Cold Seas

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind:  0-15 NE
  • Sky: overcast all day
  • Water: flat but the current was moving

Boats/Visitors

  • Ecotours and fishing boats coming by today

Ecological

  • plenty of sea lions around not sure if the numbers have peaked yet
  • saw humpbacks again out the kitchen window, they’ve been around for awhile

Notes

  • The water sample the last couple days has shown a temperature of 9 degrees which is the lowest I’ve seen it in awhile
  • The generator is working nicely

Census day

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind:  0-10 W
  • Sky: cloudy throughout the day and a but of a drizzle this morning
  • Water: calm, but the current was running pretty good

Boats/Visitors

  • The new generator was set up today so we had a few people to come in and set that up which is great

Ecological

  • even more sea lions this time, of both stellars and californias
  • also 2 more elephant seal showed up this morning, both female

Notes

  • tried to set up the electric fence again by the generator room but the sea lions tear back it down in minutes
  • Saw the sea lions today that was darted a couple weeks ago and he is still healing (pictures in gallery)
  • And the sea lion that currently has a band around its neck is still around
  • There was a stellar that I thought might have something around his neck but it was just a gash, possibly from other sea lion?

Census

  • Stellar Sea Lions – 62
  • California Sea Lions – 456
  • Elephant Seals – 5 (all female)
  • Harbour Seals – 128
  • Gulls (unspecified) – 524
  • Cormorants – 367
  • Black turnstones – 32
  • Sparrows – 43
  • Oyster Catchers – 6
  • Sea Otter ( I can’t sea it very well but I’m sure it was around ) – 1

Windy Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind:  20-30 W
  • Sky: cloudy throughout the day
  • Water: a bit choppy, no more than a metre

Boats/Visitors

  • Some ecotours braved the winds and came by

Ecological

  • plenty of sea lions around they are coming up more to the middle island, which can be a problem, the elephant seals are up here too

Notes

  • Ran the generator for a few hours today, had a little power outage last night and can’t have that happen again
  • Everything else is going alright here, hopefully have the new generator up and running next week

An Elephant Seal

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind:  10-15 SW
  • Sky: cloudy this morning had a bit of fog then cleared up in the afternoon
  • Water: calm

Boats/Visitors

  • Had a few ecotours and personal vessels cruise by today

Ecological

  • plenty of stubborn sea lions along with one female elephant seal mixed in with them

Notes

  • It was nice to see an elephant seal around, I walked around taking a few pictures today
  • The sea lions were very stubborn today, I couldn’t fix the fence by the student house because they would charge me whenever I got close

I am Back and the Census

Sorry about my last 10 days being absent but I am back now and here is an updated census.

Weather

  • Visibility: Pretty clear 15 Miles throughout today
  • Wind:  0-5 SW with small range all day
  • Sky: Sunny all day
  • Water: pretty flat but the current is very visible and moving

Boats/Visitors

  • I came in today and so did a few students to have a look around, we also had an engineer to come look at the new generator

Ecological

  • quite a bit of sea lions, I don’t see the elephant seal sticking around anymore and I have not seen any oyster catchers today. Also the sea otter in the north kelp patch is back

Census

  • Stellar Sea Lions: 142
  • California Sea Lions: 186
  • Elephant Seals: 0
  • Harbour Seals: 28
  • Unspecified Gulls: 153
  • Pigeon Guillemots: 0
  • Cormorants: 18
  • Canada Geese: 12
  • Oystercatchers: 0
  • Black Turnstones: 48

 

Foggy week and dead gull chicks

Weather

These first days of August were pretty foggy:Everyday the fog was around Race Rocks from 3:00 AM to 9-10 AM and for the 2 last days it was all day long. One day was warm but the others not so much because of the wind. On the 6th the fog around the rock  was just like a thick wall…

Ecological

No more Elephant Seals and slowly the Sea lions are coming back .We saw the first one on the jetty and 2 big stellers on middle were pretty noisy like usual.The 3 last days many dead gull chicks around and gulls are really aggressive (they attack you)…I saw an amazing show:2 eagles and 4 vultures hunting the chicks together (the 2 eagles going to a dive and the vultures staying at the same level in the air). Many pigeons guillemots . 2 beautiful and big cormorants spend a full day on the same rock. and 2 times we had orcas in Race Passage around 11:00 AM followed by so many boats!The second time some were almost on them (10 to 30 meters) …disgusting!

Maintenance

The sea water pump has been repaired and is working well now. Cleaning days before the shift.

Other

Shift over done on the  6th in the afternoon. James got a full tour of the rock and has been introduced.

 

 

Flying practice time for the first born chicks

Weather

West light winds most of the time but we had some wind coming from North East  for the 1st time this Summer.last Friday I got a lot of fog with no visibility at all and again two nights ago for a few hours.We have some very low tides .

Ecological

I have been attacked by the gulls getting very nasty. I had a helmet!There are chicks everywhere and the eagles and vultures are hunting almost every morning and I found already 3 bodies and 2 of the small ones  had been recently killed. Territory fight! Many oyster catchers(not true last year). Only 4 elephant seals and 12 sea lions on Middle Rocks. Early a morning I found a very small harbor seal on the railway; 50cm not more with a lot of fur!

Maintenance

The solar panels ,the house windows are getting so dirty!The house entrance too… I pumped more sea water for the underground reserve …This week I had a training everyday at Pedder bay (Navigation and radio operator license Training) So I was gone a big part of the days with some challenge for launching the boat (Low tides). I had to do it around 4AM

Vessels

The number of whale watchers around the rocks is insane . On Saturday I counted that at least 1000 people were around ! It’s a number really!

Dangerous time for the chicks

Weather

The Summer pattern is now well established : Pretty calm in the morning and increase of the wind in the afternoon to 30 to 40 knots depending on the day. West wind is predominant.The water temperature is around 12 degrees Celsius.The days are getting shorter and it is chilly in the morning.

Ecological

It is babies time for the seagulls and some of those small chicks got in pretty bad situation:I saw one getting killed by another gull( territory story) and a a huge vulture got another one just under my window.The eagles are very active after dawn. We had not one  Sea lion to Yesterday and like by magic they appeared :30 and more of them, mainly on South rocks. The whole island is getting white and smelly! Yes it ‘s definitively Summer on Race rocks

Maintenance

Usual tasks :solar panels, desalinator on…etc . I will be on training at the college almost the whole week … Also I realized  how it’s tricky to manage  this boat when there is 30 knots and strong current and swell! it is not impossible but be prepare to be totally damp when you arrive!

Vessel

Many ecotourism boats to the end of the afternoon

Gull chicks 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