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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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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!

 

Spontaneous Whale Watching!

Weather

  • Visibility: 15+ miles
  • Mt. Baker visible at times today.
  • Wind: 10-15 knots West
  • Sky: clear and sunny!
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • We spied three eagles on Turbine Rock this morning.
  • 14 elephant seals on Great Race today, including both Chunk and Chuckles.
  • As Second Nature was departing Race Rocks sometime after 9:00, Kyle spied several whale watching boats following a pod of orcas outside the reserve.
  • I hopped aboard (sans camera) and we went off to join the fleet.
  • Over the next half hour or so, we watched 5 or 6 orcas as they repeatedly surfaced on their southerly course.
  • Christine (Guy’s wife) took several photographs; perhaps she will share them with us soon.
  • Pam Birley discovered a Black Oystercatcher nest today via webcam. That makes 3 known nests.
  • As Pam noted, it is “not a good spot to nest because the Otter likes to sunbathe in that spot on the rocks.”

Maintenance

  • I did some yellow paint touch up on the jetty.
  • Sprayed more algicide on the students’ house.
  • Shut-down the students’ house.

Boats

  • Second Nature arrived around 9:00, and properly departed around 10:00 after our unexpected whale watching trip!
  • Many eco-tours came by today.
  • A few of them appeared to be too close to the sea lions.

Visitors

  • Kyle, Guy, Christine, and their daughter arrived at 9:00.
  • Guy and Christine were dropping off some gear for their upcoming shift.
  • Maya, Tazi, and Ali departed on Second Nature.

Tazi, Maya, Ali

Ali, Maya, Tazi, Mt. Baker

Kayak Symposium Visitors

Weather

  • Visibility: 15+ miles
  • Wind: 20-25 knots West
  • Sky: clear and sunshine!
  • Water: 1′ chop
  • What a wonderful last full day on the island for the students!

Ecological

  • The elephant seals put on a show for our visitors.

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Maintenance

  • The four of us ran the derrick to make sure the thing is still operating smoothly.
  • Tazi and Maya cleaned the solar panels.
  • I did some algae removal.

Boats

  • Kyle came out in Second Nature with two groups of kayak people.
  • Several sailboats were still returning past Race Rocks this morning and even into the afternoon.
  • Apparently they were participating in the 73rd annual Swiftsure International Yacht Race. What a wonderful activity!
  • The distance of the race is 159 miles, and as of right now (Sunday evening) there are still a few boats making their way back towards Race Rocks.

Visitors

  • Two groups of folks from the kayak symposium came out to Race Rocks (about 16 in total).
  • Maya played us some guitar from the roof of the desalinator bunker.

The Grand Sailboat Regatta

Weather

  • Visibility: 8 miles in the early morning, 15 later on
  • Wind: 15-20 knots East, then North, then West
  • Sky: foggy and overcast, then sunny, then overcast
  • Scattered raindrops throughout the day
  • Water: mostly calm, with swells in the afternoon

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Ecological

  • Maya and Tazi conducted 4 intertidal transects today.
  • Studying an intertidal transect involves measuring out a certain distance from a peg, and then documenting the different species found every 0.5 metre.
  • In some transects the 0.5 metres are measured by water elevation; in others simply by distance.
  • By comparing the species found in every zone of the transect with transect data from previous decades, you can see the change in intertidal ecosystems due to climate change.
  • We saw a California Sea Lion with the brand U374 and another with a tracker.
  • While most of the gull eggs all look the same, one particular egg is quite different.

Maintenance

  • Maya and I ran the fire pump in the morning.
  • This added a few inches to the cistern.
  • We removed the old Canadian flag and hoisted a fresh one.
  • Tazi and I removed some algae.
  • Ali whacked away at the thistles.
  • We cleaned the solar panels.

Boats

  • Over 150 sailboats from Victoria passed by Race Rocks in the late morning on their way towards the Western horizon.
  • Some of them started to return as late as 22:30.
  • The colours of their sales included: red, blue, white, fluorescent yellow, green, purple, black, orange, and many combinations of all of the above.
  • Some standouts included the Miles Davis sail and the Union Jack.
  • I couldn’t stop taking photos and ended up with dozens. Below is a selection of the best.
  • One coastguard zodiac and a search and rescue boat appeared to be accompanying the sailboats.
  • Several eco-tours came by, including one Eagle Wings tour that drove through the South Channel.
  • Passing through the South Channel is prohibited as the width is too narrow.

Proficient Pearson Painters

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-25 knots West
  • Sky: overcast, then sunny, then overcast
  • Water: 2′ chop

Ecological

  • Much frenetic elephant seal activity throughout the island and surrounding waters.
  • The speed with which they go from slow motion sparring to sleeping side by side is adorable.
  • One seal was even snoozing on the ramp with his head under water.
  • Between 11 and 15 elephant seals on Great Race.
  • We discovered several seagull nests with eggs in them. First ones of the year!

Maintenance

  • The four of us engaged in much painting.
  • The boathouse floor was finished, along with the derrick room floor, and the yellow on the jetty.
  • In the afternoon we used the shorefront pressure washer to remove algae from several walls.
  • As is customary out here, we cleaned off the solar panels.

Boats

  • Kyle and Guy brought out the pressure washer and various other items at 8:10.
  • One rental boat was caught fishing illegally within the reserve.
  • I called Pedder Bay Marina to inform them.
  • One coast guard boat passed through the reserve today.
  • Also a few eco-tours.

Visitors

  • Kyle and Guy briefly to drop off items.
  • In the late afternoon, Maya, Tazi, and Ali came over to the eco-guardians house for tea, cookies, and the American version of Rubber Soul.

A Windy Census

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-25 knots West in the morning, picking up to 30-35 by noon.
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 3′ chop

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Ecological

  • I oversaw an enthusiastic day long census with Maya, Tazi, and Ali.
  • Discovered a new Black Oystercatcher nest with 3 eggs!
  • Maya and Tazi discovered a new Canada Goose nest.
  • I begin to suspect that our new elephant seal male is actually Chuckles.
  • If he did nothing but eat for 3 months straight, that would explain his girth.
  • Saw a Steller Sea Lion branded 9628.
  • We found a blood star, and Maya showed us various chitons.
  • Maya and Tazi did a transect.
  1. Harbour Seals: 190
  2. California Sea Lions: 42
  3. Steller/Northern Sea Lions: 39
  4. Elephant Seals: 15 (13 on Great Race, 2 in the Southern waters)
  5. Seagulls: 225 (Glaucous-winged)
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 82
  7. Canada Geese: 36 (14 on Great Race, 22 flyovers)
  8. Black Oystercatchers: 8 (plus 2 nests with a total 5 eggs)
  9. Harlequin Ducks: 3 (2 male, 1 female)
  10. Cormorants: 3
  11. Barn Swallows: 2

Maintenance

  • We cleaned the solar panels.
  • Finished cleaning the boathouse floor with T.S.P.
  • Repainted some rusty propane tanks.
  • Sanded the westward facing bench by the Students’ house.

Boats

  • Several eco-tours came by in the morning, but as wind picked up they disappeared.