The Advancement Team


  • Visibility: 15+ miles
  • Wind: 10-15 NE
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: rippled
  • The first of three storms is expected to arrive tonight, bringing rain and wind.
  • A rather calm day though, with exquisite views of Mt. Baker!


  • The elephant seals were in a playful mood today.


  • Reset the electric fence.
  • Stacked firewood.
  • Ran the new sea water pump into the cistern with Kyle’s help.
  • Looked at probably a dozen different systems and areas of concern with Kyle.
  • As ready as possible for the storm.


  • Second Nature brought the Advancement Team out today.
  • The Ogden Point Dive boat was in Middle Channel.
  • A few fishing boats and eco-tours passed by.


  • Kyle and the Advancement Team.
  • The A’ Team is in charge of raising funds for Pearson College and Race Rocks.

CBC Visits Race Rocks

It was an absolutely stunning day at Race Rocks, with light winds (<5kts) from the southeast and a clear sky until dusk (it has now clouded over). The barometer fell further today, to ~1010hPA. The forecast is for increasing westerly winds (10 to 20 knots near midnight) then light by Saturday morning, with a chance of rain.

It was a busy day in the reserve, with nine whale watching boats stopping by. One of the operators was even flying a drone around the island. No doubt, collecting promotional footage. Seven pleasure craft passed through going slowly, mostly. It is important to remember the speed limit in the reserve is <7kts.

We continued our training today. Learning more about the systems that keep this place running as sustainably as practicable. Don dropped Anne and Alex off at Pearson College in the afternoon, while Nina showed a CBC film crew the lighthouse. Students came out to the island at lunch for a field trip, and another group went diving off the jetty later in the day.

March 11 – Cleaning, Diving and Nearby Blasting

Overcast with periods of sun and rain
Wind: 1 – 17 knots NE, switching to W in the evening
Air Temperature: Low 9.0°C, High 11.3°C
Ocean Temperature: 9.0°C

In the morning, the visiting students helped with a service project to clean the algae off the exterior walls of the tank room and boat house. Elbow grease, a non toxic de-algae formula, brushes and water were used to tackle the algae. Rain water was pumped from the collection tank at the Ecoguardian’s House, which saves the energy intensive desalinated water for the kitchens and washrooms.

For several hours beginning at 10:30, DND set off explosives on nearby Bentinck Island, which is less than 1km from the ecological reserve. Birds, marine mammals and an Ecoguardian were startled by the blasts.

This afternoon, the four students doing the rescue diving course practiced more scenarios off the jetty with Chris.

Chris brought a volunteer from Pearson to visit for a couple hours. Myriam Guilbert, who is the mother of second year student Chloé, toured around the island snapping photos of the flora, fauna and views. She had heard lots of stories about Race Rocks from her daughter.

There were two eco tour boats, one recreational boat and the Pearson’s Haiku in the reserve today.

March 10 – Juncos and a Robin

Cloudy, with fog in the morning
Wind: 0 – 16 knots from the W then NE in the morning, switching to SE in the afternoon
Air Temperature: High 10°C, Low 7°C
Ocean Temperature: 8.9°C

This morning, the Pearson students here for Project Week helped stack firewood in the cupboards outside of the Engine Building.

Four oregon juncos and a robin were seen flying around the southern part of Great Race.

This afternoon, four students took part in rescue diving scenarios with Chris. Afterwards a few of them went snorkelling around the jetty to check out the sea stars, a sea slug and other species.

Chunk continues to hang out near the Marine Science Centre.

Three ecotour boats came into the ecological reserve to share the sights, sounds and smells of the marine mammals and birds with their customers.

Dr. Anita Brinckmann-Voss and Hydroid Research at Race Rocks

anitaDr. Anita Brinckmann-Voss  passed away in December of 2017.

From 1986, to 2005,  Dr. Brinckmann-Voss of Sooke, BC assisted the students and faculty of Lester Pearson College with her understanding of marine invertebrate ecology and her expertise in the taxonomy of hydroids.  These small colonial animals, the alternate stage of the life-cycle of jellyfish, occur in rich profusion underwater at the Race Rocks Marine Ecological Reserve.  When the original species list was done for the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve Proposal, in 1979, only 2 hydroids had been included on our species list. Now over 60 species have been identified by Anita and she continued to assist students with research projects while she furthered her research on specimens from the island until 2004. Anita has established long term research plots in a tidepool at the reserve and documents the distribution of hydroids underwater with the assistance of students and faculty in the Diving program at Lester B. Pearson College. Below: Anita accompanied Garry, Chris and Joe on a dive to Secretary Island, West of Race Rocks up the Strait of Juan de Fuca towards Sooke. The purpose was to collect samples for hydroid specimens.  

anitaandsvobodaDr. Armin Svoboda and his son Hanno visited Race Rocks with Chris Blondeau and Dr. Anita Brinckmann-Voss in August of 2004. His pictures taken on a dive there are linked here.



 See this link for the hydroids identified by Anita. 

See all the posts on this website tagged with Dr. Anita Brinckmann-Voss

bellatitle-1Gallery of photomicrographs of Hydroids- photos by Dr. Anita Brinckmann-Voss

tubulariaVideo on the habitat of a rare Tubularia






westshorePhotos of  Intertidal Hydroid Habitat on West side of Race Rocks .





PUBLICATIONS of Dr. Voss from her Research at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve :

 1. Brinckmann-Voss, A. , Lickey, D.M. , and Mills, C.E. 1993 Rhysia fletcheri (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa, Rhysiidae), a new species of Colonial Hydroid from Vancouver Island British Columbia, Canada) and the San Juan Archipelago (Washington, USA) . Canadian Journal of Zoology 71: 401-406


  • A new species of colonial athecate hydroid, Rhysia fletcheri , is described from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, and from Friday Harbour, Washington, U.S.A. It’s relationship to Rhysia autumnalis Brinckmann from the Mediterranean and Rhysia halecii (Hickson and Gravely) from the Antarctic and Japan is discussed. Rhysia fletcheri differs from Rhysia autumnalis and Rhysia halecii in the gastrozooid having distinctive cnidocyst clusters on its hypostome and few, thick tentacles.
  • hydrfemeMost of its female gonozooids have no tentacles. Colonies of R. fletcheri are without dactylozooids. The majority of R. fletcheri colonies are found growing on large barnacles or among the hydrorhiza of large thecate hydrozoans. 
  • Rhysia fletcheri occurs in relatively sheltered waters of the San Juan Islands and on the exposed coast of Southern Vancouver Island. Colored photos of Rhysia males. females and gastrozooids are included.

 2. Brinckmann-Voss, A. 1996. Seasonality of Hydroids (Hydrozoa, Cnidaria) from an intertidal pool and adjacent subtidal habitats at Race Rocks, off Vancouver Island,Canada, Scientia Marina Advances in Hydrozoan Biology , Vol 60 (1):89-97


  • An assemblage of 27 hydroid species was reported from a tide pool in the lower rocky intertidal zone, and compared with 42 hydroids of the adjacent subtidal region. Location of hydroids within the pool, seasonal occurrence, growth and sexual maturity were tabulated, and some systematic aspects discussed. Possible causes of hydroid species diversity were considered, including location of the tide pool in an area of tidal rapids, and shading by surf-grass and rock cliffs during low tide.

one nest of Black Oyster Catcher eggs.

Thursday, April 25, 2002
Good Evening
TEMPERATURE: Max. 11.9 ºC »» Min. 4.7 ºC »» Reset 9.0 ºC
MARINE LIFE: 3 Bald Eagles -1 juvenile.The eagles left the reserve just after 17:00. We are back to 3 geese again,I’m surprised they haven’t all left for ‘greener pastures’ now that the puddles they enjoyed so much have dried up but for a few slimy inches.Still only the one nest of Black Oyster Catcher eggs.
HUMAN INTERACTION: 5 Ecotour boats, 4 Pleasure craft. 2 of the pleasure craft were fishing in the reserve just after 13:00 but moved on with apologies after being advised of the MPA status. Picked up a drifting commercial crab trap off the east shore of Gr. Race and brought it in for disposal. This afternoon 2 College boats were in with Garry,Laura and students for a dive also Angus with Guests.
posted by Carol or Mike S at 6:22 PM
Good Morning
WEATHER: Sky Clear »» Vis. 15 Miles »» Wind North 3 Knots »» Sea Rippled
posted by Carol or Mike S at 6:26 AM