Day Eight: Peregrine Falcon and Serbian Dinner

23 January 2014 (Thursday)

Awoke at 0715. Batteries are at 23.2. I gear up to start the generator. Things have calmed down considerably and the sun out – a major improvement over yesterday. It is an absolutely gorgeous morning, with broken clouds, beams of sunlight highlighting sea IMG_6733smoke that rises across all of the visible ocean. MDI comes into view after a while. It is very cold still, 12 degrees F. I start the generator but it dies twice before I can get it to run steadily. I make coffee and breakfast burritos for myself and Tanya.

I sweep the snow off of the solar panels and check the monitor when the sun comes out of the clouds – very good news. At peak sun we are pulling in 18 amps and nearly .5 kWh, which is much more than our .1 or .2 average use.

IMG_6737IMG_6758

Tanya and I walk around the island in search of gray seal pups or anything else of interest. I see a bit of red in the distance, to the eastern side of the Rock, and realize there

Peregrine falcon eating one of the small birds from the island

Peregrine falcon eating one of the small birds from the island

is a bird of prey there feeding on something. We get closer and take pictures. It is easily identifiable as a Peregrine Falcon. The variety of species we find on this tiny 3.5 acre island always surprises me.

During our travels I have also noted large balloon buoys that have washed ashore, which I will collect to set as marker buoys for our summer research. These help us identify distances and direction from the lighthouse tower during our search for whales and other marine species.

Tanya sets up her rowing machine in the third floor of the lighthouse tower. It survived the trip onto MDR but will need some WD-40.

Beautiful light on the south porch

Beautiful light on the south porch

For dinner Kathy makes a Serbian dinner which consists of cabbage, ground turkey, and Rotelle. Also, she puts out ‘money bread’, which is a batch of large rolls, all connected, one of which contains a quarter. Whoever grabs the roll with the quarter will be rich in the coming year. You get the opportunity to spin the bread once before eating. We all grab a piece, but none of us comes up with a quarter initially. We note that Kerry is very slow in getting through his, whereas the rest of us tear ours apart. Lo and behold Kerry is the winner – he finds the quarter half way through dinner.

Tanya cannot stop taking pictures today...

Tanya cannot stop taking pictures today…

Tanya planned on taking a shower tonight, which is no easy task here, especially in the winter. I brought an old water pump from my boat to try and hook up as a new shower, and got to work on that while Tanya thawed out the old pump. Initially my old pump worked, but was not moving a lot of water. So I built a new bucket system that ported out from the bottom – more pressure through the pump. When I tested this the system had already frozen and water started to leak everywhere. So then we needed to re-assemble the old system. Finally she took a shower and the flow stopped halfway through. So she finished with pitcher. I realized that she never put the cage back on the water pump, so the suction was minimized. After replacing it the system was fine.

We were going to watch some BBC documentaries tonight but too tired. Bed by 2100.

-Chris

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