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.
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.
The visiting students assist in service project to clean the algae off the buildings.
A water pump is used with the rain water tank to help clean the exterior walls around the island.
Yam and Neel check out the Race Rocks species from up high.
A loud blast is detonated by DND on Bentinck Island.
Myriam Guilbert, the mother of second year student Chloé, visits Race Rocks after spending the week volunteering at Pearson.
Students practice rescue scenarios for diving.
Bader removes Martin from the water in a rescue diving scenario.
From 1986, to 2005, Dr. Anita 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 theDiving 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.
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 autumnalisBrinckmann from the Mediterranean and Rhysia halecii (Hickson and Gravely) from the Antarctic and Japan is discussed. Rhysia fletcheri differs from Rhysia autumnalisand Rhysia haleciiin the gastrozooid having distinctive cnidocyst clusters on its hypostome and few, thick tentacles.
Most 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 fletcherioccurs 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.
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 surfgrass and rock cliffs during low tide.
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
WEATHER: Sky Clear »» Vis. 15 Miles »» Wind North 3 Knots »» Sea Rippled
posted by Carol or Mike S at 6:26 AM