Life of The Farallon Islands
Affectionately known as San Francisco’s “Galapagos Islands” the Farallon Islands serve as one of the most biologically rich and important habitats along the western coast of the United States. Come do what 99% of San Francisco residents never do… hop aboard a boat and ride out under the Golden Gate Bridge to visit one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world. The Farallon Islands, just 27 miles off the coast of San Francisco, lie amid the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, a food-rich marine ecosystem that attracts whales, dolphins, seals and seabirds each summer and fall, to feed and to breed. Researchers have catalogued hundreds of individual humpbacks and blue whales as seasonal feeding residents. Twenty three species of marine mammals, including eighteen species of whales and dolphins, can be found here. The Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge is the largest seabird rookery in the contiguous United States with nesting Tufted Puffins, Pigeon Guillemots, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres and other species. Migratory seabirds such as Shearwaters, Jaegers, and Phalaropes are also attracted by these nutrient-rich waters. Island beaches are covered with sea lions, including massive Steller’s sea lions, now on the Endangered Species List.
We will start out in San Francisco on Saturday with a classroom presentation about the National Marine Sanctuary and then follow that up with a photography how-to presentation giving you an introduction to your DSLR. You will learn some useful tips that will allow you to keep your head up with your eyes on the horizon and in search of whales. Then on Sunday, we will meet at the marina in Sausalito to hop aboard a boat and head out under the Golden Gate bridge for an all day excursion through the marine sanctuary, around the Farrallon Islands and maybe even out to the continental shelf. This sanctuary is teeming with life and we are sure to see some unusual sights along the way.
Reservations: General Admission: $220 | Early Birds: $180. (Tickets must be purchased at least 30 days prior to the trip to avoid cancellation.) Participation is limited to adults ages 18 and above. Total workshop group size will be limited to 10 people at a minimum and 30 people maximum.