Helicopter Generator Swap

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots North
  • Sky: mostly overcast, some rain in the evening.
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • There were eight elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • That is the most I have seen out here during this current shift.
  • Three of the younger males enjoyed a spirited bout or two.
  • The rest of them snoozed off in pairs or alone.
  • The birds and sea lions were definitely disrupted by the helicopter.

Maintenance

  • Kyle and four men from the Coast Guard removed the old Generator B.
  • A Coast Guard helicopter then dropped off a new generator, and took away the old one.
  • They then placed the new generator in its spot.
  • I helped out with various auxiliary tasks, but mostly just took photographs.
  • Tidied up loose tools after everyone had departed.

Boats

  • Second Nature.
  • A few eco-tours.

Visitors

  • Kyle, the four Coast Guard men, and Ian and Stephen.
  • They all departed in the early afternoon.

Other

  • Coast Guard helicopter overflight.

 

Visitors of the friend type

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots West
  • In the evening, 20-26 knots West
  • Sky: mostly clear
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • Five elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • I spied a sea otter swimming through the South Channel!
  • Saw a couple of Short-billed Dowitchers, along with another mystery bird.
  • Alas, I had not the camera on me to document this bird; it may have been a Western Sandpiper though!
  • Also saw a swallow for the first time!

Maintenance

  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • Ran the desalinator.

Boats

  • Kyle dropped off two of my friends in Second Nature.
  • Several eco-tours came by.

Visitors

  • Ian and Stephen came over for a one night visit.
  • They are friends with yours truly, Riley Strother.

R. Strother at work.

Census and Students

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots South.
  • From 17:00 onwards, 15-20 knots West.
  • Sky: clear and sunny most of the day.
  • From 17:00 onwards, some clouds and rain.
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • One sea lion was branded U958.
  • Colour wise it looks like a Steller, but if you look at the head I think it was a California.
  • Laura and her class found a sculpin (type of fish) head.
  • Four of what I suspect to be Short-billed Dowitchers today. Fun to watch!
  • Didn’t see the killdeer today, which is unusual.
  1. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 66
  2. Harbour Seals: 60
  3. California Sea Lions: 57
  4. Elephant Seals: 13 (4 on Great Race, 9 on Middle Rock)
  5. Pigeon Guillemots:  269
  6. Seagulls unspecified: 154
  7. Surfbirds: 57
  8. Canada Geese: 17
  9. Black Turnstones: 17
  10. Cormorants unspecified: 14
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 9 (5 males and 4 females)
  12. Black Oystercatchers: 6
  13. Savannah Sparrows: 6
  14. Short-billed Dowitchers: 4
  15. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 0 immature)

Boats

  • A couple of eco-tours came by.
  • Second Nature came out multiple times, delivering 4 groups of students.
  • On her second last return, she had overheating issues, so Kyle had to come out in Haiku for the last trip.

Visitors

  • Kyle, James, Laura, and 26 students came out to Race Rocks today.
  • The students were doing a walk about with Laura, discussing marine biology for their upcoming final exam.
  • James did some work on the Davis Weather station and got most of it working again.

Other

  • Four DND blasts today.
  • 10:05, 10:07, 11:24, and 11:26.

Amazing Sunset

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots North
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: rippled
  • Amazing pink/red sunset!

Ecological

  • Just one elephant seal on Great Race today.
  • Three elephant seals on Middle Rock though.

Maintenance

  • Some goose work.
  • Set up and took away barrels for diesel transfer.

Boats

  • A couple of eco-tours came by.
  • Second Nature came out with diesel.

Visitors

  • Kyle and two English volunteers came out with diesel.
  • I gave the two lads a tour while Kyle transferred the diesel.

Other

  • Some DND blasting today.
  • Medium blasts at 11:30, 11:32, and 12:13.
  • Bigger blasts at 14:47 and 14:49.

Visit from Cheanuh First Nations

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots SW, later 5-10 West
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • A new female elephant seal appeared this afternoon.
  • The weaner moved about 3 feet all day, snoozing on top of the cistern.
  • Watched some geese engage in battle.
  • Some nice flowers.

Maintenance

  • Month end report data collection.
  • Stacked some firewood.
  • Did some goose work.

Boats

  • Kyle came out in Second Nature with some visitors from the local First Nations Reserve.
  • While presumably checking out the harbour seals, they came across a boat with some of their friends in it.

Visitors

  • The chief from Cheanuh, his wife, and their two children came out with Kyle and Guy.

Whale Sighting!

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots West, later 5 knots South, then 5-10 West
  • Sky: clear and sunny!
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • Shortly before 15:30 as I was counting shorebirds, I heard a loud noise to my right. Glancing over, I was thrilled to see a whale surfacing in the South Channel. I managed to get some photos as it resurfaced farther south-west.
  1. California Sea Lions: 79
  2. Harbour Seals: 69
  3. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 33
  4. Elephant Seals: 3, all on Great Race, 2 young males, 1 weaner
  5. Whale: 1 (I think it was an Orca)
  6. Seagulls unspecified: 269
  7. Pigeon Guillemots: 45
  8. Cormorants unspecified: 30
  9. Double Crested Cormorants: 9
  10. Surfbirds: 37
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 27 (15 males and 12 females)
  12. Canada Geese: 24
  13. Black Turnstones: 20
  14. Bald Eagles: 20 (4 adults, 16 immature)
  15. Black Oystercatchers: 6
  16. Rock Sandpipers: 4
  17. Crows: 3

Boats

  • A few eco-tours passed by today.
  • Second Nature came out with food supplies for me.
  • A large navy sailboat passed by north of the reserve.

Visitors

  • Kyle and Jeff came out in Second Nature.

Other

  • One helicopter flew just south of the reserve in the morning.

Ecoguardian Changeover

Weather

  • Guy et Christine’s 8am weather report.
  • Visibility: 13 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots West
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop

03-13 Waves

Ecological

  • The elephant seal weaner was back on the grass between the buildings.
  • One juvenile male spent the day sleeping by the tower.
  • A second young male appeared in the afternoon and pestered the weaner.
  • I was pleased to spy several oystercatchers, a pair of harlequin ducks, two bald eagles, and a raven, amongst the usual seagulls, cormorants, and black turnstones.

03-13 Weaner and male

Maintenance

  • Guy, Christine, and Kyle gave me a tour of the facilities.
  • Various little changes here and there, but overall no massive differences.
  • Unpacked and settled in to the house.

Boats

  • Kyle and Second Nature brought me out around 12:30.
  • They departed at 1:20 with Guy et Christine.
  • 3 eco-tours came by in the afternoon.

03-13 Eco-tour 1 03-13 Eco-tour 2

Visitors

  • Kyle

Other

  • I am excited to be starting my fourth lengthy shift out at Race Rocks.
  • This is Riley Strother signing off and wishing you a goodnight!

The Accreditation Team

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10 knots N
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: calm
  • Fresh snow on the Olympic Mountains.

fresh-snow-olympics-11-11

Ecological

  • 4 elephant seals on Great Race

grrrrrr-11-11

Maintenance

  • Stacked some fire wood.
  • Did some electric fence re-organizing.
  • Cleaned the solar panels.

fire-11-11

Boats

  • Kyle came out in Second Nature.
  • One pleasure craft came through the Middle Channel.
  • A few eco-tours came by.

Visitors

  • Kyle brought the accreditation team out for an hour long tour.
  • Three men: an Austrian, a Colombian, and a British via Tanzania.

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

Donor Visit

Weather

  • Visibility: 10 miles, then down to 5, up to 15.
  • Wind: 5-10 knots NE, E, and NW.
  • Sky: overcast, then foggy, then sunny, then rain.
  • Water: calm
  • Beautiful evening.

as-evening-rolls-in-21-10

Ecological

  • The cackling goose was gone today.
  • 7 elephant seals on the grass near the students’ house.

Maintenance

  • Added one 55 gallon barrel of diesel to the tidy tank.

Boats

  • Kyle came out with a group of 4 donors.
  • We gave them a tour of the island and buildings.

Visitors

  • 4 donors from Toronto Ontario/London England came out with Kyle.