Sharktober Expedition Sharktober Expedition

Take a journey to the Devil’s Teeth.  Join Shark Conservationist and Naturalist David McGuire and other wildlife specialists celebrating sharks in a life-changing experience searching the Gulf of the Farallones for whales, wildlife and our finny friends. These specialized natural history tours focus on science and adventure, delving into geological, biological and historical aspects of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and the San Francisco Bay.

Join us exiting beneath the Golden Gate for amazing photo and wildlife opportunities and crossing 28 miles across the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary on a modern day Natural History expedition.

These are Farallon Island -ecocentric expeditions. We focus on sharks and shark conservation, and the marine wildlife of the Gulf of the Farallones. We are a non-profit and not a commercial enterprise, and lead specialized trips during “Sharktober.”

PLEASE NOTE: our trips are ecosystem, conservation and education wildlife trips and not explicitly shark watching trips. While we focus on shark biology and behavior while at the island and may possibly see a predation or dorsal fin, these are not the primary focus of our trips. If you want to join a shark viewing/cage diving trip please visit the NOAA Sanctuary site for conditions and recommended operators.


Directions

In September we will be using the vessel Silver Fox for the 2017 season, departing from Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco. The vessel is located next to Castagnola’s  Restaurant at 286 Jefferson St.

Please join us on the Vessel by 0730 to begin boarding for an 0800 departure. These trips are approximately 8 hours, but can run over a half hour.

Sharktober ExpeditionHumpback

About

Called the Devils Teeth by ancient mariners, these rugged, remote rocky islands host some of the most abundant and diverse marine life in the world.

Several species of cetaceans are found near the Farallon Islands, most frequently gray whales, blue whales, and humpback whales.

Five species of pinniped come to shore on the islands, and in some cases breed. These are the northern elephant seal, harbor seal, Steller’s sea lion, California sea lion, and the northern fur seal (the last of which, like the Rhinoceros Auklet, began to return to the island again after protection).

As part of the Fish and Wildlife system, the Farallon Islands are an important reserve protecting a huge seabird colony. The islands’ position in the highly productive California Current and Eastern Pacific upwelling region, as well as the absence of other large islands that would provide suitable nesting grounds, result in a seabird population of over 250,000. Twelve species of seabird and shorebird nest on the islands; Western Gull, Brandt’s Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant, Double-crested Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Common Murre, Cassin’s Auklet, Tufted Puffin, Black Oystercatcher,Rhinoceros Auklet, Ashy Storm-petrel, and Leach’s Storm-petrel.

 

* These exclusive trips explore and explain the natural history of the Great White Shark and other local species. We will linger near the island searching for shark predation or other signs but we cannot attract sharks nor is this a shark trip. Although it is highly likely we will see many amazing species of wildlife, there is NO GUARANTEE of seeing sharks, whales or other specific wildlife. This is Nature- but lucky for us there is a lot of it out there and we have never been disappointed. This is not a Shark Viewing trip, but a shark conservation and wildlife appreciation experience. As wildlife viewing and timing allow we may visit the Continental Shelf to view pelagic species!

Departure

Please join us on the Vessel by 0730 to begin boarding for an 0800 departure. PARKING is metered and timed in the region.  Parking garages are nearby, the nearest is on Jones and Beach.  Street parking where marked is available free on the streets on Sunday. The trolley runs directly past the dock, and we encourage ride shares.

The boat cannot wait for latecomers. We will go out in fog, light rain or small craft warnings (very unusual this time of year) at the captain’s discretion but the boat needs to leave on time. We will return to the Bay about 4:00-4:30 p.m. Allow for delays, especially if unusual wildlife is encountered. Trips may be truncated or rescheduled if weather conditions deteriorate. See departure and refund details below.

Weather & Trip Rescheduling

Although this is the best time of year to cross the Gulf, weather can be a problem outside of the San Francisco Bay. Light rain or fog generally do not result in cancellations. Decisions regarding cancellation may be made on the morning of the trip in unusual conditions, or the evening before based on the most current weather report. We will make our best estimate of weather conditions the evening before and if conditions warrant a cancellation may be made. Notification will be provided via Universe. Consult the rescheduling, refunding and cancellation policy below.

Call into 415 350-3790 for a recorded message at 8:00 PM the evening before. We will make every attempt to inform you by email or this site beforehand but cannot personally contact the entire passenger list by telephone.

For passenger safety and comfort, once the vessel has left the Golden Gate routes up or down coast will be determined by the Captain. If conditions deteriorate this may be a coastal trip and the Gulf will be crossed at the Captain’s discretion. There is still plenty of wildlife viewing at Drakes Bay or Pacifica in more sheltered waters. No refunds can be given once the boat has left the dock.

Refunds & Changes

The captain and operator will make the determination to depart, generally the evening before based on the current forecast. Trips may be canceled in advance due to undersubscription, hazardous weather conditions, Acts of God or emergency. If the trip is canceled for any of these reasons, we will honor your ticket on another trip. If desired, you will receive a refund, less a $15 processing fee, within 30 days of cancellation.

An advance refund is allowed if received by email or through Universe within 7 days of the departure date. You must have confirmation for the return to be valid minus a $15 processing fee for each canceled reservation.

Cancellation within 7 days of the scheduled departure time cannot be refunded. You will have the option to attend a trip at a later date at no penalty provided there is space. Due to scheduling we cannot accommodate repeat scheduling changes. We will honor your reservation for one year from date of first booking with 7 days advance notice.

In no event shall our liability exceed the obligation to refund more than the amount you paid to us. If you should miss your trip due to airline changes, cancellations, terrorist acts, acts of war, or related incidents, your fee will not be refundable. There are no exceptions to this policy. Once the boat has left the dock, no refunds can be given.

Safety and Access

Boarding requires climbing up and down a six foot ladder. The vessel cannot safely accommodate wheelchairs or persons on crutches or persons with mobility problems due to conditions at sea and access to the boat. Special accommodations may be made at the Captain/Owner’s discretion but advance notice is required. The vessel is equipped with all required US Coast Guard life safety equipment including communications, fire extinguishers, first aid and man overboard equipment. For your safety, persons with leg or other injuries, immobility or pregnancy are discouraged.

* Note- this is a wildlife experience. Although it is highly likely we will see many amazing species of wildlife, there is no guarantee of seeing sharks, whales or other specific wildlife. This is Nature. This is not a Shark Viewing trip, but a shark conservation experience.

Contact the organizer for more details or questions.

This is a long day in the elements. Young children and babies are not allowed by the Captain. Youth over 10 accompanied by parents are encouraged! Please consult with us for making a reservation for anyone under the age of 10 years.

Sea Sickness
The Gulf of the Farallones can have rough waters. Seasick remedies are highly recommended, and they must be consumed prior to boarding to be effective. If you have not used these in the past please check with your doctor first, and read the directions on the label. A full night’s rest the night before is important. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages the night prior to your trip and eat a healthy meal before boarding. Please avoid colognes and perfumes or other scents or food that may make you or other passengers queasy. Remedies like dried ginger have results for many. Other remedies include over-the-counter drugs, like Dramamine and Bonine, and prescription products like scopolamine patches. A new A new FDA-approved device, called the ReliefBand, sends a small electrical current through the same spot and has had positive reviews.

We do not endorse any specific remedies, but no alcohol and rest the night before, a good breakfast (low grease or fat,) hydration and healthy snacks are all recommended. Here is a good survey article on motion seasickness.

What to Bring

  • Bring layers of clothing. Sweaters and sweatshirts covered by a waterproof jacket or rain slicker work best. Long pants, hats and gloves are helpful. Wind on the water can cool the temperatures significantly.
  • Please no sandals or open toed shoes. Soft soled deck shoes, sneakers or sea boots are desirable.
  • Cameras and binoculars. Covers, towels or plastic bags can protect your equipment from spray.
  • Field guides. We will have a one page handout and some references and displays aboard but you may want your own.
  • Hats and sunscreen. You can still get a sunburn even in the fog.
  • Food, Water and Drink. There is some tap water aboard but please bring plenty of food, snacks and liquids. Water bottles- please keep it green and bring reusable bottles. Sharktober bottles and shark shirts will be available for purchase on board. Food is not available on board. Pretzels, crackers and carbonated beverages during the trip can be helpful to settle your stomach. Alcohol is discouraged. Smoking and Vaping is Prohibited onboard.

Please no large coolers! Stowage space is limited.

 

FAQs

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

yes- at sharksteward@gmail.com

Is my registration/ticket transferrable?

Yes- with prior notice to the operator- no transfers or changes within 48 hours of departure.

Can I update my registration information?

yes

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

A print out is helpful-but we will have a printed manifest.

What is the refund policy?

We will honor a ticket on another trip if the cancellation is made 7 days in advance of your scheduled departure. See above for more details.

Other

Illegal drugs, smoking or vaping tobacco are not permitted on the boat. To be present to this adventure we request that you please turn off cell phones and pagers while on the boat. This is a green, low impact trip so please plan on minimizing plastic or other single use containers and hang onto anything that might enter the ocean.

We cannot be liable for loss or damage to your personal property while onboard the vessel.

Acknowledgement and Liability

Receipt of this contract via ticket purchase acknowledges your acceptance of the above conditions. The leaders and Shark Stewards assume no responsibility for personal injury or loss.