End of Shift. Tomorrow Riley will arrive for his shift and we will be off. All the best, Riley, for your stay in this amazing hotspot of living activity and tidal rushes. The people of BC are lucky to have Race Rocks protected under BC Parks’ highest level of protection as an Ecological Reserve. It was a pleasure working with the classes of biology and marine science students this week and a treat to be in this special place.
Weather and Sea Conditions Winds: Light and variable; Sky: Morning low overcast slight mist cleared to sunny in afternoon; Visibility: Mostly good ~10 – 15 nm; The accumulated solar radiation today was 250 Langleys, the equivalent of a little over 2900 Watts per square meter. The UV Index was high at 7.4; Barometer: 102.7 kPa and falling Sunday evening; Forecast: Wind easterly 5 to 15 knots becoming light Monday afternoon then increasing to west 20 to 25 Monday evening. Strong wind warning in effect.
Vessels in Ecological Reserve Whale watching vessels: 12 were observed working in Ecological Reserve (ER). All were professional, providing a good model for other boaters transiting the ER.
Sport fishing vessels: A total of 11 sport fishing vessels were observed in the ER today. Three were noted speeding in the ER and two vessels were observed fishing for hours, in the closed to fishing, Rockfish Conservation Area. Photos were taken, processed and filed. There were approximately 70 sports fishing vessels fishing to the west and then drifting by to the east, all but five appeared to follow rules.
Ecology The first three Harlequin Ducks of the season were spotted today, one male and two females. They have returned from their alpine summer breeding habitat for a coastal winter. A Great Blue Heron was observed fishing, standing on a dense raft of Bull Kelp. A thorough search for the Sea Otter turned up nothing. Enormous mixed species feeding flocks were observed in Race Passage in the afternoon. There are fewer sea lions ashore during the day right now and there have been dietary shifts visible in their feces, which are hard to miss. One animal was observed feeding on what appeared to be a Coho close to a kelp bed on the west side of Great Race.
Sustainability Although it was gray in the morning by 14:00 there was enough sunlight that we made fresh water with solar energy powering the de-salinator.
Maintenance and Operations Regular chores and clean-up.