All kinds of weather today

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind: 20-25 SW in the early morning came down to nothing around noon and then picked up to 25 in the evening
  • Sky: Cloudy, rained a little bit but was also very sunny at times
  • Water: waves in the morning and then calm waters and then back up in the evening

Boats/Visitors

  • a few ecotours while the weather was nice this afternoon

Ecological

  • the 10 elephant seals I counted stayed scattered around the pathways and not just in front of the house

Sunny Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 15+ miles, Mt. Baker visible in the late afternoon
  • Wind: 0-5 knots North, later up to 10-15 North
  • Sky: clear and sunny
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • Still only the weaner on Great Race.
  • Very cute!

Maintenance

  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • Various daily and bi-daily tasks.

Boats

  • At least 4 eco-tours came by today.
  • One of them was likely too close to the sea lions on the South Islands, as there was a stampede.
  • One boat was definitely fishing within the Rockfish Conservation Area, but I was unable to identify any numbers on the boat, and I suspect they were First Nations, which would make it none of my concern.
  • One sailboat wandered through in the early afternoon.

Guardian shift change

Guy left the station around 800 in the morning. We met around noon at the college and debriefed. I came out in the whaler and landed around 1400.  I will be here for the month of December.

Ecological

  • There were 3 male elephant seals on Great Race when i arrived, 2 of them are adult including Chunk, the other appears to be adolescent.  There was another male elephant seal on West Rock.
  • There are more sealions in the reserve than I recall from previous years at this time and they are more present on Great Race as well,  including a persistent congregation on and around the jetty.

Boats

  •  3 ecotour boats after I arrived in the afternoon.  Two of them appeared to be within 100 m (DFO setback guideline) of sealions.

Sea Lions, Boats, & Other Stuff

Weather

  • Visibility: 15+ miles (Mt. Baker visible)
  • Wind: 5-10 knots West
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • Two California sea lions with neck rings. Poor guys.
  • Two sea lions with brands.
  • California: X168
  • Steller: 678
  • Saw a few California sea lions with head injuries, as well as one Steller.
  1. California Sea Lions: 678
  2. Northern (Steller) Sea Lions: 533
  3. Harbour Seals: 37
  4. Elephant Seals: 5 on Great Race
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 449
  6. Thayer’s Gulls: 235
  7. Glaucous-winged Gulls: 20
  8. Cormorants unspecified: 357
  9. Brandt’s Cormorants: 10
  10. Pelagic Cormorants: 6
  11. Double Crested Cormorants: 4
  12. Black Turnstones: 20
  13. Canada Geese: 5
  14. Dunlin: 1
  15. Savannah Sparrow: 1
  16. Bald Eagle: 1 adult

Maintenance

  • Ran the saltwater pump into the cistern for 5 and a quarter hours.

Boats

  • A handful of eco-tours came by today. At least 5.
  • One of the boats caused a minor sea lion stampede on the east part of Great Race.
  • My photos only show the tail end of the stampede.
  • Much more happened between the “pre stampede” photo and my end shots.

Various Boats

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 NE
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: calm
  • The fog horn went off from at least 4am-7am.

Ecological

  • Saw a great blue heron fly over the reserve around 11.
  • Was unable to get a photograph though.
  • 6 elephant seals on Great Race.

Maintenance

  • Added most of a diesel barrel to the tidy tank.
  • Ran the desalinator in the evening.
  • The usual chores.

Boats

  • Several eco-tours came by today.
  • A sailboat glided peacefully through middle channel.
  • One pleasure craft was observed travelling at a speed which was likely over the limit.
  • A rather peculiar looking craft spent much of the daylight hours near North Rock.

Another Sunrise-to-Sunset

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 15-20 knots NE, later E
  • Sky: mix of sun and cloud
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • 4 elephant seals on Great Race

Maintenance

  • Did some fence resetting
  • Had to reset the UPS in the tower at around 19:30
  • The wind speed display in the main house stopped working, it only shows 00.0
  • The one in the tower still works though so the problem is not with the tower instruments

Boats

  • A few eco-tours today

A Strong Breeze

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles with occasional fog interludes
  • Wind: 20-25 knots NE, later down to 15
  • Sky: showers
  • Water: choppy, especially in Middle Channel where waves and current collided.
  • The foghorn went off for a minute or so in the afternoon.

choppy-26-10

Ecological

  • Still lots of sea lions on and around the jetty.
  • Lots of Canada Geese on the island.

Maintenance

  • Yesterday at 21:30 the windspeed display showed 00.0 despite clear wind.
  • It started working again sometime in the early morning.
  • The usual chores.

Boats

  • A few eco-tours came by in the afternoon.
  • One of them was here when the foghorn went off.

hark-a-boat-26-10

An Unremarkable Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 5 miles, later 15
  • Wind: 5-10 knots NE, later up to 20
  • Sky: fog, then overcast, then rain.
  • Water: no waves but some swell hitting the rocks.

Ecological

  • A very ordinary day today.

Maintenance

  • The usual chores.
  • Had to restart the UPS in the tower.

Boats

  • Ogden Point Dive boat had divers down in Middle Channel this morning.
  • A few eco-tours came by in the afternoon.

The Cackling Goose!

Weather

  • The 7:00 weather report (plus developments).
  • Visibility: 10 miles (later 15)
  • Wind: 0-5 knots South (15-25 knots West noon onwards)
  • Sky: overcast and raining (sun in the afternoon)
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • All the elephant seals except for the smallest guy were off island today.
  • I did see 6 of them playing in the water near the jetty.
  • Improved my seagull identification skills today.
  • This was the first day I noticed many Heermann’s Gulls.
  • Fun to watch the lone cackling goose wander with the larger Canadians.
  • Saw one branded California Sea Lion: U975
  • Saw one California Sea Lion with a plastic neck ring.
  • Conducted an all day animal census.
  1. California Sea Lions: 434
  2. Northern (Steller) Sea Lions: 219
  3. Harbour Seals: 59
  4. Elephant Seals: 7
  5. Seagulls: 1077 (Tentative 85% Thayer’s, 15% Glaucous-Winged)
  6. Cormorants: 375 (Tentative: 30 Pelagic, 25 Double Crested, 14 Brandt’s.)
  7. Heermann’s Gulls: 50
  8. Black Turnstone: 24
  9. Canada Geese: 11
  10. Black Oystercatchers: 10
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 3 (1 male, 2 female)
  12. Cackling Goose: 1
  13. Savannah Sparrow: 1
  14. Bald Eagle: 1 adult on South Rock

Maintenance

  • Extended my new fence set up.
  • Removed the fence in front of the students’ house.
  • It was never very effective, and is less needed now.
  • Ran the desalinator in the afternoon.

Boats

  • Several eco-tours came by today.
  • One small boat was observed speeding in the reserve.

Back Online

Saturday evening as the storm was subsiding, the communication lines went dead out here at Race Rocks. After trying all the normal fixes on my side, I was informed via cellphone that the problem lay at Pearson College. The College had lost power from some internal breakdown, and so no internet or phone line was being sent my way over the air. Once things were up and running again this morning, I was able to reestablish connection to the internet and phone lines.

Rather than submitting a log entry for each missed day, I will simply provide a summary of each day’s main events. And pictures as always!

Saturday 15 October 2016-Fierce Storm

  • Day began at 7:00 with winds of 15-20 knots NE.
  • 9:45 30 knots East
  • 13:00 35 knots East
  • 13:30 45 knots East
  • 14:30 50~ knots East!
  • 15:20 45 knots East, communications down.
  • 16:50 communications returned.
  • 17:00 30 knots East
  • Around 18:30 communications down for good.
  • 19:00 15 knots West
  • 20:30 30 knots South-West
  • One month remaining in my shift.

Sunday 16 October 2016-Pelican

  • 7:00 Weather
  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots East
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop
  • Saw a single brown pelican today!
  • Failed to get a picture though.
  • Branded California sea lion 8465.
  • 8 elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • A small group of California sea lions began sleeping on top of the e-seals.
  • To my surprise the elephant seals don’t seem to mind.

Monday 17 October 2016-Peregrine Falcon!

  • 7:00 Weather
  • Visibility: 5 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots East
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: calm
  • In the early evening a pigeon flew into a window, presumably breaking its neck.
  • Immediately a Peregrine falcon swooped down to inspect its prey.
  • I assume the falcon was the reason the pigeon hit the window at such a speed.
  • The falcon then flew way up into the sky, before returning to make off with the meal.

Tuesday 18 October 2016-Bio-mimicry Visitors (and Alex!)

  • 7:00 Weather
  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0 knots
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: calm
  • A rainstorm appeared from about 10:00-12:00.
  • A rather sunny afternoon!
  • Kyle came out with Alex Fletcher and a biology group.
  • The 6 visitors were studying bio-mimicry.
  • How can humans improve our technology by copying successful animals?
  • The organization that they are involved with is one of our donors.
  • They were very interested in the sea lions, seals, and birds.
  • 11 elephant seals on Great Race.
  • Saw 3 brown pelicans; this time got a photo!