A permanent show for delighted tourists

Weather

Tuesday the 20th  was a very windy day with a West wind already at 24knots early in the morning. A gale warning was in effect and for sure it was strong  around the rocks and that for the whole day to late in the evening:38knots at 11:00AM,41 at 11:45,42 at 1:50PM,43 at 15:00 . Even around 10:00PM we were still around 35knots .Very tiring day for the light keepers!. The following day was not so bad the wind coming from West like the day before stayed around 25knots for the whole day.The rest of the week was beautiful ,sunny and almost hot on Race Rocks.Winds coming from North or North East but light very light 5knots,6knots at the most

Ecological

We have 8 elephants seals right now :2 big and older one (Chunk one of them ) and 4 beautiful and playful younger males ,a female and  a very young one . they spend the whole afternoon in water or in the railway for the pleasure of the ecotourist- boats .so many of them …impossible to count..Really that never stopped even coming from the states!. With the solstice and the very low tides it was very interesting to observe the pools and their inhabitants in the inter tidal zones …beautiful and colorful colonies of Sea urchins ,huge mussels,molluscs and many different species  we don’t see so often  ,huge and different sea weeds and kelp… Race Rocks is still a rich world.

Vessels

27 boats to 50 fishing boats have been seen in the morning of the week – end,!mainly on East –  Sooke Point. We saw a submarine going outside,a few planes above or closed and the usual traffic in the strait. The van Isle International race boats were very beautiful to look at with their spinnakers in a steady 20 knots wind. We noticed some pretty big fishing boats leaving towards the ocean.I already spoke about the high traffic of whale watchers vessels

Maintenance

The desalinator has been on a few times but not the generator . It has not been in use for 20 days :a record! the solar panels need attention because of so many busy gulls around. The door of the desalinator shed has been repaired.and I cleaned the railway with the high pressure water to get the boat easily in the water . It was getting pretty hard lately. The level of the liquid /fuel has been checked and sent

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

 

 

Switch over done on the 2nd of June ,2017

On Sunday 2nd of June between two gusts of wind Guy switches over Laas. Thank you for the good job and for  leaving the house so tidy.

Weather

Saturday 3rd : light wind 17knots ,sky :overcast;visibility: over 15miles,calm sea.On Sunday: more wind 24Knots  to 31 knots from West,sea state: white crests,visibility :15miles, sky: partly cloudy, air temperature:9.5 degrees at 5:30AM. Monday: calm again:9knots from West clear and calm.

Ecological

Around on Sunday it was interesting to watch 2 heavy fishing boats coming back from sea full9 elephants seals on the rocks . Seagulls on their nests; a few are aggressive as usual at this time of the year. it takes 23 to 24 days of incubation and around 40 days to see the babies taking off for the 1st time.Many eagles in the morning trying to get some eggs.

Vessels

Saturday has been a busy day for the watchers and also for the small fishing boats closed to the coast.  The cruise ships are back and can be seen as usual in the evening leaving Victoria.In Sunday it was nice to watch 2 big , heavy and full of fish boats coming back from high seas. Some big containers

Plane

One above the tower towards Victoria

Facility work

Generator and desalinator on / 200 liters of gasoil transfered in the yellow tank / cleaning of the boat shed and on the jetty

 

 

 

 

Helicopter Generator Swap

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots North
  • Sky: mostly overcast, some rain in the evening.
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • There were eight elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • That is the most I have seen out here during this current shift.
  • Three of the younger males enjoyed a spirited bout or two.
  • The rest of them snoozed off in pairs or alone.
  • The birds and sea lions were definitely disrupted by the helicopter.

Maintenance

  • Kyle and four men from the Coast Guard removed the old Generator B.
  • A Coast Guard helicopter then dropped off a new generator, and took away the old one.
  • They then placed the new generator in its spot.
  • I helped out with various auxiliary tasks, but mostly just took photographs.
  • Tidied up loose tools after everyone had departed.

Boats

  • Second Nature.
  • A few eco-tours.

Visitors

  • Kyle, the four Coast Guard men, and Ian and Stephen.
  • They all departed in the early afternoon.

Other

  • Coast Guard helicopter overflight.

 

Bald Eagles and Stuff

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-20 knots NE
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop
  • At about 18:00 it began to rain for a bit.

Ecological

  • The female elephant seal and the weaner spent the day sleeping on the ramp beside the jetty.
  • Some eagle activity that kept the geese and seagulls wary.

Maintenance

  • Some goose work.
  • Nearly finished topping up the batteries.

Boats

  • One eco-tour came by in the morning.

Other

  • Heard a couple of planes pass over the reserve.
  • One in the morning, and one in the afternoon.

A Life Of Sundays

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots NE, later N
  • Sky: overcast, sprinklings of rain
  • Water: calm in the morning, later 3′ chop on the eastern half of the reserve, calm on the western half.
  • It’s hard to get a photo that accurately conveys how big the waves were!

Ecological

  • Two elephant seals on Great Race.
  • I spied a couple of crows, perhaps up to mischief.

Other

  • One float plane passed over the reserve.

 

Whale Sighting!

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots West, later 5 knots South, then 5-10 West
  • Sky: clear and sunny!
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • Shortly before 15:30 as I was counting shorebirds, I heard a loud noise to my right. Glancing over, I was thrilled to see a whale surfacing in the South Channel. I managed to get some photos as it resurfaced farther south-west.
  1. California Sea Lions: 79
  2. Harbour Seals: 69
  3. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 33
  4. Elephant Seals: 3, all on Great Race, 2 young males, 1 weaner
  5. Whale: 1 (I think it was an Orca)
  6. Seagulls unspecified: 269
  7. Pigeon Guillemots: 45
  8. Cormorants unspecified: 30
  9. Double Crested Cormorants: 9
  10. Surfbirds: 37
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 27 (15 males and 12 females)
  12. Canada Geese: 24
  13. Black Turnstones: 20
  14. Bald Eagles: 20 (4 adults, 16 immature)
  15. Black Oystercatchers: 6
  16. Rock Sandpipers: 4
  17. Crows: 3

Boats

  • A few eco-tours passed by today.
  • Second Nature came out with food supplies for me.
  • A large navy sailboat passed by north of the reserve.

Visitors

  • Kyle and Jeff came out in Second Nature.

Other

  • One helicopter flew just south of the reserve in the morning.

Change of the time and Elephant pup gone

Weather

Very calm day ,overcast but some sun in the afternoon ,some rain too. A true Spring weather.  South East wind ,3 knots at 8:00 (we have to understand 7:00 of Yesterday usual nightmare for a few days ),Visibility over 13 miles,Atmospheric pressure:102.2KPA.

Vessels

Busier on Sunday :at least 5 boats around :recreational and eco tours vessels.We tried the air pump horn for the too closed one and it was efficient. they left…Made Guy happy!

Overflight

3 times the same helicopter

Ecological

This is really the news of the week : the little elephant seal pup is gone.!We couldn’t believe it and went 3 times around the rocks …We realised at the same time that more geese than the day before were around ! We counted 17  so that means 8 couples and a lonely one  and  for sure many eggs  next month!. The gulls too are everywhere… the nesting season is on. If the solar panels were still clean ,the rocks,roofs and alleys had already some white spots and it has been a lot noisier that even a week ago. The Sea lions with the clear sky Yesterday night were  very loud… Boss was back and 1 juvenile Elephant Seal

Maintenance

We have been busy with the general cleaning of the place . It is our last day.We have to leave this wonderful rock but welcome to Riley !

Census and gale again in the evening

Weather

At 8:00:10 North East wind ,calm and overcast .Rain in the morning and no wind at all around 10AM .The usual calm weather before a storm and  around 6:00PM to 11:00, The wind from West raised steadily from 20 to 40 knots . We noticed that the darkness is coming only after 6H30

Vessel and aeroplans

The morning was really calm so it was easy for me to notice that something was wrong…like a chainsaw running somewhere and looking by the window all around the rock you could see a small grey zodiac, full speed creating a panic all around!!! Finally It headed to Pedder Bay…End of the story. I Coast guard’s helicopter

Census

Eagles :2 but 5 on Sunday

Gulls:320

Steller Sea Lions :22

Californian Sea Lion:60

Elephant Seals:2 juvenile males and 1 pup

Harlequin Duck:21

Cormorants:90

Geese :8 on Saturday and 17 on Sunday!

Pigeons- Guillemots :around 35

Crow:2

Black turnstones:10

Harbour Seals:50

Oystercatchers:8 on Saturday but 18 on Sunday

It is interesting to notice that on Saturday with the coming storm the Island was not as busy as on Sunday where we could see more animals especially birds around.

 

 

 

 

 

Last snow

Weather

When we wake up it was white all around but at 9:00 green again. North West wind ,10 knots,2.8degrees at 8:oo. cloudy to overcast,5miles of visibility,very low tide in the eveningDSC_0056

Ecological

the geese (around 10) are everywhere to be seen ,busy ,noisy and defensive … coupling coming soon…DSC_0035DSC_0115DSC_0111

Maintenance

The soft water tank has been filled again since the Student’s stay.The light level is not big these days,but despites that, we got 25 Amps by hour ..It is very good and this because  all the solars panels are functioning (Since last Summer). We see the difference. We finished to stack the wood in the main house for next Winter and we are getting ready for our coming departure on Monday 13Th

Other

1 Helicopter going towards Sooke. Only 1 watching boat