Rough Seas

The barometer dropped last night and has remained low and fairly steady all day. The blow last night and this morning produced surprisingly large waves, considering the fetch, from the east/southeast. There was also a significant ocean swell coming in from the west. The result was large breaking waves, all day. As it was getting dark, the wind died down. Tomorrow’s forecast looks pretty good, with a bit of sun and some wind, light in the morning and 10 – 15 knots in the afternoon.

Whale watching boats are still visiting the Ecological Reserve and three were observed in it today. I watched both Pearson College sailboats, Jack Mathews and Amatuana, sail out of Pedder Bay and off toward Victoria today. I was glad to hear Jack Mathews talking to the Victoria Harbour-master on the radio, knowing that they had arrived safely. I wish them all a wonderful adventure.

The only new and exciting ecological observation made today was the enormous size  size of the mixed species feeding aggregations. The gulls and cormorants rest on Race Rocks and when they see some action, fly off to join the melee, easily adding a thousand or more birds to the feeding frenzy. There were 112 cormorants roosting here today and UK web-cam observer, Pam Birley managed to get a photo of two Brown Pelicans in their midst. The density of gulls on Great Race is very high and I look forward to doing the count tomorrow. The proportions of the different species, is shifting and there are many more juvenile, Glaucous-winged gulls now. They seem to not know what to feed on, unless they are following the flock. I watched one try to eat a piece of wood today and another one was carrying around a clump of dirt like a prized possession. The Elephant Seals persist in front of the boat shed and have settled down into serious sleeping. The numbers of sealions in front of the science house is high again possibly because Middle Rock was being swept by breakers today.

Waves were rolling right down the jetty at me when I went to do the seawater sampling, so the sampling was done about half-way out instead of at the end of the jetty. The water was so well mixed that it was not a scientific issue and was certainly much safer where I did it. I siphoned off the crud in my roof-collected rainwater today making it fitter for laundry. I installed a dehumidifier in the basement and measured the length of the Whaler’s stern line that needs replacing. I spent more time sorting and tagging images, double-checking brand data, starting the monthly report. I am trying to find a word version of the standard operation procedures in the labyrinth of computer files, so that I can edit it before I leave on Friday.