Gulls on the ground. The few Elephant seals are behind the boat house in the lee of the West bluff.

Max came into the college this morning. I was back on station by ~0900.


[Log entry from Max]

Visibility 15 miles
Wind 20 kts
Four eagles were flying around the west side of the main island this morning at 0530. Either baby eagles, or golden eagles. I don’t know if there are Golden Eagles here, but it seemed odd that there would be four immature bald eagles flying together, and no adults to be seen.
The large male elephant seal has relocated to near the engine room.
No Whale watching boats today.

HMCS Oriole

[Log entry from Max]

Barometer 101.4 kpa and falling at 0600
Three eagles sitting on Middle rock at 0600 pictures
W 1 kt. A welcome relief from the constant breeze, although looking at the forcast, it looks like the calm won’t last long.
A fogbank sitting offshore, in the Strait.
Beautiful sunrise this morning
Batteries at 49.1 this morning at 0530
The plumber came out today to measure out the space for the new hot water on demand system, to replace the broken hot water tank in the keeper’s house.
HMCS Oriole motorsailed east through race passage.

Max on station

[Log entry from Max]

Barometer 101.5 kpa and rising at 0900
Overcast this morning
Lots of seagulls making sweet seagull love
Two smaller elephant seals on the main island
Wind at the tower W 25 at 0900
Excellent visibility. No fogbank in the strait.
1100 Large male elephant seal moved onto the island
two sets of Canada geese on the island; a set with three babies, and a set without
Sunny in the afternoon
Two eagles did a couple of Flybys, as well as a possible hawk
Gorgeous sunset this evening.


Clear skies. Gale force West winds all day. Force 6-8
The barometer has been on a very slow rise from 1018 hPa all day. The gale warning continues for tomorrow.

4 tour boats
1 dive boat
3 halibut boats on the edge of the reserve

A recreational fishing boat was cleaning their catch (from somewhere else) North of Middle Rocks. They were tossing something (food of some sort) into the water a luring the seagulls over, and swinging at the gulls with a paddle. They didn’t hit any gulls, but I was pretty unimpressed. Sadly, as far as I know, there is nowhere to report people just being idiots on the water.

There is an amazing, thick blanket of fog extending from the Sooke basin, over the Sooke hills, and petering out towards William Head. Like someone smeared a thick layer of grey icing on the landscape. There is also a low layer of marine fog to the South of me, just in front of Washington. The freighters are slipping in and out of view as they move up and down the Juan de Fuca. I am very happy that the fog stayed away from Race Rocks all day.

-Finished tidying my house for Max’s 5 day shift. He’ll be out here starting tomorrow morning until the 12th. I will post his observations when I get back on station.

Business as usual

Fog in the am. Clear the rest of the day. Moderate Westerlies all day (Force 4), Strong Westerlies this evening (Force 8).
The barometer peaked around 1000 and then dropped. Forecast continues for calm mornings, strong West afternoons.

2 tour boats
3 halibut boats on the edge of the reserve
2 fishing boats passed through

Today was business as usual for the reserve animals. There were 4 California Sea lions and 1 Steller on the South seal rocks. The large male elephant seal wasn’t around. There are lots of eggs in the Gull nests.

-Max came out for some training for his stint next week as station relief while I am away
-We almost got the vhf antenna set up on the Science house, but had some ladder troubles
-Finished Keeper’s house bathroom painting
-Tidied Keeper’s house