Before Bikini Atoll:
And now live video…
Well, this is news to me.
All the Feds want to do is kill off the mice of the Farallones and San Francisco is standing in the way?
Check out how our Federales scored a “rip-roaring conservation success” exterminating vermin up in Alaska at Hawadex Island, which was known for centuries as “Rat Island.”
I’ll tell you, I can’t name any of the “visionary policies and innovative programs” created by SF Environment that Director Deborah Raphael boasts of.
Can you, Gentle Reader?
One down, a million to go – here’s the big version, via nature photographer Jenny Erbes.
The biggest of the Farallones is in this shot, if you can spot it, 25 miles away…
Click to expand
This was a much better than average day for looking for the Farallones…
This is hard, this game of identifying the northernmost, southernmost, westernmost, and easternmost points of San Francisco.
If you guess, you’re going to make mistakes.
All right, in no particular order, here are the answers:
Seal Rock, aka Saddle Rock
North Farallon Islands
1. Northermost: Red Rock Island. It’s about eight miles north of Fisherman’s Wharf. Seems as if it’s always for sale. You can get there by kayak and then hike to the top if you want – put that on your bucket list.
As seen from the mainland of San Francisco. The Richmond San Rafael Bridge and East Brother Island are in the background:
Red Rock at 600mm on a very clear day. Don’t try this with your iPhone camera – your shot might not come out so hot.
And here it is as seen from Twin Peaks:
840mm, on a very clear day.
3. Westernmost: North Farallon Islands.
Actually, it’s this islet in the upper left here, seen with North Farallon Island and St. James Island in the lower right. (I’m surprised that this unnamed rock hasn’t yet been named for a longtime local political strongman like Willie Brown or Rose Pak):
As seen from the (old) Bay Bridge, the eastern span, the one that was never named for a local political strongman, like Willie Brown or Rose Pak:
Here are the four points, underlined, to sum up:
Oh, even better is if you let Google Maps highlight the county line in red. (If you zoom in on the linked page, you can also see a couple of places on Angel Island that Google similarly correctly ID’ed as parts of San Francisco.)
Thanks for playing!
UPDATE: Oh, man, you people are clever:
1. So what about SFO airport as southernmost? Well, that place is “owned and policed by the City and County of San Francisco, but is located in and entirely surrounded by adjacent San Mateo County.” So that’s why the San Mateo County Coroner was involved in the SFFD’s bungled handling of the Asiana 214 crash landing. Another situation would be with San Francisco’s O’Shaughnessy Dam up in Hetch Hetchy near Yosemite – a murder on top of that dam would be prosecuted by the Tuolumne County DA (or maybe the Feds – you all might be right, IDK), not by the SFDA. Don’t ask me about which DA would handle a stabbing at San Francisco Jails #5 or #6 down in San Bruno, San Mateo County. (Perhaps the counties have an agreement over prosecution? IDK.) OTOH, a crime on the western tip of Alameda Island would be handled by the SFDA.
2. And Candlestick Point (and the entire southern border of mainland SF)? It’s ever just ever north of the southernmost part of the Farallones – that’s a real close call.
Perhaps from a Raider’s game, or a black celebration:
Steller sea lion with Mylar balloons near Middle Farallon (photo by CS) – click to expand
Get all the deets on westernmost San Francisco from “Notes from Smellephant Island – The adventures of a wayward biologist living with seals on the Farallon Islands”
Here we go, from the USA Today from a few months back:
“Those suffering from musophobia would be wise to steer clear of the South Farallon Islands. The archipelago, which sits just 27 miles off San Francisco, is the most rodent-dense island in the world, with an average of 500 Eurasian house mice occupying each of its 120 acres (that’s 60,000 total).”
Now I’ll tell you, I have had it with these motherfucking mice on this motherfucking island.
So why don’t we finally get rid of them, like this:
(That’s posted on a either pro-mouse or anti-mouse website – I just can’t tell and don’t really care.)
A few years back, up in Alaska, the Feds killed off all the rats on Rat Island in the Rat Island Group:
See? That was a huge success. Now the chopper pilots were nervous up there ’cause a big storm was coming so they wanted to bug out of there with a quickness so they didn’t follow their marching orders very well so more bald eagles died than was necessary. But they killed all the rats on Rat Island, hurray!
All we need to do is nothing. Then the feds can get off their asses and start killing all the mice.
“More study” is NOT needed.
That’s your update.
A relatively fog-free day in the Sunset District.
From a higher sperspective in the Twin Peaks area, on an exceptionally clear morning.
Can you see the lighthouse on the top of South East Farallon Island?
Noisy Canon 10D at 840mm, from Christmas Tree Point Road, a skosh more than 30 miles away…
Check it, our very own Oceanic Society is kicking off annual Farallon Island whale watching season on May 26, 2012.
All the deets:
“WHALE WATCH/NATURE CRUISES TO FARALLON ISLANDS BEGIN MAY 26
San Francisco, California – Oceanic Society’s educational day long boat trips to the Farallon Islands, just 27 miles west of San Francisco, will operate May 26 through November 25, with departures available from San Francisco and Sausalito.
Blue whales (the largest animal to have ever lived on earth), Humpback whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Harbor porpoises, Risso’s dolphins and Northern right whale dolphins all may be encountered during the whale-watch cruises to the islands and the nearby continental shelf.
An exceptional wilderness area, the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge is the largest seabird rookery in the eastern Pacific south of Alaska – including nesting Tufted puffins, Pigeon guillemots, Rhinoceros auklets, Common murres, Black oystercatchers and cormorants. The Islands are also a breeding haven and home to California sea lions, northern elephant seals, Steller sea lions, Harbor seals and fur seals.
Though only scientists are permitted on the islands, the abundance of wildlife may be closely observed and photographed from aboard the Salty Lady, Oceanic Society’s 56-foot, Coast Guard-certified vessel. The boat holds 48 passengers.
Experienced naturalists lead each excursion to help identify seabirds and locate whales and interpret their behavior. The naturalists also provide informal discussions on marine wildlife and on the history of the islands. Passengers also benefit from the presence of whale researchers from the Cascadia Research Collective, scientists who have studied these whales since the early 1990’s.
Oceanic Society trips to the Farallon Islands depart Saturdays, Sundays and select Fridays from the Marina Green in San Francisco. Trips begin at 8 a.m. and last about eight hours. Passengers also have the option of departing at 7:15 a.m. from the Sausalito Clipper Yacht Harbor. The minimum age is 10, and an adult must accompany children under 15. Participants supply their own food and beverages.
The fee is $125 per person, with special group rates available. The fee includes a copy of “The Farallon Islands: Past, Present, and Future,” a 42-minute DVD produced by the Oceanic Society in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The DVD offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the natural and human history of the Farallon Islands and provides a virtual land tour of the islands. (Additional DVDs cost $15.)
Founded in 1969, the mission of the Oceanic Society is to protect marine wildlife and oceanic biodiversity through an integrated program of scientific research and environmental education. An official partner of the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, Oceanic Society has offered educational whale-watch cruises since 1984 and is the only nonprofit organization that offers whale-watch trips year round in the Bay Area.
Reservations for the Farallon Islands whale-watch trips are advised. Please call 415- 256-9941 or 800-326-7491 or register atwww.oceanicsociety.org. For recorded information on current wildlife sightings, call 415-258-8220.
Sea you there!
Like this one. See it? Here’s the big version, via nature photographer Jenny Erbes.
But so what. What’s the deal?
This is one of the things that the feds do right.
Like, they were so effective up north not too long ago that Rat Island will need a new name after 229 years.
So, hurry up Feds, we’re waiting on you…
See? No more Japanese rats from that shipwreck of the 18th century:
Click to expand
So why can’t the Feds do the same thing with our Farallon Islands?
Get cracking, Feds.