July 22nd: Seawater needed for the desalination process

On the 22nd of July we had a pretty windy day coming like usual from West with a choppy sea and around 25 knots. No visitors but many watchers between 10 and 15 of them.
Guy began filling up the seawater cistern, a pretty big underground space. It’s now half full and ok for a while. It has been a long process .You need to wait for the high tide and check often to be sure that the pump is not reached by the flooding water and also you have to feel up the gas tank every hour. The whole thing took roughly 10 hours.

July 21th: Oil transfer from the big tank

We had a West wind at 23 knots in the morning with a gale warning expected in the afternoon. A very good thing when it’s windy like that the solar panels are staying cleaner than usual.Guy has been busy emptying the big tank. He filed up 3 barrels of 200liters each, he completed the new small tank for the generator (450l when full) and 1 barrel of 150l.I went to the top of the tower (training) and looking at the shadow from on the small window I realized that that tower was a perfect huge sundial! I never thought about that before.The elephant seals maybe because they are a lot thinner go down the railway at least 3 times a day. Right now they stay behind the boat shed most of the time.

July 20th : A new resident

Just around 9 in the morning we saw a new female elephant seal. She was bigger than the small one already there. We were just pleased. It is so interesting to watch them. The sea lions are now closer. A dozen of them were on the south side of the Rock and some Californian one are on the middle Rocks. Many newborn harbor seals spend their energy playing in the water.
The wind never stopped rising from 33 knots around noon to almost 40 knots around 2PM. This situation kept us inside for the rest of the day.
Early in the morning we saw the big rescue boat going slowly. A few maybe 3 or 4 whale watchers came. It was a beautiful sunny day and the sea a gorgeous sight.
We were expecting visitors from the college but no way it was really too windy to tie to the dock.

July 17 to 19th : A calm week-end

It has been 3 beautiful and sunny days .The wind was light at the most 20 knots in daytime and 30 knots on Sunday night .The North wind from the morning became West in the afternoon. The water temperature was still around 12 degrees Celsius. The water salinity stayed around 31.5 and the air at 5 OOAM 10 degrees. The barometric pressure was 903.1 HPa and 1001.8 HPa the day after.
We had no visitors and around the Rocks around 15 whale watchers.
Now we can count around 25 chicks from the front window. Some are already half size of the adults one but a few one have been born only a week ago. At date we found just one body and a half broken egg with the dead chick inside.
We did a few maintenance jobs like the cleaning of the students’ house windows and tidying up the basement in the eco-guardians place. Guy took off the ladder at the jetty, which has to be repaired, or changed .He sanded part of the trailer boat and begin repainting it with some rust paint.

July 16th: water Sampling using the old method

Once a month we need to be sure that every tool is still in good order.It was interesting to see the different results and if the new method is more accurate, we got exactly the same number for the water temperature: 11.2 Celsius. When we went to get the water in the bucket we heard a splash and first thought that it was a sea otter because it was very quick but just following was the most adorable creature: a small harbor seal.It might be 50 cm at the most. That one has not been born long ago! Happenings never stop on Race Rocks!

Gale warning forecast

We began the day with 32 knots and the wind never stopped rising to 40.7 knots around 8:00PM. What a pretty windy month!

All the birds were in the sheltered side away from the wind so it was easy to spot them. Before dusk we saw 10 Turnstones, 2 Western Sandpipers and 3or 4 Dunlins. They were not around a few days before. Exciting!

I even found a ladybug, a small one in the house. Another new species on this small rock

No whale watchers today …Thanks to the wind.

 

windy day

Tuesday and Monday actually were two pretty windy days with gusts reaching 30 to 35 knots at times. That gave a lot of interest to the water sampling trips just before sunset. Imagine how noisy it can be with seagulls shouting (sometimes 5or 6 just above us) but you get used to!! And on Tuesday night 2 big eyes were looking in the dusk: Chunk taking the last bath of the day. A pretty sight to bring back home!

 

Boat stories and visitors

Monday was a busy day for vessels: 12 whale watchers and in the Juan de Fuca Strait ships were in a raw in the 2 directions …a lot to see by the windows. We also had 2 visitors from the college Courtney and Bobby (a volunteer). They brought on the Rock 3 propane tanks and 3 barrels of 200 liters each, for the oil transfer (1100 liters has to be transferred to the new tank and to the house tanks)

Birdy stories

On Sunday, which was a sunny but windy day, we found one dead chick, the first one and beyond the student house on the rocks we discovered some newcomers, two beautiful little birds. By deduction and with the pictures sent to Garry, we came to the conclusion that they were 2 Western Sandpipers. A change from gulls!
On the 13th when we went to clean the solar panels we discovered the fresh, bloody, half eaten body of a pigeon – guillemot. We think that it was a Sea otter’s job because of the hidden place where we found it. Busy night!