October 22nd


  • Visibility: 10 Miles
  • Wind:  15-30 NW
  • Sky: cloudy but there was some sunshine today
  • Water: pretty rough with wind and waves


  • Had some ecotours go by


  • plenty of sea lions around along with the 5 female elephant seals

Big Waves


  • Visibility: 10 Miles
  • Wind:  0-15 SE
  • Sky: cloudy all day
  • Water: The swells were more than a metre today


  • Had some ecotours brave the waves


  • Sea lions seem to be multiplying still and getting closer to the house
  • Saw a couple humpbacks out there again today


  • Had to the run generator for quite a while today but couldn’t run the desalinator because the sea lions would not move



  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind in the morning: 25-30 knots North East
  • Wind at 16:30: 25-30 knots South East
  • Wind in the evening: 5-10 knots West
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 2′ chop, some impressive island/wave interactions!


  • The same 3 elephant seals on Great Race as yesterday.
  • A few e-seals also out on Middle Rock.

Very Windy


  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: at 7:45, 10-15 knots East, then at 13:20 up to 35-40 knots West
  • A peak of 43 knots West at 14:15. Settled at 25-30 knots West after dark.
  • Sky: overcast, in the afternoon periods of sunshine, rain after dark.
  • Water: 1′ chop, later some monster waves from the west


  • Just the weaner on Great Race.
  • Killdeer active as ever.


  • One eco-tour came by.

A Life Of Sundays


  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots NE, later N
  • Sky: overcast, sprinklings of rain
  • Water: calm in the morning, later 3′ chop on the eastern half of the reserve, calm on the western half.
  • It’s hard to get a photo that accurately conveys how big the waves were!


  • Two elephant seals on Great Race.
  • I spied a couple of crows, perhaps up to mischief.


  • One float plane passed over the reserve.


Sea Lion house damage


  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-10 knots West, later NE
  • Sky: Mix of sun and clouds
  • Water: choppy in the morning, calm later on



  • The sea lions are far less prevalent on the inner part of the island now.
  • Saw California Sea Lion U105.


  • Somehow the sea lions have managed to break a pipe attached to the students’ house.
  • I’m not sure what kind of wire was in the pipe, but it was ripped out and broken.
  • Whatever it is, it seems to run into the disused basement workshop.


  • Ogden Point Dive boat had divers down in Middle Channel this morning.
  • Saw a sailboat pass by, as well as a few eco-tours.

Back Online

Saturday evening as the storm was subsiding, the communication lines went dead out here at Race Rocks. After trying all the normal fixes on my side, I was informed via cellphone that the problem lay at Pearson College. The College had lost power from some internal breakdown, and so no internet or phone line was being sent my way over the air. Once things were up and running again this morning, I was able to reestablish connection to the internet and phone lines.

Rather than submitting a log entry for each missed day, I will simply provide a summary of each day’s main events. And pictures as always!

Saturday 15 October 2016-Fierce Storm

  • Day began at 7:00 with winds of 15-20 knots NE.
  • 9:45 30 knots East
  • 13:00 35 knots East
  • 13:30 45 knots East
  • 14:30 50~ knots East!
  • 15:20 45 knots East, communications down.
  • 16:50 communications returned.
  • 17:00 30 knots East
  • Around 18:30 communications down for good.
  • 19:00 15 knots West
  • 20:30 30 knots South-West
  • One month remaining in my shift.

Sunday 16 October 2016-Pelican

  • 7:00 Weather
  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots East
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop
  • Saw a single brown pelican today!
  • Failed to get a picture though.
  • Branded California sea lion 8465.
  • 8 elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • A small group of California sea lions began sleeping on top of the e-seals.
  • To my surprise the elephant seals don’t seem to mind.

Monday 17 October 2016-Peregrine Falcon!

  • 7:00 Weather
  • Visibility: 5 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots East
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: calm
  • In the early evening a pigeon flew into a window, presumably breaking its neck.
  • Immediately a Peregrine falcon swooped down to inspect its prey.
  • I assume the falcon was the reason the pigeon hit the window at such a speed.
  • The falcon then flew way up into the sky, before returning to make off with the meal.

Tuesday 18 October 2016-Bio-mimicry Visitors (and Alex!)

  • 7:00 Weather
  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0 knots
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: calm
  • A rainstorm appeared from about 10:00-12:00.
  • A rather sunny afternoon!
  • Kyle came out with Alex Fletcher and a biology group.
  • The 6 visitors were studying bio-mimicry.
  • How can humans improve our technology by copying successful animals?
  • The organization that they are involved with is one of our donors.
  • They were very interested in the sea lions, seals, and birds.
  • 11 elephant seals on Great Race.
  • Saw 3 brown pelicans; this time got a photo!

Streaks of White Foam, Breaking Waves.

The fog came in and out during the night and as dawn arrived, there was a west-southwest wind that blew all day varying little from west, as the day progressed and keeping up a continual 25 – 35 knots. It was quite cloudy here until early evening when the clouds lifted a little. Light levels were down a little, and so were temperatures, even more so, with the wind chill. The gale whipped the seas into a frothy mix of gray and white. The barometer didn’t do much today and the forecast remains the same, with a few more clouds Monday and gale warning continuing.

Only three whale watching boats were noted in the Ecological Reserve today although there may have been more. It was too rough for the smaller, open boats. One large sports fisher went through.

I spent most of the day indoors today so my usual, long ramblings about ecological happenings will have to wait.

There were no visitors and chores were routine

March 14 – West Wind and Waves

Overcast and rain in the morning, sunny in afternoon
Wind: 1-11 knots from the W and N in the morning, 22-46 knots from the W from the late morning onwards
Air Temperature: Low 9.3°C, High 11.3°C
Ocean Temperature: 9.2°C

A gale warning in the afternoon, with winds gusts up to 46 knots, remained in effect for the rest of the day. The gulls had a hard time sitting and claiming their nesting sites when the wind gusts reached 46 knots. Due to the winds, the afternoon was filled with indoor tasks like cleaning, organizing the basement and drinking tea. The winds diminished in the evening.

Hanne Christensen, one of the visiting Pearson students, took some photos around the island yesterday and today. They are included in the gallery below.