Race Rocks Lighthouse

Race Rocks Lighthouse

ca Canada

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When Is the Best Time

When Is the Best Time

You may pass the Race Rocks Ecologic Reserve during a whale watching tour. If the sea is calm and it's sunny, you will be able to spot marine mammals.

If you are kayaking and experienced in open sea kayaking, you can plan a tour from Pedder Bay Marina. To cross the one nautical mile passage over to Race Rocks should only be attempted by experienced paddlers. You need to have the necessary skills to handle the potentially hazardous currents and waves that can be experienced in this area. Therefore checking the weather forecast and the currents for Race Passage is essential.

Make sure you know the guidelines published for accessing or approaching the Ecologic reserve as at Race Rocks the aim is to restrict any activity which causes birds and mammals disturbance. It's recommended to not approach closer than 100 meters to any marine mammal, including those on the rocks.

Although fog can appear at any time at Race Rocks, it is more likely in August and September. During these months you will be faced with strong winds >25 mph. Precipitation Is on average per year between 300 and 500 mm and only the summer months are relatively dry.

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Where and Tips

British Columbia, Vancouver Island

The Race Rocks Lighthouse is the second oldest lighthouse beside Fisgard Lighthouse which was finalized only 6 weeks before in 1860. It was in operation from December 26th, 1860 until 1997. Since then it is automated, and the more modern light station buildings have been in use as an ecological research station.

Soon after starting operation it became obvious that the lighthouse tower was difficult to see during the day if a ship approaches it from the west. Therefore the first lighthouse keeper painted the tower with distinctive black and white stripes. These markings give the Race Rock's lighthouse its unique appearance. The lighthouse was restored and repainted in 2009 in time for its 150th-anniversary celebration in 2010. Its name Race Rocks refers to the tidal race which passes the rocky outpost at speeds of up to 8 knots.

Race Rocks is an Ecological Reserve designated by the British Columbia Parks Ministry. The reserve is also a designated Marine Protected Area. Because of the location in this high tidal current area, there is an exceptional variety of marine life to be found, including marine mammals, seabirds, fish, marine invertebrates, and marine algae and seagrass.

You may see California and Northern sea lions, and it's also a birthing area for Harbour seals. In addition, it is the most north located birthing colony on the Pacific Coast of elephant seals.

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