Census and Students

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots South.
  • From 17:00 onwards, 15-20 knots West.
  • Sky: clear and sunny most of the day.
  • From 17:00 onwards, some clouds and rain.
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • One sea lion was branded U958.
  • Colour wise it looks like a Steller, but if you look at the head I think it was a California.
  • Laura and her class found a sculpin (type of fish) head.
  • Four of what I suspect to be Short-billed Dowitchers today. Fun to watch!
  • Didn’t see the killdeer today, which is unusual.
  1. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 66
  2. Harbour Seals: 60
  3. California Sea Lions: 57
  4. Elephant Seals: 13 (4 on Great Race, 9 on Middle Rock)
  5. Pigeon Guillemots:  269
  6. Seagulls unspecified: 154
  7. Surfbirds: 57
  8. Canada Geese: 17
  9. Black Turnstones: 17
  10. Cormorants unspecified: 14
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 9 (5 males and 4 females)
  12. Black Oystercatchers: 6
  13. Savannah Sparrows: 6
  14. Short-billed Dowitchers: 4
  15. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 0 immature)

Boats

  • A couple of eco-tours came by.
  • Second Nature came out multiple times, delivering 4 groups of students.
  • On her second last return, she had overheating issues, so Kyle had to come out in Haiku for the last trip.

Visitors

  • Kyle, James, Laura, and 26 students came out to Race Rocks today.
  • The students were doing a walk about with Laura, discussing marine biology for their upcoming final exam.
  • James did some work on the Davis Weather station and got most of it working again.

Other

  • Four DND blasts today.
  • 10:05, 10:07, 11:24, and 11:26.

Last day for the student

Weather 

On Saturday:West wind 6 knots at 8:00 was light the whole week end,overcast to sunny, visibility over 15 miles,pretty cold days :3degree celsius.sea calm.On Sunday:15 to 25 knots,North East wind,Sea:calm,Visibility over 13 miles,Air temperature:2 degrees celsius and water temperature  around 6.5.Cold week end.

Ecological

For the first time the Elephant Seal pup went closed to the water and spend part of the Saturday at the top of the railway and the 2 other males were around ;the young one very closed and the adult one in the water at the jetty…

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Vessels

We had a boat very closed to the rocks which was evidently.fishing .We saw him coming so he didn’t stay long . He saw the big camera and heard the Air horn! It left quickly towards Esquimalt…The other picture shows a watching boat way too closed!Many recreational fishing boats around east Sooke and on Sunday a RCMP boats spend half an hour doing exercises of navigation closed on south sideDSC_0065 DSC_0824

Students on the Island

Weather

Windy day above 20 knots from West on Wednesday and Friday but the rest of the time light wind and calm sea, overcast to rainy mainly grey days

Ecological

The geese at least 3 couples and the oyster catchers (3 couples too) are already going by 2.Chunk is not back and the 3 elephant Seals:Boss,the younger male and the last pup are around.The pigeons guillemots (around 30 )have been seen again but not even one when we did the census…The population situation is very different from one day to the other

Work with students

The plan was to make them paint the desalinisaton house but there was too much moisture  and we have to let it dry before any painting job . So they helped us with the wood : stalking and splitting and  cleaning around the jetty. Guy explained them all the systems involved on Race Rocks( electricity stockage,desalinisation…) and I did the census 2 times in 2 groups. We can tell that during their stay we didn’t use so much water Thanks to them ;they really understood the challenge of the place! One of them  had a look at our emergency supply.

Maintenance

End of the month reports. Jetty cleaning with the high pressure washer

Vessels and flights

2,3 watching boats at the most, a Canadian Frigate coming back towards Esquilmalt, a big fishing boat heading to the ocean and an helicopter closed

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Census day

Weather

Calm day with a west wind 5 knots,overcast,cold:2.1 degrees Celsius. The wind picked up in the evening and reached 40 knots around midnight.

Ecological 

We put back to the sea the dead pup. Guy used the crane . One student help,ready to cut the line ( It was not necessary)and the others watchedDSC_0310DSC_0287DSC_0290DSC_0294DSC_0307It is amazing to see how big in only one month this elephant seal pup became!

Census

The census was done with the students

Gulls:134

Harbour seals:37

Steller’s Sea lions : 21

Californian Sea lions:92

Cormorants: 64

geese:5

Elephant seals:3 – 1 adult male , 1 pup , another one on Middle island but which one ?

Oystercatchers :6

Harlequin Ducks :24

Black Turnstones:10

Pigeons -Guillemot:0

Eagles :4

Maintenance

200 liters of oil transferred in the eco guardians house

Vessels

2 Canadian navy boats no 706 and 710 making their way slowly towards Esquimalt at 6:00PM

Other

Guy made a tour with some students and explain all the process for the stockage of energy and desalination of the water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beecher Bay Chief’s visit and Students on the rocks for Spring break

Weather

North East light wind,10 knots at 8:00 AM.calm and overcast. In the afternoon we got some flurries and a some light snow…and fog came from vancouver Island but became dispersed quickly …just enough to have the fog horn on.

Visitors 

Kyle brought the chief of our local First Nation People. He had a meeting with some College Directors and earlier in the morning 5 Students with a volunteer came to stay on the rock for a week: So now 8 countries ( We have 2 nationalities)  are represented in our little world :Canada,China,Finland,France,Israel,Italy,Germany,Japan.

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Pearson Students and Brands

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots NE, later West
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • Saw two branded California sea lions.
  • U400 and U714.
  • Discovered a couple of recently deceased juvenile sea gulls.
  • Cause of death unknown.

Maintenance

  • The usual chores.

Boats

  • Lots of ecotours today.
  • One appeared to be going over the speed limit within the edge of the reserve.
  • Several times there were at least 3 in the Middle Channel.
  • Kyle brought two loads of students out in Second Nature.
  • One small boat was observed fishing illegally within the Rockfish Conservation area.
  • They were reported to the DFO.

Visitors

  • Kyle, Laura, 14 Pearson students, and 3 filmmakers came out.
  • The students were supposed to be doing wind and wave measurements, but Race Rocks was providing very little in that department today.

Other

  • Six pair of small DND blastings today.
  • They took place early in the hour, every hour, from the 10th until the 15th.

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.

Busy Weekend for the watching boats

Weather

On Friday the morning was calm ,the wind coming from West picked up only late in the afternoon at 25 knots at the most.The visibility was over 15 miles and air felt like 16 degrees celsius at 5:00 AM.Te water temperature was 12 degrees and the barometric pressure 101.4 KPA.Sunrise at 5.44 and sunset at 20:54. On Saturday it has been really calm especially around  noon where it was 0.26 knots and the flag looked like dead. On Sunday very calm in the morning and very windy in the afternoon to midnight around 35 knots;a North East wind becoming West later. July has been a pretty windy month !

Maintenance and other

On Friday, Aziz recorded more videos :by example the whaler in action and we brought him back to Pearson College before noon. We came back just in time around 5:00 because at 7:00 the wind was around 28 knots and reached 30 knots at 10:00PM. We had a plane above like usual at the end of the week. On Saturday Guy disassembled the derrick shed door that need to be changed.The seawater pump was on for a few hours .  On Saturday I sent the end of the month report and the Seawater datas

Boats 

We had a parade of watching boats without interruption  the whole day on Saturday!!! and some divers spent a long time on South Rocks ! they could stand up! I wished we had an horn!

A special visitor: Aziz Sonawalla came for a video on Race Rocks

Weather

At 5:00: Light west wind , air temperature :12 degrees,a little bit foggy to 7:20.AM .It has been a calm day ,25 knots at the most around 9:30 PM.

Ecological

We found a 2nd chicken  always at the same spot with the guts over( back stairs /Eco -guardian’s house). more sea lions mainly on Middle rocks.later in the day another dead body . this time injury on the neck on a pretty big chick.

Boats 

Many watching vessels, a huge barge with some equipment on it

Other

A plane above

Visitors

Kyle and Tyron came for a quick tour and Aziz was with them ready for a non stop recording of everything on the Island. Aziz was a second year student at Pearson college  and is working this Summer in the Communication department.he followed us all day long from early morning to late in the evening. and stayed over night. He tried to catch all the wildlife and the Beauty around . The purpose of this video is to show and explain the reserve to all  the concerned people .DSC_7635 DSC_0112DSC_0091DSC_0070DSC_0076

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IT Visitors

Weather
Sea:calm
Wind :8 knots
Sky:Cloudy to clear
Later very hot day with a mirror sea

Ecological
Seawater is getting warmer
Long bathing time for the 2 big males and 2  young elephant seals at the jetty.
The tide was very low and I found 2 huge mussels as big as my hand ! Impressed!
One elephant seal never moved for 2 days . She looks old or sick ,maybe both?
Found a gull and a harbour seal dead (not recent).

Maintenance

Max changed the routers in the houses
Max and James installed a camera on a oystercatcher nest with 2 eggs in it. The nest is closest to the boat shed at the top of the rocks, actually just under the camera 5. The new 24/24 camera will be on youtube pretty soon .
Aziz ,a 2nd year student, working at the college this Summer, took pictures and came with me to the top of the lighthouse.
Kyle and Guy pulled the diesel hoses through the island and empty them (around 10 litres) and put them back in their shed
Seawater house: heavy cleaning ,floor and bank inside and outside (old shingles from the roof)
Solar panels and alleys swept.

Vessels

Busy day . More than 30 eco tours vessels and around 4:30 ,8 at the same time …

Other 

Summer is here Quiet and beautiful evening on the rock especially
White everywhere ..More gulls. Can’t wait for the census next week!