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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

Military Blasting

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-10 knots NW
  • Sky: mix of blue and clouds
  • Water: calm

evening-appoaches-11

Ecological

  • A gaggle of 19 Canada Geese arrived on Great Race today.
  • The birds and sea lions weren’t too pleased with all the DND blasting.

Maintenance

  • The usual chores.
  • Took some ash out of the wood stove.

Boats

  • Kyle came by in Second Nature to pick up Natasha.
  • A couple of eco-tours came by.

Visitors

  • Natasha left today.

tasha-says-goodbye-8-11

Other

  • Lots of DND blasting today.
  • Small, medium, and large blasts.
  • 10:59, 11:16, 11:18, 12:01, 12:04, 12:51, 1:07.

boom-8-11

Illegal Fishing

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-15 knots NE
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: calm

nostalgic-sunset-2-10

Ecological

  • Noted two branded California Sea Lions.
  • U503 and U400.
  • Saw many others with brands but unable to view complete brand.

Maintenance

  • Fixed the electric fence near the energy building which had been ripped apart again.
  • Reorganized some diesel barrels.
  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • The usual chores.

Boats

  • It was neat to watch more than fifteen fishing boats head through Race Passage at 7:15 in the partial darkness of sunrise.
  • Two boats were fishing in the Rockfish Conservation Area, mostly between the Rosedale Rock and the South Islands for several hours today.
  • I identified them as best I could, and reported them to the DFO.
  • At times there were other boats nearby, but they seemed to be making a conscious effort to anchor outside the boundary.
  • The two offending boats made no such effort, drifting about all over the southern part of the reserve.
  • Several ecotours came by today.
  • In the evening one small aluminium boat ripped through the reserve well above the speed limit. Presumably he was late for supper?

Other

  • From about 11:50 until 13:00 I felt a series of unidentifiable booming shakes.
  • I can only assume it was DND blasting, although I saw no smoke, and it was Sunday.
Levitating boat optical illusion.

Levitating boat optical illusion.

Census Day!

Weather

  • Visibility: 15+ miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots SW
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: calm
  • Beautiful sunrise today!

sunrise-1-29-9 sunrise-2-29-9

Ecological

  • Saw four branded sea lions today.
  • One Steller branded 998R.
  • Three California’s branded X611, 88, and U22[?].
  • Conducted the weekly census.
  1. California Sea Lions: 486
  2. Northern (Steller) Sea Lions: 169
  3. Harbour Seals: 151
  4. Elephant Seals: 7 on Middle Rock
  5. Sea gulls: 1020
  6. Cormorants: 20
  7. Savannah Sparrows: 20
  8. Harlequin Ducks: 4 (2 male, 2 female)
  9. Black Oystercatchers: 3
  10. Bald Eagles: 2 adult
  11. Canada Geese: 2
  12. Black Turnstone: 1

Maintenance

  • The usual chores were accomplished.

Boats

  • Several eco-tours today. Nothing unusual or problematic to report.

Other

  • Lots of DND blasting today.
  • Most of today’s blasts were louder than those from earlier this week.
  • 9:34, 9:36, 10:07, 10:09, 10:38, 10:40, 11:14, 11:46, 11:48, 12:11, and 13:14.

Pearson Students and Brands

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots NE, later West
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • Saw two branded California sea lions.
  • U400 and U714.
  • Discovered a couple of recently deceased juvenile sea gulls.
  • Cause of death unknown.

Maintenance

  • The usual chores.

Boats

  • Lots of ecotours today.
  • One appeared to be going over the speed limit within the edge of the reserve.
  • Several times there were at least 3 in the Middle Channel.
  • Kyle brought two loads of students out in Second Nature.
  • One small boat was observed fishing illegally within the Rockfish Conservation area.
  • They were reported to the DFO.

Visitors

  • Kyle, Laura, 14 Pearson students, and 3 filmmakers came out.
  • The students were supposed to be doing wind and wave measurements, but Race Rocks was providing very little in that department today.

Other

  • Six pair of small DND blastings today.
  • They took place early in the hour, every hour, from the 10th until the 15th.

Fog ‘n Whales

Weather

  • Visibility: ranging between 0 and 15+ miles today.
  • Wind: 0-5 knots, at various times from the N, S, or W.
  • Sky: cloudy and often very foggy.
  • Water: calm.

Ecological

  • At least 3 orcas swam along the edge of the reserve from West Rock towards the North Rocks this afternoon.
  • They were followed by several boats.
  • Noticed a few elephant seals mingling with the sea lions near the energy building and on the ramp.

Maintenance

  • Reset the electric fence in the morning.
  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • The usual stuff like toilet maintenance, sea water sample, and generator.

Boats

  • When it wasn’t foggy there were several ecotours in the reserve today.
  • Several times there were three boats quite close together viewing the sea lions.
  • At times I wondered if perhaps some of the ecotours were both technically in the reserve (not allowed when whales are present) and too close to the whales (see above photos).

Other

  • Three pairs of DND blasting today.
  • 11:47 and 11:49.
  • 1:28 and 1:30.
  • 2:24 and 2:26.
  • The Fog Horn was active much of the night and often throughout the day.

Hot and calm days on the rock

Weather

Mainly the scenario is this one :high temperatures of air and water( around 13 Celsius) and calm sea. That means too, gorgeous sunset and sunrise .

Ecological

2 more dead chicken bodies found. Gulls and Sea lions are very active and the gulls are not anymore aggressive towards us.

DND activity

We were surprised on Wednesday night by a huge deflagration at 9:54 PM. The animals on the rocks around reacted strongly like us actually. The house shaked and we kept ready for the next blast for at least an hour. The following day we got this info:it was a military building demolition exercise on Bentinck island and we received from the college this other explanation: Numerous studies have been conducted on the potential environmental effects:Blast noise in the marine environment land demolition is almost indetectable by acoustic equipment;above that of other underwater backgrounds sounds such as waves & marine life”.We got more blast the following days but never so loud and in day time .

Eco guardian’s activity

We have been on shore from Wednesday to Friday for some training at the college: this training has been very useful at a beginning of a new school year (next week the students will be there). We were especially concerned by all the security review we got:1rst aid,fire risks ,emergency and incidents protocol etc…

 

 

 

1st full day on the rocks

Weather

Wind : NW wind ,26 knots at 5:30 ,up to 30  at 7:30 and back to 3 :00 in the afternoon

Sky: Rainy first and cloudy later.

Visibility: 5 miles at 5:30 getting better later

Sea: Wavelets,white caps to calm later in the day.

Ecological

All the elephant seals went fishing this night,came back one after the other this morning.

13 geese pay a visit in the evening and left one hour later.

In the evening an eagle flew over 2 times and post itself on the crane ! the gulls got mad.

Sea water :Temperature 11.1 and salinity:32.1

We found a dry tailbone

Boats

Huge traffic the whole day . All kinds of boats: around 10 Whale Watchers,a few fishing boats,a Canadian sailboat,2 cruising boats,a logging boat with its tugboats,tankers and containers ,an American ship,The Port – Angeles ferryboat,Later I made a quick research on one big square gray one : it was a vehicules carrier coming from Bahamas going to San Diego,Draught:9.1 meter,Speed:20 knots,Gross tonnage :58.767 tonnes . Her name Genius Highway (From Marine Traffic Website).

DND Activity

A few blasts at 9:40,9:44,10:42 ,10:44,and 5:30 in the evening.

Maintenance

Student house tank filled up

Student main house tank filled up

Run the generator for 2 hours and half

Main house :Inside tidying up.

DSC_6630

 

Coming back and setting down day

Weather
Sky: Overcast to rainy;Wind: 10-15 knots West wind;Sea:Calm

Ecological
14 elephant seals and among them 2 big ones :On Great Race my friend Chunk and a new one for me , named Chuckles. The grassy field looks like a schoolyard with the playing young ones.
Surprise to see Gulls already so busy building nest and some on it. Pretty soon we saw our first egg …10 Californian Sea lions on Great Race Rocks
Seawater sampling around noon today: Salinity :32:01 and temperature :10:9 C
Maintenance
Checking around for priorities: A small leak from the gazoil filter needs attention.
Whaler battery put in charge.
Whaler diesel fuel tank filled up.
Different controls done
Boats
One whale watcher boat at 20:30 PM This is unusual ,looks like they were waiting for the lighthouse to light up..it was not for a nice sunset!
Other
We admire the beautiful bricks under the wheels .Thanks to Riley!
Intense activity at the DND: 4 strong blasts between 10:45 and 2:00 PM and a very surprising one at 10:30 PM  This one made the house shake ! WE were  kept in alert before by a flashing blue light ( a DND zodiac protecting the area).
We looked for a sailboat photo required by the boat owner and taken on Race Rocks . We found it and sent it to the college.

It’s good to be on Race Rocks ! Happy Eco – Guardians!