We (Jan Roletto-Reserach coordinator at the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary- and I ) were lucky enough to take a Coast Guard Helicopter to the Farallones yesterday. Our crew, Ian, Matt and Ricky were awesome. They took us past Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard, AT&T park, Fort Mason and over the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a beautifully clear day. I had never been in a helicopter and was a bit nervous, but it was fun and really fast. We were circling the island only 25 minutes after we left the deck at the Coast Guard air station near SFO. The guys were just as excited as us to fly over a pod of grey whales and I got a great shot of them!
They also swung us by the north Farallon islands…..
It is amazing to see the seasonal changes on the island. With the winter rains the Lasthenia maritima-Maritime goldfields or ‘Farallon weed’ has really exploded. It is so green. Here are two pictures of the island. The first is from last November and the next is from yesterday. The difference is amazing!
The island crew and research focus have changed too! Derek, Monica, Amanda and Steven and have been out on the island for three months studying elephant seals (more later).
Today we are monitoring at ‘Dead Sea Lion Flat’
The camera is pointed there now:
More on our super rainy monitoring next-Rebecca