Hello Docents, thanks to all of you who were in the park this last weekend. By all accounts, the weekend was a huge success and docents have played a significant role in that success. Because the seals have taken over Drakes Beach, we have made a number of significant changes in the way that we are managing the weekend. Please read ALL of the below notes to better prepare you for your upcoming shifts:

  • Access – the Drakes Beach Access road is only open 9am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday. Docents, displaying a permit, may enter prior to 9am on Saturday/Sunday to prepare for their shifts. If there are law enforcement officers or traffic aides at the closure, please stop and get their permission prior to entering the closure. If nobody is present at the closure, you may move a cone and drive into the closure. BE SURE THAT YOU REPLACE THE CONE SO THAT THE PUBLIC DOES NOT FOLLOW YOU. If you don’t have your permit displayed, please wait until the road opens at 9am to come down to KPVC. Docents are NOT permitted inside the closure during the week. You will be ticketed.
  • Hours of Operation 9am to 5pm – because the road is open to the public at 9am, I am going to move the start time of our morning meeting to 9am. Our goal is to be deployed at Drakes by 930am. Carlo and I will remain at Drakes until 5pm when the road closes and visitors are required to leave. Any docents that are able to stay until 5pm are certainly encouraged to do so. That said, I do recognize that this makes for a long day. Your safety is important so if you feel that this is too long to be on your feet or if you are worried about being able to get home safely, please feel free to leave earlier. I just ask that you check in with Carlo or me prior too leaving.
  • Morning meeting – is now at 9am, in KPVC near the payphone.
  • Logistics – For those that haven’t seen the setup at Drakes, the entire beach is closed, as is the sidewalk, the first row of parking spaces in front of the ice plant and part of the walkway near the picnic tables by the VC.
  • Safety – while this is an awesome opportunity for interpretation, safety is our primary goal. If you see seals moving toward the parking lot, all docents are expected to act quickly to move visitors to a safe area. This simply means moving visitors back from the area that the seals are moving toward.
  • Schedule – the Doodle Poll remains open. I have also increased the max number of docents from 16 to 20. If you want to change your schedule and/or add days to make up for missed shifts during the closure, please feel free to do so directly in the poll. There is no need to send mail asking if it is ok.
  • Hourly talks – we’re going to start to do scheduled eseal talks for the public. Please let me know if this is something that you are interested in doing. Note that we are not going to be doing guided walks inside the closure area.
  • Visibility with park staff  – because of the press coverage and the size of the colony at KPVC, there is a lot of focus on Drakes Beach. Many folks in the leadership team came out to Drakes this last weekend. They weren’t in uniform and came to the beach simply as members of the public. All were happy to see the engagement of the docents and all had positive reports. Please keep this trend going! Rumor has it that the super intendant may be out this coming weekend. 🙂
  • Media – the press has been at Drakes to do stories about the seals. If press approaches you, please direct them to Carlo. Docents aren’t allowed to provide information or do any on camera interviews with the press.
These are fun and exciting times for the WWD program. I can honestly say that this last Sunday was one of the best days that I have had as a docent. The visitors are engaged and excited to learn about the seals. I am looking forward to seeing you all in the park over the coming weeks.
Please let me know if you have any questions, thoughts or concerns.
Thanks again for being part of this program!!