The Weaner Returns

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots North, later NW
  • Sky: mostly clear
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • The weaner was back on Great Race today, over by the base of the tower.
  • The other male is still here too.
  • I saw some rock sandpipers today. Perhaps I failed to pick them out from the surfbirds yesterday.

Maintenance

  • Hand pumped more diesel into the day tank.

Boats

  • A few eco-tours.

Other

  • Lots of DND blasting today.
  • Big blasts at the following times:
  • 9:48, 9:50, 10:06, 10:22, 12:00, and 12:02.
  • Bigger bangs at the following times:
  • 14:09 and 14:12.

 

A No Weaner Census

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots North
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • The weaner was gone this morning. Hopefully he is ok.
  • Normally I only ever see killdeer at night, but today I saw a pair off and on all day!
  1. California Sea Lions: 85
  2. Harbour Seals: 44
  3. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 39
  4. Elephant Seals: 1 male
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 269 (same total two weeks in a row!)
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 241
  7. Cormorants unspecified: 57
  8. Surfbirds: 49
  9. Harlequin Ducks: 32 (16 males and 16 females)
  10. Black Turnstones: 22
  11. Canada Geese: 13
  12. Black Oystercatchers: 9
  13. Bald Eagles: 6 (2 adults, 4 immature)
  14. Killdeer: 2

Boats

  • Kyle stopped by for 1 minute to exchange the extra security camera for a new Wifi access point.
  • There were several fishing boats literally yards outside the Rockfish Conservation Area.
  • A few eco-tours came by.

Maintenance

  • Installed the new Wifi access point in the Students’ House.

Other

  • Lots of DND blasting today.
  • Small blasts at the following times:
  • 10:25, 10:27, 10:45, and 12:34.
  • Larger blasts at the following times:
  • 12:32, 12:53, 14:52, 14:54, and 15:11.

Film Crew Island Visit

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots West in the morning
  • Around 15:30 the wind picked up to 25+ knots West. 18:00 peak at 42 knots.
  • Sky: overcast, then some blue sky, then some rain
  • Water: no visible wave crests, but lots of surge

Ecological

  • One of the larger male e-seals returned in the morning.
  • The weaner is still around.
  • Lots of bald eagles in the reserve.

Maintenance

  • Kyle and I took a look at the diesel hand pump and the desalinator.

Boats

  • Kyle came out in Second Nature with the 2 person film crew to take some footage.
  • Several eco-tours came by later on.
  • A few boats out fishing halibut just beyond the reserve.

Visitors

  • Kyle and the film crew were on the island for about 2 hours.

Other

  • Lots of DND blasting today.
  • There were blasts at the following times:
  • 10:00~, 12:50, 12:52, 13:12, 13:20, 13:23.

 

Film Crew Boat Tour

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-25 knots N/NE in the morning, down to zero in the evening
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • The weaner did more wandering around today.
  • I observed/listened to a pair of bald eagles talking to each other.

Maintenance

  • Checked and topped up over 1/4 of the battery bank.

Boats

  • Kyle brought out a small film crew in Second Nature to film the Steller sea lions.
  • However it was too choppy at the jetty to land, so they simply did a boat tour instead.
  • A couple of eco-tours came by later on.

A Vibe Like No Other

Weather

  • Visibility: 15+ miles, Mt. Baker clearly visible
  • Wind: 20-25 knots NE in the morning and evening, down to near zero in the middle
  • Sky: mix of sun and clouds
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • The weaner went on a few adventures around the house. He even wiggled his way into the doorway, temporarily blocking me from entering the house.
  • Quite a few Canada Geese on the island.
  • Also some eagle action.
  • I saw one eagle flying around with a fish, but I couldn’t get a good photo.

Maintenance

  • Started checking the water levels in the battery room.
  • Tried to manually pump diesel into the day tank without much success.

Boats

  • Several eco-tours came by today.
  • A tug pulling a barge that had a couple of boats on it passed to the north of the reserve.
  • A bit redundant, transporting a boat over water, isn’t it?

Other

  • It was my birthday today.
  • Funny how it seems just like any other day when you are alone with no one to remind you.
  • A unique birthday vibe.

Whale Sighting!

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots West, later 5 knots South, then 5-10 West
  • Sky: clear and sunny!
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • Shortly before 15:30 as I was counting shorebirds, I heard a loud noise to my right. Glancing over, I was thrilled to see a whale surfacing in the South Channel. I managed to get some photos as it resurfaced farther south-west.
  1. California Sea Lions: 79
  2. Harbour Seals: 69
  3. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 33
  4. Elephant Seals: 3, all on Great Race, 2 young males, 1 weaner
  5. Whale: 1 (I think it was an Orca)
  6. Seagulls unspecified: 269
  7. Pigeon Guillemots: 45
  8. Cormorants unspecified: 30
  9. Double Crested Cormorants: 9
  10. Surfbirds: 37
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 27 (15 males and 12 females)
  12. Canada Geese: 24
  13. Black Turnstones: 20
  14. Bald Eagles: 20 (4 adults, 16 immature)
  15. Black Oystercatchers: 6
  16. Rock Sandpipers: 4
  17. Crows: 3

Boats

  • A few eco-tours passed by today.
  • Second Nature came out with food supplies for me.
  • A large navy sailboat passed by north of the reserve.

Visitors

  • Kyle and Jeff came out in Second Nature.

Other

  • One helicopter flew just south of the reserve in the morning.

Ecoguardian Changeover

Weather

  • Guy et Christine’s 8am weather report.
  • Visibility: 13 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots West
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop

03-13 Waves

Ecological

  • The elephant seal weaner was back on the grass between the buildings.
  • One juvenile male spent the day sleeping by the tower.
  • A second young male appeared in the afternoon and pestered the weaner.
  • I was pleased to spy several oystercatchers, a pair of harlequin ducks, two bald eagles, and a raven, amongst the usual seagulls, cormorants, and black turnstones.

03-13 Weaner and male

Maintenance

  • Guy, Christine, and Kyle gave me a tour of the facilities.
  • Various little changes here and there, but overall no massive differences.
  • Unpacked and settled in to the house.

Boats

  • Kyle and Second Nature brought me out around 12:30.
  • They departed at 1:20 with Guy et Christine.
  • 3 eco-tours came by in the afternoon.

03-13 Eco-tour 1 03-13 Eco-tour 2

Visitors

  • Kyle

Other

  • I am excited to be starting my fourth lengthy shift out at Race Rocks.
  • This is Riley Strother signing off and wishing you a goodnight!

9 Eagles on South Islands

Weather

North east wind at 8:00AM, 12 knots ,over 13 miles of visibility.Pretty chilly morning (4 degrees Celsius ), cloudy and rainy.

Ecological

So many eagles around and some crows too…I guess they are attracted by the Elephant Seal body still in the rocks but actually they have been everywhere around all the time…juveniles and adults.. Boss  was coming back early from water. The 2 females have almost not moved from the birth spot and gradually the pups got bigger. Pam saw the famous harbour Seal ,”Six Spots”  is his name but we we have not found him yet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

see the shadow of the eagles on South Island

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Eagle around

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Maintenance and visits

Kyle came Today to get the chain saw that needed some repairs or a new one …The dryer has also some problems.With Guy they had a look at the old and unused generator. it will be hauled out pretty soon. In the afternoon Travis from the college came in his Kayak and stopped for a visit of the place and some chatting with us . The day was just perfect for the crossing : no current and no wind.! One watching boat seen

 

Chunk ‘s visit

Weather

It has been a very calm weekend . North East wind mainly and very light wind around 50 knots and a pretty cloudy sky all the time.

Ecological

Chunk was back on Saturday but not for so long , I would say 3 hours …He stayed closed to the boat shed . For a long time ” Boss ” was deeply asleep but at the end when the other tried to come up …he just needed to show up and Chunk was gone as fast as a torpedo. Don’t tell me that an elephant seal can’t go fast! Every thing looked fine with the e females Elephant seals and pups . They are bigger and the second born bigger than the first. The male tried to get one female after the other but without success and a lot of drama. It is always scary to see the young one so closed in this situation. Many eagles have been around those last days. On Sunday we had 4 geese and later 7 and on Sunday 13…many cormorants too and Oyster catchers.

Maintenance

We went on with the wood stacking job and brought bak to the main house the wood under the guest house. On sunday we were busy with the jetty. Logs everywhere and our main concern was to get free the launching boat way in case of an emergency.

Vessels

Just a few boats around:a small sailboat in the passage, a big fishing boat on his way to the coast, and a few watching boats .

2 new female Elephant Seals

Weather

Wind:at 8:00 12km/h North East

Sea : calm,no waves

Visibility :over 15 miles

Ecological

At low tide I discovered 3 couples of oystercatchers. Many hunting and watching eagles around ,some very big and immature ones. At night the big male Elephant Seal and one of the female came closed to the house ,lying against each other and she was complaining at times.