Very strong currents

Weather

We have an alternating mode of days with no wind and some very windy days, raising to more than 40 knots (actually 44 knots on the 28th in the evening). Generally speaking the wind gets stronger almost every afternoon. We can also see some very strong currents around 12 knots  with the tides…very impressive even when you are used to… Some fog but not very often .

Ecological

The most interesting fact at the end  of July is the number of harbor seal babies . they are everywhere on the rocks and very nice to look at.Early one morning the number of Pigeons guillemots closed to the jetty, their camp base on the rock,was impressive.The elephants seals are not so numerous now, between 1 and 5 at the most.One huge sea lions(a Steeler) was fishing alone closed to the jetty and the rest of the colony is on Middle rock.

Other

Many, many whale watchers …it ‘s getting a problem when the huge ones with more than 100 people aboard, come very close to the jetty (I would say 30 meters ) and move the waters  to the point that is white everywhere because of the turbines…

4 helicopters came,  all at the same time on the 28th. They stayed for at least 3mn all around the tower. I guess for a control

Maintenance

The solar panels need attention everyday . I have to pump sea water with the high tide and sometimes in the night. The soft water pump broke …needs to be replace quickly.

Visitor

Mr Tyrone Pile came with the Vice – Admiral of the Victoria Naval Base for a short visit

Windy month to date

Weather

From the 9th to the 13th  the wind was never lower than 20 knots from west and reached 42 knots on the 10th and all the time a gust in the afternoon

Ecological

The usual elephants seals are on the rocks sleeping or playing in the water; that means  at least 6 of them.More chickens every day and  very nervous adults gulls.

Maintenance

Heavy cleaning of the solar panels everyday.Desalinator on and sea water pump too for the sea water underground reserve. New propane tank on and 200 liters more in the main house. Cleaning of the boat and shed.

Vessels

Whale watchers : they stay longer if the elephant seals are there for a show . Kyle went around the rock with people aboard .

Visitors

For 2 days from Monday to Wednesday morning I took a student with me. Ibrahim from Egypt  is working in the kitchen for the whole Summer so it has been a good break for him.

 

Chickens everywhere and very aggressive adults gulls

Weather

If July 5th,on  Wednesday, was calm with a  light  South West wind and a good visibility It was not the same situation for the following days:on Thursday the wind raised to 31knots from West and on Friday the 7th, it was very windy the whole day to almost 40 knots in the afternoon. The barometric pressure is depending the days around 1019/1020MB. The water temperature is 10 to 11.9 degrees Celsius at the most.On Wednesday for 30mn we couldn’t see around the rocks farther than 100 meters.

Ecological

The babies are born now and the parents are very nasty! Difficult  to go across the rock ; if you want to be safe  helmet and coat are not  optional! 7elephant seals like usual this Summer.I saw a river otter wrapped in kelp to stay on  the same spot! they are smart!

Maintenance

The sea water pump has been working a lot this week too, even in night time depending when it’s high enough. I had to repair the handle of the high pressure cleaning tool. and I transfer 150 liters of fuel in the main house tank. Solar panels very dirty

Visitors

Kyle and Jeff came to bring 600 liters of fuel. and we transferred from the big tank on Second nature to 3 barrels .

Visitors on the rocks for the long WE

Weather

If the last days of June were quiet and without wind July began with a gale warning and the wind reached 34 knots and more from West on the 1st …Beautiful scenery with white crests and a sky clear…the 2nd and 3rd the wind was almost all the time around 25 knots

Ecological

Census

Cormorants :5

Sea lions :0

Harbor seals :105

Elephant seals :7

Oyster catchers :10

Pigeon Guillemots :25

Sea gulls :460

Eagle :3

Vessels

Like usual..except we could count on Saturday 1st, 7 cruise ships: 3 in Victoria harbor,1 at anchor,and 3 going out!!!

Maintenance

I got the sea water pump fixed and put in on ..we need more water in the reserve. I changed the filter and put some weight to be sure that it stays in the water. I noticed that the wooden ladder on the light house tower needs to be repaired or changed .

Visitors

Aziz Sonawalla came back for the long Week End . He is right now working for the Summer at the college and with him 2 volunteers Sheryl and Jules came overnight

 

 

Spring big tides and a 10 days old baby girl visit

Weather

On Thursday  June 15th : Wind:gale warning for the afternoon to 30/35 knots North East wind . Calm sea early at 5:30 and later in the morning rain and fog visibility drop from 10 miles to 2.The temperature was around 11dgrees with 82% of humidity.On the 16th Friday early the wind was 24knots and again same pattern a gale warning for the afternoon . clear sky 15 miles visibility and 11.9 Air  temperature. The rest of the week we had a calm sea with light winds

Ecological

We have between 6 and 9 elephant seals on the rock mainly younger one with always Chunk the old timer. A very young one surprised me : 5 months at the most. The rock is becoming pretty dirty …poo and flies everywhere . It’s getting yellow and white with the birds even the roofs have changed; not so clean anymore…We have less nesting gulls this year. A few oyster catchers couples like usual at this time and on the same spots. The tides are strong those days.by example:on the 15th low tide at 13:30: 2 feet and high tide at 22:30: 8 feet.Slag are long too

Vessels

I had to phone 2 times this past week to Pedder Bay marina because 2 of their renting boats were very closed and worst fishing ; Asian people each time . So for the fist boat they left as soon as contacted but for the second i had to use horn and shouting to get the same result.Many eco-tourism vessels. Big coast guard boat seen on Friday

Maintenance

The generator has not been used for 10 days…Very efficient solar panels. work like usual in and  around the house

Visitors

Christine arrived on the 19th for a few days on the rock and the same evening we had a nice visit of Kyle and Sabrina with Sabrina’s parents and the little 10 days old baby girl Tyler.

Other

1 Helicopter and 1 plane above

 

 

Sea Otter!

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind:  0-5 S
  • Sky: clear and sunny
  • Water: calm

Boats/Visitors

  • A lot of ecotours today, and a couple visitors on the island

Ecological

  • 14 elephant seals scattered around today, mostly around the jetty to cool off in the water
  • There was a sea otter in the kelp bed off the north side of the island, unfortunately I could not get close enough to get a decent picture

Other

  • DND blasting continued today but  just a bit this morning

 

Census day

Weather

  • Visibility: 10 Miles, a bit foggy this morning but burned off by noon to partly cloudy
  • Wind: 10-15 NW got continuously more calm through the day
  • Sky: partly cloudy throughout the day
  • Water: stayed consistently calm

Boats/Visitors

  • A lot of ecotours came through today
  • Had a couple visitors, come by with Kyle this morning and then had Kyle and Guy come back this afternoon to help me out with a couple things

Ecological

  • Census day!
    1. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 35
    2. Harbour Seals: 44
    3. California Sea Lions: 23
    4. Elephant Seals: 13
    5. Seagulls unspecified: 291
    6. Pigeon Guillemots: 152
    7. Cormorants unspecified: 29
    8. Canada Geese: 14
    9. Savannah Sparrows: 0
    10. Harlequin Ducks: 8 (2 female, 6 male)
    11. Black Oystercatchers: 8
    12. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 1 immature)
  • There are 2 more elephant seals than usual! so thats exciting, they stayed scattered today on the path from the lighthouse to the jetty
  • As you can see there have been a decrease in sea lions, they are no longer on the southern rocks and have moved to the main island one group on the north side and another group on the southside
  • There have been an increase in gulls, pigeon guillemots and cormorants, also the harlequins are back, I did not see them last week
  • There has also been an increase in harbour seals, when I counted them they were mostly all on the Middle Rocks but have since scattered about the South Islands as well

Visitors and sunshine

 

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind: Morning 5-10 NE looks like it will pick up throughout the day
  • Sky: Some clouds but very sunny and warm in the morning, clouds came rolling in, in the afternoon
  • Water: calm, some rolling waves no more than 1 metre

Boats/Visitors

  • A couple eco tours came around
  • The first year Pearson College Marine Science students had their final exam here today thankfully it was nice and sunny throughout their whole exam

Ecological

  • Looks to be the same 11 elephant seals, they did decide it was too sunny to stay on land today and a few of them went for a swim, see elephant seal train to the ocean in photographs below

 

 

The Census of Birds and Mammals

Weather

  • Visibility: 10 miles, later 15 until…
  • 19:35 onwards foggy, 100 yards.
  • Fog horn sounded for over 3 hours.
  • Wind: 0-5 knots South East.
  • In the evening 15-25 West.
  • Sky: overcast, then sunny, then foggy.
  • Water: calm

Mount Baker near sunrise.

Strangely disturbed water.

Ecological

  • Census day! Counting stuff!
  • Found what to me is a solo mystery bird.
  • Surprised to see no Black Turnstones around today.
  1. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 53
  2. Harbour Seals: 35
  3. California Sea Lions: 29
  4. Elephant Seals: 13 (11 on Great Race, 2 on Middle Rock)
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 304
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 225
  7. Cormorants unspecified: 21
  8. Canada Geese: 18
  9. Savannah Sparrows: 10
  10. Harlequin Ducks: 9 (6 males and 3 females)
  11. Black Oystercatchers: 7
  12. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 1 immature)
  13. Mystery bird: 1
  14. Black Turnstones: ZERO!

Maintenance

  • Ran the desalinator.

Boats

  • Lots of eco-tours cameth by today. Over 10!
  • Some of them were perhaps a bit too close to the mammals at times?
  • Kyle brought me my final food order; milk, red and green bell peppers, sour cream, and onions.
  • Eerily reminiscent of the Thin White Duke’s diet..

Visitors

  • Kyle with food stuff.

Friday Morning Visitors

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots North in the morning.
  • From 15:00 onwards, 15-20 knots West.
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • The same eight elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • Most of them spent a couple of hours in the water by the jetty.

Maintenance

  • Lots more goose work.
  • Disentangled a large amount of rope from various branches and kelp fronds.
  • If you lost your rope, be careful! Animals can get tangled up in it.

Boats

  • Second Nature.
  • Multiple eco-tours.

Visitors

  • Kyle brought out a group of visitors in the early morning.