The passing of our former light keeper and ecoguardian Mike Slater.

Mikeslater

Mike Slater

Carol Slater has just phoned to tell us that her husband Mike Slater passed away this morning. We extend our condolences to Carol and her family and acknowledge the many contributions made by Mike who was the last lightkeeper at Race Rocks , and the First Ecoguardian of the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. The following posting profiles the life of Carol and Mike when they lived on Race Rocks. http://www.racerocks.ca/slater/

 

 

Mike and Slash

Mike negotiating with Slash on whether he should be allowed to go on the docks to take the seawater samples for the day!

Census

Gulls:750

Elephant seals:4

Harlequin Ducks:4

Geese:12

Eagles:8

Guillemots :5

Harbour seals:35

Californian Sea lions: 180

Steelers sea Lions:60

Oystercatchers:12

Black turnstones:10

Cormorants 175

Ecological

anew elephant seal has arrived:a young male a few years old already big enough and healthy. the other ones don’t react negatively.

 

One pup Elephant seal gone

Weather

Nice weather: 7knots,West wind,Overcast to Sunny,Visibility:13 miles,Air temperature:5.6Degrees. at 5:00 the wind direction had changed from West to south East.Full Moon.

Ecological

One of the 2 pups (the first born I think) was gone in the morning  so 6 days after the mum.Now the count is: Boss,chunk and Pinata ,not happy at all and crying with that very funny typical sound .When we wake up Boss was very closed to our door,  lain across the path…not even easy for us  to go out! Like usual a few geese were on Main.DSC_0259

Maintenance

We took advantage of the weather window to go to town and get some food :the stock was low,no more fresh products.

Gale warning

Weather

At 8h00it was pretty calm:6 knots North East wind, Overcast and 6.3 degrees (Air) , a very high tide with the coming Full Moon. Even calmer at 10:00 with 4knots and at 11:00 the wind and swell got inverted and increased to 40.7Knots at 12:00 . Wild and quick! It went to 42 and 48 at 13:30 and stayed strong around 30 to 48 knots the whole afternoon . It was sunny and beautiful. At 8:00PM it slowed down to 28knotsDSC_0149DSC_0130DSC_0212

Ecological

4 elephant seals the same 2 male adults and 2 pups. Sea Water warmer around 7 degrees

Vessels

1 nuclear submarine with 3 ships (a big ,a middle size one and a small one )  The hull was outside of water heading to the ocean… very impressive scenery

No more adult females elephant seals on the rock

Weather

At 8:00 AM North East light wind,calm ,forecast,grey sky . heavy rain between 9:30 and Noon.temperature :3.3 ,very high tide (actually the highest since the beginning of our stay). At 1:30 PM the wind totally stopped and the flag was down like a stick.Southwest early in the afternoon:30 knots at 4:40PM and 27 to 37 full South around 6PM. Early in the evening it steady picked up with a gust at 51 knots! At 9:15 PM we still had 40 knots .The air temperature was pretty high too at 9.1 degrees celsius

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ecological

The last adult female elephant seal left in the night so 2 lonely pup now but the male stayed around the whole day and Chunk came back and went on its own,With the melting snow and the rain we got a large pool on the lawn so it was a cleaning and washing time for everyone:geese and elephants and birds…it was not dark at 7:50

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Maintenance 

We kept the fresh water tank full ,filing up every two days . The generator is working everyday  for around 6 hours.

Other

DND blasts :12 blasts in a few hours and 2 pretty strong ones. We counted 7 seconds between the time you see some smoke and the bang.

Gale warning and snow again

Weather

At 8:00 AM the wind was already at 25 knots from North East with a choppy sea. The visibility early was at 15 miles but during the day we had little to no visibility.at all just enough to see the rocks and the jetty.The wind got up to 30 knots and stayed at 30 almost all day long and even after sunset. A lot of snow for a while but not like the other day:no accumulation.DSC_0877

Ecological

The male has been steady mating  those 2 last days so no problem for a next generation…and always closed to the female and her pup and he even doesn’t go fishing very often. She is still feeding the pup ,born 23 days ago…so logically a few days more… We are very curious to see what will happen shortly. A few geese are still there…

Other

3 watchers zodiacs around 1:00PM with the swell, the wind and the snow falling….Big memories for the people aboard! they got as much as possible for the price they ‘re payingDSC_0859DSC_0863

DND activity again : 4 blasts

Weather

Windy day from East between 25 and 30 knots,Sea choppy .Overcast and foggy sporadically . Some snow around 9:00AM but finally sunny the rest of the day. Sea water : 5.5 degrees and Air at 2.1 degrees celsius(at 8:00 AM)

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Ecological

The night between the 6th and 7th February has been a very busy one for the elephants seals . We found tracks and it looked like the male helped the young one to come back from the rocky place where  he has been for at least 2 days. He went during the day from the tower to the water shed and at the corner of the paths and closed to the water sampling house :a lot for him if we considered that he has been almost always sedentary before his Mum ‘s departure…Chunk was back too but stayed in its own quarters .DSC_0824DSC_0700DSC_0735

Vessels 

No boats

A snowy day for a lonely pup

Weather

North East Wind ,17knots at 8:00, Sky:Overcast ,Visibility :15miles and Air Temperature:0.3 degrees Celsius. It has been a very snowy day and the fog horn was on the most part of the day.

Ecological

When we wake up in the morning we understood why we could heard so well the elephant pup. Actually heading away from the others he must have fallen from the walls behind our house and we discovered him almost hidden by snow and totally asleep . he spent the whole day like that alone and moved a little farther late in the afternoon. Mum was not back. 10 geese were looking for some grass and water pool all around . we discovered the tracks of an River Otter like usual in the same area :closed and under the sea watershed

 

Mum gone :Pup called Piniata ( Born on the 16th) is alone

Weather

North to South -East Wind ,7 knots at 8:00AM,very dark and grey day. Air temperature:3 degrees, Water:6.5 degrees Celsius. A few flurries and fog horn later in the night.Cold in the evening :around 0 degree celcius

Ecological

Mating success with the 2nd female. The first one got her turn the day before and actually was gone in the following night.. During the process Mum and Baby got separated and the baby could was afraid to go down from the main path to the lawn so he went on the concrete path to the point he had to turn and come back by the same way. The mum following in the field. the whole thing took at least 1hour . After that she fed him for a while. the second pup was on his site above the field.DSC_0134DSC_0025DSC_0180DSC_0193DSC_0194DSC_0084DSC_0146