Elephant Seal Duo

Weather

  • Visibility: mostly clear in the day with fog and a bit of snow in the evening
  • Wind: Light gusts throughout the day
  • Sky: Cloudy with sunny periods
  • Water: a bit rough, 1 meter swells at times

Boats/Visitors

  • had the usual ‘4 ever wild’ whale watching boat go by
  • No visitors today

Ecological

  • Still a decent amount of sea lions on and around the island.
  • The two big male elephant seals have been mostly keeping their distance from each other but today Bernard, the larger of the two, asserted a bit of dominance by moving closer inland towards Big George, the smaller of the two.

Other

  • DND blasting has taken a break for the past few weeks which has been nice.

Stellar Pups

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles for most of the day with the Washington coast as clear as I’ve seen it so far, until early evening when fog came in from the east covering downtown Victoria from view.
  • Wind: Little to no breeze during the day with it picking up to 14-18 knots by 7pm.
  • Sky: Mostly cloudy with some sun
  • Water: calm throughout the day, a bit choppy at times

Boats/Visitors

  • Boat traffic was fairly minimum today with the usual commercial vessels in the distance and one or two whale watching boats.
  • No visitors today

Ecological

  • There seems to be more stellar sea lion pups on the island, especially on the south rocks in the last few days, though I may just have not noticed them among the “piles” of bodies as they tend to lay all over each other.
  • Still lots of Black Turnstones, Cormorants, Eagles, Canada Geese and Gulls around
  • Only saw one of the male elephant seals around today

Other

  • Chopped some bigger logs into kindling for the woodstove this afternoon and cleaned up a lot of rocks of varying sizes that have been falling from the paths and bank walls between the lighthouse and science house.
  • Pretty chilly today, had frost on the ground and frozen puddles for the first time.

Whales in the area today and new male elephant seal.

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind:  15-25 NE
  • Sky: cloudy for the most part, bit of sun came through
  • Water: a bit choppy today

Boats/Visitors

  • Had a couple boats cruise by

Ecological

  • same amount of sea lions
  • one large male elephant seal
  • a couple eagles
  • there were also maybe 3 humpbacks and about 4 orcas around

Notes

  • it does still look like there are quite a few sea lions around, will do the census tomorrow

Beautiful Sunrise, DND Blasting today

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind: 0.6 SE this morning at 5:30am but has since picked up to 20 SW
  • Sky: few clouds in the more and more came rolling in later in the day
  • Water: calm

Boats/Visitors

  • Some ecotours today
  • Saw a lot of boats in surrounding waters, not within the ecological reserve boundaries, was a nice day for fishing out there

Ecological

  • 11 elephant seals counted today however there is one I did not see that is usually around so I know she is around here somewhere making the count 12

Other

  • there was some DND blasting across the water today

April Ends Now

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 25-30 knots West
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: 2′ chop

Ecological

  • The same eight elephant seals on Great Race today.

Maintenance

  • Added 55 gallons of diesel to the tidy tank.
  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • Started work on the month end report.

Boats

  • Saw four stationary whale watching boats to the west of the reserve.
  • I suspect they had found some whales, although it was too far for me to spy anything.
  • Some of them passed by the reserve afterwards.

Last day for the student

Weather 

On Saturday:West wind 6 knots at 8:00 was light the whole week end,overcast to sunny, visibility over 15 miles,pretty cold days :3degree celsius.sea calm.On Sunday:15 to 25 knots,North East wind,Sea:calm,Visibility over 13 miles,Air temperature:2 degrees celsius and water temperature  around 6.5.Cold week end.

Ecological

For the first time the Elephant Seal pup went closed to the water and spend part of the Saturday at the top of the railway and the 2 other males were around ;the young one very closed and the adult one in the water at the jetty…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Vessels

We had a boat very closed to the rocks which was evidently.fishing .We saw him coming so he didn’t stay long . He saw the big camera and heard the Air horn! It left quickly towards Esquimalt…The other picture shows a watching boat way too closed!Many recreational fishing boats around east Sooke and on Sunday a RCMP boats spend half an hour doing exercises of navigation closed on south sideDSC_0065 DSC_0824

Gale warning and snow again

Weather

At 8:00 AM the wind was already at 25 knots from North East with a choppy sea. The visibility early was at 15 miles but during the day we had little to no visibility.at all just enough to see the rocks and the jetty.The wind got up to 30 knots and stayed at 30 almost all day long and even after sunset. A lot of snow for a while but not like the other day:no accumulation.DSC_0877

Ecological

The male has been steady mating  those 2 last days so no problem for a next generation…and always closed to the female and her pup and he even doesn’t go fishing very often. She is still feeding the pup ,born 23 days ago…so logically a few days more… We are very curious to see what will happen shortly. A few geese are still there…

Other

3 watchers zodiacs around 1:00PM with the swell, the wind and the snow falling….Big memories for the people aboard! they got as much as possible for the price they ‘re payingDSC_0859DSC_0863

DND activity again : 4 blasts

Watchers back

Weather

12 knots North East wind at 8:00,Cloudy,Visibility:13miles,Calm day, Air Temperature :6 degrees Celsius.

Ecological

Between 5 and 9 eagles steady on the Rocks. Lovely Harlequin Ducks.

Maintenance

Worked on the old generator . all the parts are now loose; Ready to be hauled out soon.

Other

Helicopter closed and a plane far above.

2 watcher boats in the passage.

Fog ‘n Whales

Weather

  • Visibility: ranging between 0 and 15+ miles today.
  • Wind: 0-5 knots, at various times from the N, S, or W.
  • Sky: cloudy and often very foggy.
  • Water: calm.

Ecological

  • At least 3 orcas swam along the edge of the reserve from West Rock towards the North Rocks this afternoon.
  • They were followed by several boats.
  • Noticed a few elephant seals mingling with the sea lions near the energy building and on the ramp.

Maintenance

  • Reset the electric fence in the morning.
  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • The usual stuff like toilet maintenance, sea water sample, and generator.

Boats

  • When it wasn’t foggy there were several ecotours in the reserve today.
  • Several times there were three boats quite close together viewing the sea lions.
  • At times I wondered if perhaps some of the ecotours were both technically in the reserve (not allowed when whales are present) and too close to the whales (see above photos).

Other

  • Three pairs of DND blasting today.
  • 11:47 and 11:49.
  • 1:28 and 1:30.
  • 2:24 and 2:26.
  • The Fog Horn was active much of the night and often throughout the day.

Beautiful Day to Remember

 

End of Shift.  Tomorrow Riley will arrive for his shift and we will be off. All the best, Riley, for your stay in this amazing hotspot of living activity and tidal rushes. The people of BC are lucky to have Race Rocks protected under BC Parks’ highest level of protection as an Ecological Reserve. It was a pleasure working with the classes of biology and marine science students this week and a treat to be in this special place.

Weather and Sea Conditions  Winds: Light and variable;  Sky: Morning low overcast slight mist cleared to sunny in afternoon;  Visibility: Mostly good ~10 – 15 nm;  The accumulated solar radiation today was 250 Langleys, the equivalent of a little over 2900 Watts per square meter. The UV Index was high at 7.4;  Barometer: 102.7 kPa and falling Sunday evening;  Forecast: Wind easterly 5 to 15 knots becoming light Monday afternoon then increasing to west 20 to 25 Monday evening. Strong wind warning in effect.

Vessels in Ecological Reserve   Whale watching vessels: 12 were observed working in Ecological Reserve (ER). All were professional, providing a good model for other boaters transiting the ER.

Sport fishing vessels: A total of 11 sport fishing vessels were observed in the ER today. Three were noted speeding in the ER and two vessels were observed fishing for hours, in the closed to fishing, Rockfish Conservation Area. Photos were taken, processed and filed. There were approximately 70 sports fishing vessels fishing to the west and then drifting by to the east, all but five appeared to follow rules.

Ecology  The first three Harlequin Ducks of the season were spotted today, one male and two females. They have returned from their alpine summer breeding habitat for a coastal winter. A Great Blue Heron was observed fishing, standing on a dense raft of Bull Kelp. A thorough search for the Sea Otter turned up nothing. Enormous mixed species feeding flocks were observed in Race Passage in the afternoon. There are fewer sea lions ashore during the day right now and there have been dietary shifts visible in their feces, which are hard to miss. One animal was observed feeding on what appeared to be a Coho close to a kelp bed on the west side of Great Race.

Visitors  None.

Sustainability  Although it was gray in the morning by 14:00 there was enough sunlight that we made fresh water with solar energy powering the de-salinator.

Maintenance and Operations  Regular chores and clean-up.