Yesterday, 3 enduring biologists boarded a sailboat in San Francisco Bay to bring out needed supplies and personel to a tiny island in the stormy Pacific. The name of the island: Southeast Farallon Island, barely 1/2 square mile in size and only 28 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge. So close, that the island is actually within city limits and is easily seen from the Golden Gate Bridge, Twin Peaks, or Marin Headlands on clear days.
What was the reason for this trip? To switch over from the shark/migratory landbird season (fall) to the elephant seal season (winter), so PRBO Conservation Science can continue the 35-year ongoing study of the Farallon seal colony. This season starts, when the big elephant seal bulls come back to the island in early December and ends in mid-March when the last of the breeding females (referred to as cows) depart.
These supply runs are provided by sail and motor boat skippers of the Farallon Patrol, men and woman who volunteer their time and (beautiful) boats to maintain the ongoing research on the island. Without their ceaseless efforts PRBO's Farallon research wouldn't be possible!
After a smooth 4 hour sailing cruise due west, the island finally was in sight, our new home for the next 3 1/2 months.