Fog followed an overcast dawn and was repetitively beaten back by sunshine throughout the day. While the sun was out, it was intense (900 Watts/meter2), but fog lingered just to the west and Beechey Head was repeatedly obscured as the fog came and went. Eventually in early evening, pushed by the west-southwest wind, the fog rolled back in and enveloped Race Rocks. For most of the day day the wind blew west a fairly steady, 10 – 15 knots. The fog wind was more intense though, pushing 25 – 30 knots. The barometer went up a bit in the morning and then, after noon it dropped by a little more than it had gone up, ending up at ~1014 hPa and falling. The forecast is for a strong wind warning, (more westerlies), mainly sunny, with a few clouds.
No whale watching vessels were observed in the Ecological Reserve today. Several private, sportsfishing boats went through at a respectful speed and they were not fishing in reserve. One rental boat from Pedder Bay Marina was fishing in the Rockfish Conservation Area on both the east and on the west side of the houses. The people seemed to know that they were not supposed to be there and were playing a bit of hide and seek. Two couples were all fishing for and keeping rockfish in the Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA). Whether or not they exceeded the limit for outside RCA (1 rockfish per day) is open for speculation.
Two large male Killer Whales were spotted travelling east, along the north edge of the Ecological Reserve in Race Passage. As is often the case with Bigg’s Killer Whales, they seemed to be evasive, perhaps exhaling underwater. They were spotted again near nNorth Rocks and then skirted around to the south. From their behavious, it is likely that these were Bigg’s Killer Whales.
The Northern Elephant Seals have been sticking very close to shore during their swims, preferring the shallow sub-tidal in the bull kelp fringes. The young males who love to play fight when they are hauled out continue their sparring activity in the water. I wonder if the Bigg’s Killer Whales could hear them?
Another new (to me) Northern Elephant Seals showed up today, well tagged with #9836 on the right and #9807 on the left. All four tags looked really new as did the seal. The smallest one ashore since I arrived in March, it had almost completed its’ moult and the skin was looking too big for it, so I venture to guees that it has been hauling out on Middle Rock moulting for a while and came over to Great Race because of all the bustling seal activity here.
Both routine chores and seasonal maintenance were accomplished today. The grated, aluminum ramp on the jetty was repaired and trouble-shooting completed on the Whaler’s electrical system. There were no new visitors today.