Hello docents, thanks to each of you, we’re off to an awesome start this season. I wanted to send a mid-season email with a significant upcoming change.

  • Increasing resources on Drakes Beach – we’ve had a number of challenges at Drakes this year with people entering the closure, getting too close to seals and dog encounters. Carlo and I have decided to focus more docents on this location to help to mitigate these events. Because there are typically seals on the beach, close to the VC, we have a great opportunity to reduce the impact of problems and to have more positive contacts with visitors. Some you already recognize the awesomeness of being a docent at Drakes and I am sure that others will come to appreciate it even more as the season progresses. 🙂 We’re going to start staffing this location with 4-5 docents each weekend day. This will be our top priority and we will staff the remaining locations after Drakes has been filled.
  • Changes in the morning meeting to arrive on location earlier – we’d like to maximize the time that docents are on location. With our current process, docents don’t arrive at Drakes until around 11a, the busses begin at 930a so we’ve lost 90 minutes to interact with visitors and mitigate problems. We’re going to try a radical mid-season change:
      1. Change of morning meeting time AND location – starting on Saturday, February 3rd, the morning meeting will begin at 930am at Drakes Beach. We will be at a picnic table in the back of the parking lot (near the pond)If you do not know where the pond is, please ask us. . For most of you this will make the morning a bit easier. While the 930a start is earlier, the location is about 20 minutes closer than the Lighthouse Office and it will mean fewer cars sharing the LH access road with visitors. We do recognize that this will be marginally less convenient for folks that enjoy the benefit of staying at the lifeboat station, but we believe that this change will better serve our goal of having a positive impact on visitor experiences as well as ensuring the safety of both visitors and seals.
      2. The meeting will begin at 930 sharp so please be on time. 🙂
      3. A 15 minute meeting – We’ll kickoff with 5 minutes of announcements, followed by 5 minutes for the daily assignments and we’ll conclude with 5 minutes for questions. Docents will then gather equipment and make their way directly to each site. Docents will be able to get current numbers via pen/paper or cell phone photos before departing.
  •  A few of you have asked if e seal updates can be sent ahead of time. Please do check the website (address below) for updates on elephant seals, whale talks, etc. Each Friday evening we post Sarah Codde’s elephant seal update. The current update, as well as previous ones, is located in the Docent Resources section. This is a great way to get the current numbers as well as interesting e-seal specifics. “It’s Not Snot” was a great read in the January 11th update. 🙂
I realize that this is a significant mid-season adjustment, however, we are excited to make the change and believe that this will help us to better achieve our goals. This change will save time, be better for the environment and increase safety. You patience, as we work through any issues, is very much appreciated.
Thanks again to you all for your time, effort, passion to have a positive impact on visitors’ experiences and your help to protect the park resources.
Image by Barbara Lutes