Just a few more vignettes from our team's days excavating fossil whales on rocky intertidal platforms south of the Carmanah Lighthouse, in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island.
The beastly Polar Bear cart (payload maximum of 450 lbs) proved invaluable in the field, as it hauled gear, forged across knee-deep rivers and could withstand a few bumps while being roped down the many ladders of the West Coast Trail. Here, Liz Nesbitt and Bob Shadwick haul gear down the beach. (Photo: J. A. Goldbogen).
As mentioned in the Ocean Portal blog post, we used a 16-inch diamond bladed rock saw, one of the largest hand-held models on the market. Tanked full, it is fairly heavy, and requires a lot of forethought (and safety protection). When working with mudstones, it makes many days of chiseling go by in minutes, which was important when working in between tides. (Photo: J. A. Goldbogen).
Tired hands, dirty faces, but a lot of enjoyment out of a job well done. Using the rock saw for a few hours takes a toll. J. A. Goldbogen and NDP share a laugh after racing off the platform as incoming tide spells the end of another work day. (Photo: J. A. G. and R. E. Shadwick)
Did we mention that we're working in a National Park? This is a fairly typical part of our 3 km walk in between the field site and the lighthouse (where we stayed), although it does mean several hundred feet of ladder usually with heavy bags and gear. Some of the spruce and fir trees in this part of the island are among the oldest in North America, easily tallying at over 500 years old. 25 million year old whale fossils is one thing, but 500 year old trees is really mind-blowing. (Photo: J. A. Goldbogen)