Great White Shark Expeditions to the Farallon Islands off of San Francisco
"Venture Ye not to the edge of the chart,
for here there be Monsters." ~ Ancient Map
Boats depart from San Francisco or Half Moon Bay somewhere between daybreak and 8 am.

We head right to the islands, which takes a little over two hours. Once we get there, we go around the main island at least once before settling in calm waters on the side of the island away from the open ocean.

There we drift, watching the area for attacks as Great Whites hunt juvenile sea lions and elephant seals that are still learning about life in shark-infested waters.


Sometimes, a white shark will approach the boat.

Occasionally sharks will breach, just like on the Shark Week TV series on Discovery Channel.

Mostly, we see sharks cruising the area and in actual attacks that may last for a few seconds to a few minutes.

We can not chum the waters with bait, nor tow a fake seal lure like they do in other locations (and for all but a couple of those TV videos from South Africa).

However, the odds are good that you will see a shark if you keep your attention on the water.

Bring good binoculars and a camera with a long lens.

There is plenty to see, and the photo ops are fantastic.

Just remember that this trip is similar to visiting Africa and watching a lion eat a zebra; if we are lucky, we will see several thousand pounds of shark stalk, kill and devour a thousand pound juvenile northern elephant seal.

And you might watch with empathy as a cute little seal pup tries to use our boat to hide from a hungry set of jaws... but a shark has to eat too.

The abundance of marine life in the Gulf of the Farallones is astonishing. The ocean off of our coast is considered the most productive marine ecology on the Pacific Coast from Mexico to Alaska.

The ecosystem begins with currents upwelling from the depths to the continental shelf, bringing nutrients to feed massive shoals of krill, squid and bait fish.

Everything feeds on them.

At the top of the year-round resident food chain are the Elephant Seals, Sea Lions and for the first time in a century, Fur Seals.

However, our San Francisco population of Great White Sharks are our local apex predator (except for two know cases where visiting Killer Whales killed and ate a shark).

We'll drift around the calm waters protected from the wind and waves by the island, right where the various marine mammals pass each day to hunt for fish.

The shark's prey are always moving fast while commuting to and from the island... they know a massive surprise attack can happen at any time during Great White Shark season.

If we're lucky, we might see a couple of seals or sea lions get eaten...





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