There was a tiny bit of rain with fog early today and then it switched back to near gale westerlies with heavy fog interspersed with sunshine. It is a beautiful starlight evening and the westerly continues to drop. The barometer held fairly steady today with a slight increase this evening. Environment Canada says that a strong westerly wind warning stays in effect for Sunday with a chance of showers.
There were ten whale watching boats in the Reserve today and they were all well behaved. A dive charter boat with eleven divers aboard came through the reserve but I am not sure where they dove.
Two male kayakers , one in a green kayak and the other in a reddish-brown kayak came through the passage on the south side of Great Race in the early afternoon and caused a sea lion stampede. They then proceeded to fish right in the closed conservation area. There were also two recreational boats fishing in the marine protected area.
A few more sea lion brands were observed today including one seven year-old female Steller’s Sea Lion that was branded as a pup in 2007 at Rogue Reef , near Gold Beach in southern Oregon.
This was my first day to not see Elephant Seals and California Sea Lions have taken over the jetty and marine railway. Some of them are a bit scary looking and do not want to move so that I can do seawater data collection.
Three River Otters were out and about in daylight today. Usually you don’t see them and just guess that they are around in the evening as all the gulls lift off and call. There were two young, very healthy-looking animals with an adult. Maybe that it why there are so many Glaucous-winged gull chick mortalities here? (Just a guess.)
Alex was quite excited to see some of the old lighthouse artifacts including parts of an old Fairbanks-Morris engine. He also pointed out where the old granite light-keepers house had been removed from its attachment to the base of the light tower.
The tasks today were the basic, regular tasks of cleaning the solar panels, running the generator, launching and bringing the boat back up in order to drop off Alex, repairing the jetty fence (twice) and taking the salinity measurement. Tomorrow is month-end report time.