According to the Davis Weather Station, today had the highest recorded temperature at Race Rocks for any February 12th since the station was set up in 2006. Today’s high was 11.6 C, beating last years record of 9.8 C.
In the morning Chuckles went over to Weaner’s corpse and looked at him, rolled him around, and sat on him. Then he left the island.
Chunk came back and rejoined the two females and pup.
Middle Rock mum and pup still there.
I decided to start calling the new female Lady.
Conducted a fuel inventory list for Jeff of Maintenance. Good news: there is more than enough fuel to last until after I leave.
Scraped rust off of the two empty 55 gallon diesel barrels and spray painted them to extend their useable life.
Jeff and an assistant came by at about 14:00 to drop off food supplies, a ramp for the diesel tanks, and to have a look at the Davis Weather Station wind reader. Unlike the other day though, the wind reader seemed to be working just fine.
One eco-tour boat came by at about 15:00. It seemed to be closer to the sea lions than the guidelines allow.
Rain (22.6 mm in total)
Wind: 2-9 knots NE in the morning, 4-29 knots NE to WSW in the afternoon/evening
Air Temperature: Low 6.3°C, High 8.9°C
Ocean Temperature: 9.0°C
The students visiting from Pearson were picked up this morning by Chris in Second Nature. They were a great help around the island for the past week as they helped clean and organize. They also pursued their own projects in diving, photography, identifying the flora and fauna, catching up on their studying and locating the mysterious secret room at Race Rocks.
The day was spent doing lots of odd jobs around the island: securing a large log for firewood, cleaning windows, de-algaefying buildings and computer work.
There were a lot of new puddles formed today in the grass and rocks. 22.6 mm of rain was recorded by the Davis weather station, which is located in the middle of Great Race near the flagpole.
A large river otter was spotted this morning scampering up the jetty beach, then underneath the boardwalk by the tank room.
Wind: 8 knots NNE in the morning, diminishing in the afternoon and switching to W in the evening
Air Temperature: High 9C, Low 4C
Ocean Temperature: 8.8C
Twelve bald eagles were hanging out on the South Islands this morning. Many of them stuck around for the rest of the day, flying to different perches around the reserve.
Chunk left the main island at some point last night. The female elephant seal is still camped out to the east of the main house.
Courtney and Max visited for a couple hours this morning to do some maintenance on the cameras and other technology. Camera 5 is almost online again. One more replacement part needs to be installed in the coming days. The Davis weather station is back up and running after a few days offline. Thanks to Max fixing the computer that uploads the weather data.
There was more munitions blasting today at nearby Rocky Point.
Three eco tour boats visited the reserve today.
Seven bald eagles gather on one of the South Islands in the morning.
A whale watching boat gets up close to a group of sea lions on the South Islands. In the background a large container ship, the 334mx43m CMA CGM Cendrillon, passes within 4km of Race Rocks on its way to Seattle. Feb 4, photo by Nick Townley
A juvenile bald eagle watches a raven eat the carcass of an elephant seal pup.
A raven eating the soft tissue on the face of the dead elephant seal pup.
A juvenile bald eagle observes the ecological reserve from the high rock by camera 5.
The wind blew from the northeast at 13-26 knots. A small swell with whitecaps blew in from the northeast. The barometer dropped from 1024 hPa to 1015 hPa. The temperature reached a high of 5oC at 15:00.
There were no boats seen within the reserve today.
Everyday there appears to be fewer gulls and sea lions in the reserve. An official count will happen on Thursday with the census. There are still a lot of cormorants congregating on the shores of Great Race, as well as Turbine Rock and North Rocks. The harbour seals are hauling out at low tides on various rocky ledges close to the shoreline.
Today was filled with cleaning and wrapping up some tasks that I’ve been doing while here for the past five weeks: construction in the basement of the Marine Science Centre, sorting out photos, and cutting up firewood that was collected at the shore and piled up by the tank house to get the salt rinsed off by the rain. Tomorrow is a shift change that will see Alex arrive for the winter shift. I’ve had a great time as the Ecoguardian, learning lots from the species and history of this beautiful piece of land and sea.
The HMCS Nanaimo, a coastal defence vessel, heads eastward 1.5km from South Island, where a group of sea lions bask in the sun.
A fish bone that has been picked clean lies near a succulent plant called sedum, which covers some of the rock near the lighthouse.
This cannon was taken in 1987 from the ballast of a the Swordfish, which sank near Race Rocks in 1877. The cannon now sits at the base of the lighthouse. Mt. Baker can be seen in the background.
The low tide in the afternoon exposed some thatched barnacles to the air.
The Davis Weather Station with the moon in the background.