• Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind: 10-20 SE
  • Sky: Mostly Cloudy
  • Water: Waves 1-2 metres


  • a few boats went by today
  • Have a couple visitors on the island overnight and the guys working on the project by the student house came by today and finished up


  • The elephants had some movement today, the juvenile male was chasing one of the pups until the big guy chased him off
  • plenty of pigeon guillemots around today

Census and Visitors


  • Visibility:15 Miles
  • Wind: 0-10 NE
  • Sky: Cloudy
  • Water: Calm


  • a few ecotours went by today
  • I  had a couple visitors come from the college to take a little tour around the island


  • Another mature female elephant seal showed up this morning, I am unsure if she is pregnant but I guess we will find out in a couple days


  • Stellar Sea Lions – 92
  • California Sea Lions – 117
  • Harbour Seals – 22
  • Elephant Seals – 11 – 5 males, 4 female and 2 pups
  • Cormorants – 97
  • Gulls – 204
  • Eagles –12
  • Black Turnstones – 33
  • Black Oystercatchers – 34
  • Geese – 4
  • Harlequin Duck – 14

Beautiful Day


  • Visibility:15 Miles
  • Wind: 0-10 SE
  • Sky: Some clouds, mostly sunny
  • Water: Flat calm for the most part


  • Kyle, Jeff and Jack came by to deliver more batteries and help get that big log off the jetty
  • a couple ecotours and fishing boats went by


  • the elephant seals are all doing well
  • as are the sea lions


  • Having some problems uploading the photos, will try fix it tomorrow

New Batteries


  • Visibility:15 Miles
  • Wind: 5-15 SW
  • Sky: Partly cloudy, a bit of sun
  • Water: Large waves today1-2 metres


  • a couple ecotours went by today
  • also Kyle, Jeff and Jake brought some new batteries for the battery bank that keeps this island powered, had to start up the crane and maneuver around a stubborn elephant seal to get the batteries where they needed to be


  • The pup is doing well and so are all the other elephant seals
  • will update the census with photos tomorrow

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Jan 12th 2017


  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind: 5-10 S
  • Sky: Cloudy
  • Water: Choppy about 1 metre


  • Kyle came by today to help me fuel the generator


  • The pup seems to be doing well, the largest male is staying near the mom and pup and is chasing the 3 smaller males off when they get too close
  • There appears to be a small female sea lion, stellar by the colouring by the jetty that doesn’t appear to be doing too well

A Visitor From Afar


  • Visibility: 10-15 miles today. At times quite hazy.
  • Wind: 15-25 knots West
  • Sky: clear and sunny
  • Water: 1′ chop


  • Conducted a census today.
  • Found a tiny dead harbour seal on the rocks.
  • A flock of geese arrived in the late afternoon.
  1. Harbour Seals: 91
  2. Northern Sea Lions: 35
  3. Elephant Seals: 22 (17 on Great Race, 5 on Middle Rock)
  4. California Sea Lions: 20
  5. Seagulls: 275
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 130
  7. Canada Geese: 20! (although for much of the day only 10)
  8. Black Oystercatchers: 8
  9. Harlequin Ducks: 3 (2 females, 1 male)
  10. Cormorants: 2
  11. Bald Eagle: 1
  12. Rock Sandpiper: 1
  13. Unidentified large bird on Middle Rock; Owl?: 1


  • Removed lots of algae from the boat house.
  • (Re)discovered that the pressure washer does not work.


  • About 4 eco-tours came by today.
  • Chris dropped off and picked up my friend Greg O’.


  • Greg O’, the tree scientist of Vernon, came by in the afternoon for a 3 hour visit!

Greg O come for a visit!


  • A couple of big DND blasts in the afternoon.

Swells high today

Ecological happenings

  • Gulls have been feeding in large flocks
  • Swells of up to 7ft today
  • Many Sea Lions appear to have left the island. The swells have not been forgiving on the inhabited rocks.

Marine Vessels

  • Three tour boats
  • One sail boat


  • Three visitors today, (1 from Pearson College) who were given a tour of the Island.

March 22 – Rainbows and Venus

Overcast in the morning, rain and breaks of sun in the afternoon
Wind: NE 3-17, switching to SW 2-14 in the late afternoon onwards
Air Temperature: Low 7.8°C, High 10.0°C
Ocean Temperature: 8.8°C

A 2.6m high tide came overnight, sending lots of logs floating through the reserve today. A small dead octopus washed ashore near the energy building. It was noticed by the visiting Pearson students, much to the excitement of their curious marine science minds.

The visiting students returned to the college this morning.

A floatplane flew very low over Great Race this morning. One eco tour boat was seen in the reserve today.

A very bright Venus was visible this evening, soon after the sunset. It was in the west of the sky, just north of the moon.

March 18 – Divers Clean the Underwater Camera

Wind: SW 5-14 knots in the morning, NE 5-9 knots in the late morning to afternoon, calm in the evening
Air Temperature: Low 7.8°C, High 10.7°C
Ocean Temperature: 8.8°C

Nine students came this afternoon with Courtney, Laura and Nazim to dive from the jetty. The seven divers were in groups of two and three for 30 minute dives. The others provided support from above.

Bader and Sean dove together and followed the cable out to the underwater camera, which lies at a depth of 12m of water out from the end of the jetty. They cleaned the plastic dome, which had become dirty with diatoms. See the photos below.

The divers mentioned seeing lots of vivid colours and amazing species including: urchin, anemone, rockfish, greenling, rose star and bull kelp.

Up on land, there was lots of vitamin D to soak up today while doing outdoor tasks: chopping firewood, stacking firewood, sweeping and tending to compost.

There was one fishing boat seen passing through the reserve today.

March 12 – Sunny Census Thursday

Wind: 0-13 knots SW in the morning, NE from mid morning to afternoon and SW in the evening
Air Temperature: Low 9.9°C, High 13.2°C
Ocean Temperature: 9.0°C

Three Pearson students came to Race Rocks this morning. Karen, Sunny and Hanne joined Martin, who has been here since Monday.

The students did some work this afternoon: sweeping all 99 steps of the lighthouse and continuing the process of stowing the chopped wood in all the nooks and crannies of the buildings, to be used next winter to heat the main house.

There was DND blasting happening in the morning and early afternoon on Bentinck Island, less than 1km away from the ecological reserve.

Today’s high temperature of 13.2°C, as measured at the ground weather station, was the highest recorded since 2006, when the weather station was installed. A high of 14°C was recorded by the instruments at the top of the lighthouse.

Three eco tour boats visited the reserve. One boat came very close to a group of sea lions swimming and others hauled out on the South Islands.

The low tide of 1.1m at 13:52, exposed lots of species from the low tide zone into the air. The shore and tidal pools were full of life: mussels, barnacles, limpets and lots of other flora and fauna of the sea. The oystercatchers and shore birds were having a feast.

There were no small birds perching birds seen today. There are usually a few fox, sparrows, savannah sparrows and occasionally juncos and robins zipping around the island.

Here are the results from today’s Megafauna Census:
Elephant Seal: 1
Steller Sea Lion: 54
California Sea Lion: 43
Harbour Seal: 52
Bald Eagle: 9
Great Blue Heron: 1
Crow: 1
Oystercatcher: 4
Double Crested Cormorant: 12
Brandt’s Cormorant: 21
Gull: 247
Canada Goose: 14
Pigeon Guillemot: 9
Harlequin Duck: 13
Surfbird: 3
Black Turnstone: 10
Rock Sandpiper: 2