We are accepting reservations for our Farallon Island expeditions in September. Sign up below.
Hundreds of Humpback Whales feed in our Sanctuary each year among other amazing marine wildlife, including Blue Whales, Fin Whales, leaping Thresher Sharks and even endangered Leatherback Sea Turtles. Sharktober is when the white sharks return from their 4000 miles plus migration, and a source of our celebration. We focus on shark conservation and the health of the entire marine ecosystem in our recently expanded National Marine Sanctuary. Although we will seek and talk about sharks- these trips are conservation and outdoor marine education and not explicitly shark watching trips.
Advance sign ups for September.
Student discount requires active enrollment and ID day of the cruise. Group and special discounts are available. If you can’t join us, please join one of our Bay Area Sharktober events, or consider a tax deductible Donation so we can continue fighting for sharks.
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).
Now 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.
PURCHASE ADVANCE TICKETS HERE to join this exclusive expedition.
* These exclusive trips will talk about the natural history of the Great White Shark and other local species. We will linger near the island searching for a 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. As wildlife viewing and timing allow we may visit the Continental Shelf to view pelagic species!
Please join us on the Vessel by 0730 to begin boarding for an 0800 departure.
Most trips depart from San Francisco. We are arranging the vessel for fall.
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 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 is Prohibited onboard.
Departure and 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. Sometimes, the wind will kick up in the afternoon, forcing an earlier return. Be prepared for windy and wet conditions. If the trip is advance canceled due to weather, we will book another opportunity or a $15 processing fee will be deducted from your refund.
An email will be sent out the evening before and a recorded message on 415 350-3790 will be left with updated trip instructions if there is a condition requiring rescheduling. 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 up to Drakes Bay in more sheltered waters. No refunds can be given once the boat has departed the Bay.
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, you will receive a credit on another trip or a refund, less a $15 processing fee, within 30 days of cancellation.
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.
An advance refund is allowed after booking if received 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. We will do everything possible to accommodate date changes but reservations cannot be changed within 7 days due to scheduling demands.
Boarding requires climbing up and down a six foot ladder. The vessel cannot safely accommodate wheelchairs or persons with mobility problems. Special accommodations may be made at the Captain/Owner’s discretion. The vessel is equipped with all required US Coast Guard life safety equipment including communications, fire extinguishers, first aid and man overboard equipment.
For safety no young children or babies are allowed aboard. Youth between 10 and 16 accompanied by parents are encouraged. Please consult with us for making a reservation for anyone under the age of 12 years.
Smoking is 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.
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 and attendance acknowledges your acceptance of the above conditions. The trip leaders and Shark Stewards assume no responsibility for personal injury or loss.
* 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 operator for more details or questions.