Very calm day ,overcast but some sun in the afternoon ,some rain too. A true Spring weather. South East wind ,3 knots at 8:00 (we have to understand 7:00 of Yesterday usual nightmare for a few days ),Visibility over 13 miles,Atmospheric pressure:102.2KPA.
Busier on Sunday :at least 5 boats around :recreational and eco tours vessels.We tried the air pump horn for the too closed one and it was efficient. they left…Made Guy happy!
3 times the same helicopter
This is really the news of the week : the little elephant seal pup is gone.!We couldn’t believe it and went 3 times around the rocks …We realised at the same time that more geese than the day before were around ! We counted 17 so that means 8 couples and a lonely one and for sure many eggs next month!. The gulls too are everywhere… the nesting season is on. If the solar panels were still clean ,the rocks,roofs and alleys had already some white spots and it has been a lot noisier that even a week ago. The Sea lions with the clear sky Yesterday night were very loud… Boss was back and 1 juvenile Elephant Seal
We have been busy with the general cleaning of the place . It is our last day.We have to leave this wonderful rock but welcome to Riley !
At 8:00:10 North East wind ,calm and overcast .Rain in the morning and no wind at all around 10AM .The usual calm weather before a storm and around 6:00PM to 11:00, The wind from West raised steadily from 20 to 40 knots . We noticed that the darkness is coming only after 6H30
Vessel and aeroplans
The morning was really calm so it was easy for me to notice that something was wrong…like a chainsaw running somewhere and looking by the window all around the rock you could see a small grey zodiac, full speed creating a panic all around!!! Finally It headed to Pedder Bay…End of the story. I Coast guard’s helicopter
Eagles :2 but 5 on Sunday
Steller Sea Lions :22
Californian Sea Lion:60
Elephant Seals:2 juvenile males and 1 pup
Geese :8 on Saturday and 17 on Sunday!
Pigeons- Guillemots :around 35
Oystercatchers:8 on Saturday but 18 on Sunday
It is interesting to notice that on Saturday with the coming storm the Island was not as busy as on Sunday where we could see more animals especially birds around.
On Wednesday: It has been a calm day with a light west wind ,cloudy and some rain in the afternoon and pretty cold around 4 degrees in the morning. On Thursday: North east wind light in the morning but a warning of gale expected for the night. Grey and low sky and rain later in the day at 5pm the wind was already above 20 knots. In the night it raised slowly but at 3 in the morning we had gusts above 30 knots and at 7h00 AM between 38 and 42 knots. on Friday it blowed to 3 PM but it was sunny and that gave a beautiful scenery …The sunrise is now at 6:36 and the sunset at 6:11 Pm so really longer days…the atmospheric pressure was 101.2 KPA on Friday.
On Thursday we had a new young male on the rock so that makes 5 Elephants seals around . The pup is very active now and if Chunk doesn’t come back he could survive and now it is really time for the birds : first the geese they are all around and can be spoted in very surprising place . Because of the rain lately we had nice pools and they enjoyed long bathing sessions and feathers cleaning .Delicious to look at… but at the same time they are very dirty and we have to clean again the alleys every day. We count 5 couples and a lonely limping one . The second major group of birds are the gulls and today for the first time we had a Summer feeling : they were getting noisy and were scattered all around at their own precise spot. We even saw some picking herbs and branches and observed the first fights .With the rain and the rising wind we noticed that all the Sea lions were gone . They came back at the end of the day (Friday)
On Saturday:West wind 6 knots at 8:00 was light the whole week end,overcast to sunny, visibility over 15 miles,pretty cold days :3degree celsius.sea calm.On Sunday:15 to 25 knots,North East wind,Sea:calm,Visibility over 13 miles,Air temperature:2 degrees celsius and water temperature around 6.5.Cold week end.
For the first time the Elephant Seal pup went closed to the water and spend part of the Saturday at the top of the railway and the 2 other males were around ;the young one very closed and the adult one in the water at the jetty…
We had a boat very closed to the rocks which was evidently.fishing .We saw him coming so he didn’t stay long . He saw the big camera and heard the Air horn! It left quickly towards Esquimalt…The other picture shows a watching boat way too closed!Many recreational fishing boats around east Sooke and on Sunday a RCMP boats spend half an hour doing exercises of navigation closed on south side
Windy day above 20 knots from West on Wednesday and Friday but the rest of the time light wind and calm sea, overcast to rainy mainly grey days
The geese at least 3 couples and the oyster catchers (3 couples too) are already going by 2.Chunk is not back and the 3 elephant Seals:Boss,the younger male and the last pup are around.The pigeons guillemots (around 30 )have been seen again but not even one when we did the census…The population situation is very different from one day to the other
Work with students
The plan was to make them paint the desalinisaton house but there was too much moisture and we have to let it dry before any painting job . So they helped us with the wood : stalking and splitting and cleaning around the jetty. Guy explained them all the systems involved on Race Rocks( electricity stockage,desalinisation…) and I did the census 2 times in 2 groups. We can tell that during their stay we didn’t use so much water Thanks to them ;they really understood the challenge of the place! One of them had a look at our emergency supply.
End of the month reports. Jetty cleaning with the high pressure washer
Vessels and flights
2,3 watching boats at the most, a Canadian Frigate coming back towards Esquilmalt, a big fishing boat heading to the ocean and an helicopter closed
Calm day with a west wind 5 knots,overcast,cold:2.1 degrees Celsius. The wind picked up in the evening and reached 40 knots around midnight.
We put back to the sea the dead pup. Guy used the crane . One student help,ready to cut the line ( It was not necessary)and the others watchedIt is amazing to see how big in only one month this elephant seal pup became!
The census was done with the students
Steller’s Sea lions : 21
Californian Sea lions:92
Elephant seals:3 – 1 adult male , 1 pup , another one on Middle island but which one ?
Harlequin Ducks :24
200 liters of oil transferred in the eco guardians house
2 Canadian navy boats no 706 and 710 making their way slowly towards Esquimalt at 6:00PM
Guy made a tour with some students and explain all the process for the stockage of energy and desalination of the water.
At 8:00 28 knots from North East. White crest and choppy. Visibility 10 miles. Temperature :3.8 d. Celsius.It has been windy to the end of the afternoon :35 knots at noon.
The pup was still alive around 9AM . He had managed to move just a little bit but later when we came to have a look he was already dead and the birds were already on it.Short life ,actually 1month and 10 days.(This is pretty common and the mortality is very high with the newborn Northern Elephant seals.) The second one was still sleeping closed to the tower and Chunk was gone. Just the the two pacific other males were there. The geese had been very noisy those last days and it looked like they were preparing for mating. Flowers are everywhere…Spring.
Vessels and plane
We saw 3 watching boats and this was surprising if you consider the wind and sea around Race Rocks yesterday. A plane was above going towards Sooke.Many sail boat around Victoria and we could observe for a long time Amatuana leaving for Spring break.
In the morning we had a light south wind an overcast sky and a good visibility but the wind get stronger in the afternoon and changed its direction to South West with a gust around 28 knots. The air temperature was 4.3 degrees Celsius so cold and grey day with some rain
Our main concern is still the pups . They became again adventurous and changed locations: the one under our kitchen window decided to go closed to the tower followed by the young male . He just smelled the baby it was it . The injured one decided to moved towards the rocks and he went pretty far and it looks like now he is stuck …So…We will see Tomorrow . Maybe he was attracted by the water and the high enough tide will be only Tomorrow afternoon …the question is to know if he will be strong enough to move his body and get out… Chunk didn’t come back
We finished preparing the students house. they will come for a week on Sunday or Monday depending the weather. actually we cleaned and washed the basement floor and carpets . So it is ready
East wind 4knots at 8:00 ,calm and overcast sky,visibility over 13 miles. During the day the wind blew from North and we had a pretty sunny day but chilly.
So far so good even if the injured one is not so fine! Each pup found a spot and Chunk was gone on Friday morning and the young male too. Just Boss was there sleeping as usual closed to the student house.
We saw a big Coast Guards vessel in the passage between Race Rocks and Vancouver Island and an helicopter was following the border line flying low and slowly. Another Coast guard boat (grey and yellow one )was in the waters that same day. 2 or 3 watching boats.
2 barrels of 200 litres each transferred in the yellow tank.
A team from Environment Canada in Richmond came to repair the weather Station which has not been working well since this Summer. They spent at least 3 hours and fixed the system.
Kyle with Second Nature came and bring 600 hundred litters of oil and we filled up 3 barrels of 200 each,3 more are coming soon. Guy and Kyle changed the pressured water pump in the student house.
Each elephant Seal has been in his own spot even the new young male and we appreciated some quiet time! The injured pup was still moving but stayed around the crane, behind it. It is painful to see him in a so bad condition…We see what will happen in the coming days.