Feb 21, stillborn

Sunny, wind east 10 knots.

In the morning the shape of a dark elephant seal pup was visible from the house, next to the female elephant seal.  The mother was very sleepy next to the pup which was not moving. The placenta looked very fresh. There were no signs of trauma to the pup, it seemed to have been dead at birth.  The mother stayed close to the pup throughout the day, resting next to or along side it, and would occasionally smell and nudge it with her nose.

Around noon there was a sea otter visible swimming, floating on its back and diving off the South West side of great race.  I was able to get some photos which are the best I have been able to take of a sea otter here so far.

I went off island in the afternoon to bring back guests.  We passed by West rock and there was one other female visible there quite a ways off the main area where they usually lie, out of reach of Chunk who lay alone in the usual e-seal area.  I have not been seeing any females out there all week.

Our guests helped move and stack firewood. After returning to island I went to haul in a log on the derrick.  The cable was getting stuck part way up, after lowering it and trying again it snapped.  The log came crashing down into the water and I watched helplessly as the cable, which we had just fixed the week before, unraveled and dropped.  On closer inspection the cable was quite frayed and crimped, seems like it had gotten slacked, twisted and then reversed on itself at some point creating a weakness.  I had noticed previously that the up and down controls were reversed but couldnt figure out why.

There were 4 whale watching boats in the reservePoWfeb21, some of them appeared to be getting closer than 100 meters from marine mammals.