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

Watchers back

Weather

12 knots North East wind at 8:00,Cloudy,Visibility:13miles,Calm day, Air Temperature :6 degrees Celsius.

Ecological

Between 5 and 9 eagles steady on the Rocks. Lovely Harlequin Ducks.

Maintenance

Worked on the old generator . all the parts are now loose; Ready to be hauled out soon.

Other

Helicopter closed and a plane far above.

2 watcher boats in the passage.

Boat shed roof repaired

Weather

Very nice weather 15 to 20 knots East wind . calm day

Ecological

Now every 2 hours  the baby got fed and everything looked fine. the baby was not moving easily  and was crying a lot maybe from frustration or to get attention. It was really nice to see everything from the window .

Maintenance

Kyle came with his wife and helped Guy on the boat shed roof. it badly needed repairs and patches of shingles before the heavy rainy days expected next week.

Marine activity

One whale watcher boats with freezing people ! and a plane above in the afternoon

 

Swell, Sea Lion, Sooth

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots N, later down to 5-10 N
  • Sky: overcast, then a rather sunny afternoon.
  • Water: 1′ waves, 3′ swell on the rocks

Ecological

  • A rather large sea lion encroachment today.
  • I think the powerful swell against the rocks was driving them inland.
  • 5 elephant seals on Great Race.
  • One of them spent the day lying in the mud on the NE part of the island.

e-seal-29-10

Maintenance

  • The sea lion encroachment caused major fence discombobulation.
  • Spent 1 hour resetting the fence.
  • The usual chores as well.

Boats

  • A few eco-tours came by today.

Other

  • A float plane flew over Great Race just after 15:00.

Indian Summer?

Weather 

Fall to stay…I said that a few days ago so it may be an earlier indian Summer! The sea this end of week was flat like never before with no wind . An exception for Saturday which was beautiful with a gust to 30 knots at the end of the afternoon. for Friday a summary:Wind 6 knots at 7:00AM,Visibility beyond 20 miles,South wind,Temperature: 10 deg.celsius, Barometric pressure:102.7KPA clear to cloudy and foggy for a while from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM .For Saturday: 15 knots in the morning ,West wind,calm ,Visibility :30 miles Pressure:102.7KPA, Wind was expected :30 knots in the afternoon and we got it from 7:00 to 8:00PM with a gust at 34 knots.Sunday a mirror the whole day and sunny and clear.

Ecological 

The sea lions are everywhere on the rocks and now we can see more and more beautiful and some huge Steelers.We even saw an entangled Californian : 1rst one this year : very sad!.Geese are back between 5 and 13 depending and some Pelagic Cormorants too. Gulls with young ones are almost all gone .

Census 

Sea Lions:550 to 600(with the swimming ones)

Gulls : 420

Oystercatchers:2

Geese: 13 seen

Eagles :0

Pigeon-guillemots: 0

Elephant-Seals:2 seen this week on Main

Black Turnstones: 40

River Otters:1(seen this week)

Pelagic Cormorants :20( seen this week)

Eagles:0

 

Maintenance

Guy and Kyle finished installing the Seawater pump . Some hoses were still missing and now it works well and easy.

We had an interesting experience coming back with the water bucket for the daily sample. When we went we had to make jump around 40 sea lions on the jetty .They all went but on our way back ,a pretty big one managed to come back and didn’t want to go or move and was aggressive . So we had to wait for a few minutes and finally we throw the bucket and the water and at that point he went! So now we have found the trick : A broom  If you have a broom they are afraid so we take a broom with us,even when we go ashore for when we come back .

Other

Usual plane and watching boats …many fishing vessels closed to the entrance of Pedder Bay and Sooke

 

Fall definitely here to stay

Weather

For this beginning of the month we have mainly calm days but the temperature of water and air dropped and the sky is cloudy grey with rain almost everyday.We already can see the effect of this soft water on main Rock: flowers,greener moss and rocks not so white.Fall is here to stay. Foggy night on the 6th: fog horn honked + sea lions shouting= Noisy place !dsc_0179dsc_0157

Ecological

With this cooler days we saw some species coming back:Around 20 pelagic cormorants on Turbine Rock and 2 on main.and 2 Elephant Seals has spent some time on Main (one older female and one juvenile). It is a challenge and a lot of fun at the same time to do the water sampling : so many sea lions on the jetty!. We saw a river otter 2 days ago and 11 geese yesterdaydsc_0022dsc_0061dsc_0162dsc_0038

 

Maintenance

A new sea water pump has been installed in the derrick house by Kyle and Guy with 4 new hoses and a 5th one is needed to reach the guesthouse.Kyle brought back the empty gazoil barrels and brought them back full.The desalinator has been working the 2 last days and the tank is now full.. End of the month report done and sent .

DND

A few blasts yesterday and Today and a few ones pretty strong.

Other

1 plane yesterday and Today above and one helicopter(coast guards)

Visitors : 1st year students came for the first time

Weather

On this beginning of the week we had a calm weather,light wind and clear days with a pretty good visibility.most of the time. Air and water temperature are going down to 15 degrees on Thursday and the barometric pressure is moving down a little ,now around 101.5 .We got some very welcome rain.

Ecological

Rain cleaned the rocks a little and the marigold came back nicely. It’s still a smelling place but a better one.We count now 23 dead birds and the last found ones from territorial fights.

Visitors

This is the highlight of the week.The students came from all around the world . What a pleasure for us to introduce them to this magical world…and guess what: happened the non expected :When a group of them was here, some Orcas, 3 of them came around and inside the passage. They jumped like never before  and even the whale watchers vessels had to stay outside (they did) . Our students  were the only one present for a true show. Just amazing! We managed to get some pictures but they were already far from the rock.DSC_0252DSC_0259DSC_0268DSC_0280DSC_0287

Maintenance

Wood all organized for Winter. Water sampling house deeply cleaned and new carpet put in. Bathroom window locker changed.Electrical line repaired.

Boats

Many whale watchers around even before the sunset and the night.Plane over 2 times.

A very windy Saturday: 43 knots

Weather

It has been a very windy day  on the 27th ,so surprising in August and after a few calm weeks. Anyway if it was windy it was sunny too and the spectacle around was just stunning!DSC_0080

At 7:30AM the wind was already at 37 knots . It went down later in the morning to 28 knots but picked up soon to 41 and 43 knots before 5:00PM and stayed strong late in the evening 35.5knots at 8:20 PM when I went for the water sampling.

Ecological

If you look at the solar panels condition every morning those days, you must deduct that the waters around are really fishy…they are so sticky and dirty! and actually you can spot flocks of white birds on the sea.We have more and more sea lions on Main and around . they are almost everywhere. Not so many birds steady on the rocks . Almost all young one are flying but  some are still dependant of their adult parents .No more elephant seal. no more Pigeon -guillemots but many turnstones…We cannot go anymore in the intertidal zone …it’s the sea lions territory. When I went to do the water sampling I had the surprise to find a “Bernard l’hermite “swimming in the jar. I bring it back to the ocean ! 2 more bodies of gulls for a total of around 20.

Maintenance 

Guy need to reorganize the electrical lines 2 times a day at least . They destroyed everything ,especially around the jettyDSC_0207DSC_0211

This week we had some problem with the generator . New one is coming soon.

Other

Always many whale watcher and a specific one is speeding all the time ! Frustrating situation! and  a plane was over.

Very low tides and getting ready for the invasion

Weather

Every days are a little bit the same; on Monday the 15th ,we had 20 knots at 5:00AM with a visibility over 15 miles and a choppy sea and this stayed the same to late in the afternoon where we got 33 knots and later around 30 to midnight. On Tuesday it was foggy almost all the morning,17knots at 5:00 AM, with a good visibility to 6:30AM; Air temperature 14 degrees Celsius and water around 13. Barometric pressure:101.8KPA

Ecological news

Nothing really new except that we found 2more chicken bodies for a total of 15. No elephant seals around. With those very low tides it is very interesting to discover the treasures of theDSC_0261 intertidal zone .DSC_0210DSC_0262DSC_0248DSC_0263DSC_0267

Maintenance

Guy chopped more wood ,pile almost gone. The wheelbarrow is …dead at least the wheel. The electrical fence on the jetty is settled.We will see its efficiency . This year no line on boat side ,it’s too risky for us.DSC_0299

Visitor 

No visitor but Kyle went around with a group of marine biologists.(meeting this week at the college)

Other

Plane above.Watchers in the morning mainly

Electrician on the Rock

Weather

We had for a few days the last perfect Summer days: no wind ,mirror sea and heat…

Ecological

For the first time we saw 2 orcas in the passage . It was like a dream and ironically all the watching boats were outside and we were the only ones to enjoy.DSC_0502DSC_0500We did!

Hungry not anymore baby gulls! No Elephant seals .

Other

The number of watching boats this sunny days is insane !So many and all at the same time .too closed ,too fast and too noisy (engines). too often disturbing! An helicopter was above very noisy too and the birds were afraid.We had a plane above.DSC_0553DSC_0549

A visitor : an electrician 

He came to double check the electrical system on the rock. Even if the old system is running pretty well a brand new generator would be  a good solution for more efficiency.We learn a few things : The generator should work around 12 hours in a raw every 10 days even in Summer time. We would need a high voltage for 12 hours to activate correctly the mixture . The sulfuric acid  stays down and the water up and that means corrosion …If high voltage were sent for 12 hours or even more the batteries could be charged at 80 %. Right now they are charged at the best to 40-50%.The solar panels are not enough efficient because of the big and numerous batteries. Even the shadow of a pipe on the panel have an incidence on the production. The second generator is not working right now . We will make it work next week with new filters.this one produce 25AMPS instead of just 15AMPS for the first one in use presently.