Weather and Sea Conditions
At Race Rocks today, winds were light and variable from the south and southeast, at first under overcast skies and eventually under brilliant sunshine. The barometric pressure was still high (1025hPa at 18:30), but dropping now and there is a strong wind warning in effect. Light winds are predicted to increase to east 15 knots early this evening, build to east 15 to 25 after midnight and drop again Thursday evening. Thursday will be sunny and warm with a moderate UV index of 5. Except for the usual races, tidal currents, rips, standing waves and over falls, sea conditions were calm today.
Only two whale watching vessels were observed working in the protected area today and neither of them passed between Great Race and South Rocks. Several sports fishing vessels passed through, and there was no fishing observed in the protected area. One small inflatable was observed speeding in the protected area. This vessel came to the jetty later and they were informed about the speed limits and restrictions on going ashore.
Ecological and General Observations
Nothing really new to report here other than two more female Northern Elephant Seals arrived ashore today and several more were visible on Middle Rock. These animals will be starting their moult soon and building bone density for important winter haul-out activities of giving birth, nursing and mating. Remembering last year’s elephant seal plant crushing activities, motivated me to take photos of some of the lighthouse heritage garden plants on the island.
There are photographs below of the river otter den mentioned yesterday. Tomorrow will be animal census day.
Most chores were routine today. There were no visitors.