Environment Canada for the weather station on the rock

Maintenance

A team from  Environment Canada in Richmond  came to repair the weather Station which has not been working well since this Summer. They spent at least 3 hours and fixed the system.DSC_0772DSC_0785

Kyle with Second Nature came and bring 600 hundred litters of oil and we filled up 3 barrels of 200 each,3 more are coming soon. Guy and Kyle changed the pressured water pump in the student house.DSC_0788DSC_0794DSC_0796

Ecological

Each elephant Seal has been in his own spot even the new young male and we appreciated some quiet time! The injured pup was still moving but stayed around the crane, behind it. It is painful to see him in a so bad condition…We see what will happen in the coming days.

Chunk attacked a pup

Weather

Beautiful day calm,13 knots at 8:00, Overcast to sunny,Visibility at 8:00 13 miles and air temperature :6 degrees.

Ecological

It has been pretty dramatic when in the morning Chunk decided to attacked one of the puppy,the biggest one .For the first time this one was active and moving and shouting on the lawn down the main house. So pictures speak better than words . Here they are:DSC_0574Chunk was trying to suffocate  the pup putting his weight on himDSC_0575DSC_0586after he bit him and had the whole head in his mouthDSC_0585DSC_0603The other adult male arrived and made chunk go DSC_0613DSC_0620DSC_0633DSC_0647half an hour later Boss went to see the pup  but this one was afraid so he left him alone. After for the rest of the day Chunk went closed to the student house,Boss stayed closed to the main house looking towards where chunk was  and the pup was closed to the crank. He can move so nothing looked broken but the injury is pretty deep.  For a lighter note look at the other pup . He found a spot where the big ones cannot go closed to the compost in the grassDSC_0246

I could take all those pictures because when all this happened I was already outside and I had my camera with me.

A sea lion on the grass

Weather

At 8:00 light North West wind,Overcast sky,13 miles of visibility.The wind became full West later and raised steadily to 30 knots in the afternoon and evening.

Ecological

Chunk was back but Boss gone …The pups were moving more . (The other young male elephant seal is always around and can often be seen in the water) . Many birds now and are getting busier and noisier:pigeons guillemots ,crows,oystercatchers by pairs now,geese ,Harlequins ducks,Eagles in the morning,some shorebirds…a lot of life! In the afternoon we were surprised to see in middle of the lawn under our windows a young californian Sea lion : a branded one (940C) He had something hanging from his neck maybe a small hook and a line. We never saw a lonely Sea lion before  far from the rocks and alone? strange he looked tired?DSC_0317DSC_0624DSC_0645

Boats

it is pretty calm on the waters …we saw a few fishing boats .It is the beginning of the halibut fishing season

Visitors

Weather

On Monday no wind at all 4knots only at 13:00 North East wind,overcast the whole day

Ecological

Chunk gone

Visitors

Kyle came for the preparation of the students stay next week. He was with 3 volunteers from the college. One of them was Leonie from Germany who has been working at the college for a while . She will be the adult residing with the students next week .

Census

Elephant seals: 4 (+1 male adult Chunk still on Main the day before)

Harbour seals:55

Californian Sea Lions:90 (2 branded ones : n0:603R and *39H)

Steller Sea lions:35

Cormorants:170

Pigeons -Guillemots:60

Oystercatchers :10

Geese:10

Harlequin Ducks:10

Gulls :630

Black turner stones:15

 

 

Gulls getting ready

Weather

Quiet day: 5Knots ,south East wind,calm overcast with some rain,Visibility over 13 miles at 8:00. Exceptional sunset last evening

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Ecological

For the first time when we woke up we had the surprise to discovered all over the island gulls ,on 1 meter a part spots,a little bit like in July …I guess it is usual at this time of the year … Anyway all the birds are pretty active and in the morning especially. Pigeons -guillemots (50 to 80 of them closed to the jetty), eagles (8 to 10) and around 12 oystercatchers have been seen lately.

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Boats

2 US military boats,a 40 feet sailboat coming back early in the morning toward Victoria (he left the day before)and the visit of a zodiac wanted to land on main rock..he left right away.

A surprise: helicopter on the rock

From the 15th to the 17th

Weather

Those last 3 days the weather was calm ,wind from Eastern and an overcast and grey sky with some very light rain.We never had the forecast gail and pouring rain that had been announced.Slowly the air temperature get higher between 6.5 and 9 degrees and the water temperature around 7.

Ecological

Most of the time we counted the same 5 Elephant Seals . they got along pretty well now and could be seen almost every where ,even closed to the tower or in the middle of the rocks. Only the younger spent regularly in the water and I guess went fishing. The 2 pups has been quiet ; one more active than the other (the bigger one ) and the other one who was for a few days away ,never left again. Many geese between 12 and 14 and eagles steady around

Maintenance

The water sampling house is now cleaned, inside too and all around the jetty …We try to get the rocks rid of wood and brought  logs and branches to the crane area to be cut later.The East wind brought so much wood that our work is far from finished

Other

Almost no traffic on the water …just one or two watchers. On friday around 10:30 I decided to go on the the top of the tower mainly for exercise..and as I was half way I heard a big engine..I understood that it was an helicopter but I realized how closed it was . I rushed to the top and discovered the culprit on the launching platform…It was the Coast guards  coming to do their annual check up.  2 engineers verified all the systems : They were supposed to come earlier this week but the weather was not good enough.They stayed 11/2hour and were gone. They explained that first they wanted to land like usual closed to the tower but an elephant seal was on the spot so they had to go around and back and DSC_0048that explained why the noise inside the lighthouse was so strong! It made my day!DSC_0047DSC_0051

Spring coming…

Weather

For those 2 first days of the week the weather has been very calm,with still East to North East winds. We don’t have  a steady West wind yet but Spring is definitively at the corner and most of all, days are really longer.On Monday we had an incredible good visibility. What a fun to see so well Victoria and to follow a few sail boats…Recreational fishing are coming back around East Sooke too. Tuesday was a very calm day too but overcast and no wind at all …a before storm feeling.

Ecological

We have now a new young male Elephant seal around in the water mainly but he came ashore for the first time on Sunday. Chunk was pretty quiet and stayed  behind the students house. His scares on the back were pretty bad for a while but they are looking better now .One pup, always the same ,was on and off the Rocks,depending and stayed apart from the other one. This other one was always at the same spot ,not far from the crane .The big male named Boss was around them all the time and when the second born one made noise he got closer to him

Maintenance

Guy cleaned the water sampling shed and it is shining now!!! He cleaned the boat  too and the bench and the panel explaining Race Rocks above it.He changed the winch and belt of the trailer. The winch gets rusty pretty quick because it had been already changed in Summer.

Vessels 

Just a few Watching boats

 

The passing of our former light keeper and ecoguardian Mike Slater.

Mikeslater

Mike Slater

Carol Slater has just phoned to tell us that her husband Mike Slater passed away this morning. We extend our condolences to Carol and her family and acknowledge the many contributions made by Mike who was the last lightkeeper at Race Rocks , and the First Ecoguardian of the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. The following posting profiles the life of Carol and Mike when they lived on Race Rocks. http://www.racerocks.ca/slater/

 

 

Mike and Slash

Mike negotiating with Slash on whether he should be allowed to go on the docks to take the seawater samples for the day!

Census

Gulls:750

Elephant seals:4

Harlequin Ducks:4

Geese:12

Eagles:8

Guillemots :5

Harbour seals:35

Californian Sea lions: 180

Steelers sea Lions:60

Oystercatchers:12

Black turnstones:10

Cormorants 175

Ecological

anew elephant seal has arrived:a young male a few years old already big enough and healthy. the other ones don’t react negatively.