Tuesday the 20th was a very windy day with a West wind already at 24knots early in the morning. A gale warning was in effect and for sure it was strong around the rocks and that for the whole day to late in the evening:38knots at 11:00AM,41 at 11:45,42 at 1:50PM,43 at 15:00 . Even around 10:00PM we were still around 35knots .Very tiring day for the light keepers!. The following day was not so bad the wind coming from West like the day before stayed around 25knots for the whole day.The rest of the week was beautiful ,sunny and almost hot on Race Rocks.Winds coming from North or North East but light very light 5knots,6knots at the most
We have 8 elephants seals right now :2 big and older one (Chunk one of them ) and 4 beautiful and playful younger males ,a female and a very young one . they spend the whole afternoon in water or in the railway for the pleasure of the ecotourist- boats .so many of them …impossible to count..Really that never stopped even coming from the states!. With the solstice and the very low tides it was very interesting to observe the pools and their inhabitants in the inter tidal zones …beautiful and colorful colonies of Sea urchins ,huge mussels,molluscs and many different species we don’t see so often ,huge and different sea weeds and kelp… Race Rocks is still a rich world.
27 boats to 50 fishing boats have been seen in the morning of the week – end,!mainly on East – Sooke Point. We saw a submarine going outside,a few planes above or closed and the usual traffic in the strait. The van Isle International race boats were very beautiful to look at with their spinnakers in a steady 20 knots wind. We noticed some pretty big fishing boats leaving towards the ocean.I already spoke about the high traffic of whale watchers vessels
The desalinator has been on a few times but not the generator . It has not been in use for 20 days :a record! the solar panels need attention because of so many busy gulls around. The door of the desalinator shed has been repaired.and I cleaned the railway with the high pressure water to get the boat easily in the water . It was getting pretty hard lately. The level of the liquid /fuel has been checked and sent
At 8:00:10 North East wind ,calm and overcast .Rain in the morning and no wind at all around 10AM .The usual calm weather before a storm and around 6:00PM to 11:00, The wind from West raised steadily from 20 to 40 knots . We noticed that the darkness is coming only after 6H30
Vessel and aeroplans
The morning was really calm so it was easy for me to notice that something was wrong…like a chainsaw running somewhere and looking by the window all around the rock you could see a small grey zodiac, full speed creating a panic all around!!! Finally It headed to Pedder Bay…End of the story. I Coast guard’s helicopter
Eagles :2 but 5 on Sunday
Steller Sea Lions :22
Californian Sea Lion:60
Elephant Seals:2 juvenile males and 1 pup
Geese :8 on Saturday and 17 on Sunday!
Pigeons- Guillemots :around 35
Oystercatchers:8 on Saturday but 18 on Sunday
It is interesting to notice that on Saturday with the coming storm the Island was not as busy as on Sunday where we could see more animals especially birds around.
On Wednesday: It has been a calm day with a light west wind ,cloudy and some rain in the afternoon and pretty cold around 4 degrees in the morning. On Thursday: North east wind light in the morning but a warning of gale expected for the night. Grey and low sky and rain later in the day at 5pm the wind was already above 20 knots. In the night it raised slowly but at 3 in the morning we had gusts above 30 knots and at 7h00 AM between 38 and 42 knots. on Friday it blowed to 3 PM but it was sunny and that gave a beautiful scenery …The sunrise is now at 6:36 and the sunset at 6:11 Pm so really longer days…the atmospheric pressure was 101.2 KPA on Friday.
On Thursday we had a new young male on the rock so that makes 5 Elephants seals around . The pup is very active now and if Chunk doesn’t come back he could survive and now it is really time for the birds : first the geese they are all around and can be spoted in very surprising place . Because of the rain lately we had nice pools and they enjoyed long bathing sessions and feathers cleaning .Delicious to look at… but at the same time they are very dirty and we have to clean again the alleys every day. We count 5 couples and a lonely limping one . The second major group of birds are the gulls and today for the first time we had a Summer feeling : they were getting noisy and were scattered all around at their own precise spot. We even saw some picking herbs and branches and observed the first fights .With the rain and the rising wind we noticed that all the Sea lions were gone . They came back at the end of the day (Friday)
East wind ,9 knots calm . Despite the quiet atmosphere the current has been very strong with a big swell coming from East . It would have been impossible to land Today and it has been a grey day cloudy with a low sky .It has been foggy on Sooke and Vancouver Island You could feel the change of weather and the gale expected for the night. At 7:30 PM the wind was already between 29 and 34 knots.and 42 at 9:00PM and 43 at 10PM
The colony of Guillemots is back(around 70) around the jetty like usual fishing in the strong currents of the outgoing tide.There were still some Stellers Sea Lions but not more than 15 but very closed on the rocks under the yellow tanks. The geese were getting so busy and noisy . You could see them on the most surprising spots of the island. We had to clean the alleys again . they put so much mess..dropping everywhere.
For those 2 first days of the week the weather has been very calm,with still East to North East winds. We don’t have a steady West wind yet but Spring is definitively at the corner and most of all, days are really longer.On Monday we had an incredible good visibility. What a fun to see so well Victoria and to follow a few sail boats…Recreational fishing are coming back around East Sooke too. Tuesday was a very calm day too but overcast and no wind at all …a before storm feeling.
We have now a new young male Elephant seal around in the water mainly but he came ashore for the first time on Sunday. Chunk was pretty quiet and stayed behind the students house. His scares on the back were pretty bad for a while but they are looking better now .One pup, always the same ,was on and off the Rocks,depending and stayed apart from the other one. This other one was always at the same spot ,not far from the crane .The big male named Boss was around them all the time and when the second born one made noise he got closer to him
Guy cleaned the water sampling shed and it is shining now!!! He cleaned the boat too and the bench and the panel explaining Race Rocks above it.He changed the winch and belt of the trailer. The winch gets rusty pretty quick because it had been already changed in Summer.
At 8h00it was pretty calm:6 knots North East wind, Overcast and 6.3 degrees (Air) , a very high tide with the coming Full Moon. Even calmer at 10:00 with 4knots and at 11:00 the wind and swell got inverted and increased to 40.7Knots at 12:00 . Wild and quick! It went to 42 and 48 at 13:30 and stayed strong around 30 to 48 knots the whole afternoon . It was sunny and beautiful. At 8:00PM it slowed down to 28knots
4 elephant seals the same 2 male adults and 2 pups. Sea Water warmer around 7 degrees
1 nuclear submarine with 3 ships (a big ,a middle size one and a small one ) The hull was outside of water heading to the ocean… very impressive scenery
At 8:00 AM North East light wind,calm ,forecast,grey sky . heavy rain between 9:30 and Noon.temperature :3.3 ,very high tide (actually the highest since the beginning of our stay). At 1:30 PM the wind totally stopped and the flag was down like a stick.Southwest early in the afternoon:30 knots at 4:40PM and 27 to 37 full South around 6PM. Early in the evening it steady picked up with a gust at 51 knots! At 9:15 PM we still had 40 knots .The air temperature was pretty high too at 9.1 degrees celsius
The last adult female elephant seal left in the night so 2 lonely pup now but the male stayed around the whole day and Chunk came back and went on its own,With the melting snow and the rain we got a large pool on the lawn so it was a cleaning and washing time for everyone:geese and elephants and birds…it was not dark at 7:50
We kept the fresh water tank full ,filing up every two days . The generator is working everyday for around 6 hours.
DND blasts :12 blasts in a few hours and 2 pretty strong ones. We counted 7 seconds between the time you see some smoke and the bang.
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.
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…
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 paying