Blog

Growing Interpretive Skills

It is a rainy Thursday here in San Francisco and I am excited to head up to the park tomorrow for a weekend with visitors, docents, park staff, and wildlife. Ron M and I stayed late at Drakes last Sunday and had a ton of visitor contacts between 415p and 545p. I was stationed at the closure sign and at one point found myself giving an interpretive elephant seal talk to 30+ people. There were two sub-adult males about 35…

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The Ken Patrick Crew!

Along with your valuable work as Winter Wildlife docents, there is a partner operation staffed by a hardy crew at the Ken Patrick Visitor Center. They not only sell the tickets that get people onto the shuttles and into your hands at Whales and E seals but they often give visitors their initial glimpse into the world of gray whales and e seals. And they will back you up should you need it! So please get into the KPVC when…

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Drakes Beach – a mid season update

Happy Friday Docents, we’re beyond the midpoint in the season and there have been lots of changes to our process at Drakes. I thought that it would be worth a quick post on WWD activities at Drakes Beach. A HUGE thanks to those of your that have spent time at Drakes over the last month. Law enforcement rangers and Sarah Codde are quite appreciative. Our efforts here are are making a huge difference. The below bullets, should answer a few…

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Wild Winds Can’t Keep Docents Down During President’s Day Weekend!

The howling 60+mph winds made whalewatching difficult (thanks to Karen and Drew for spotting the 7 seen today!) but visitors were treated to docent-led whale programs on Saturday by Frank and by Marta today. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge! Frank captivated people with stories about kayaking with whales surfacing so close to him that he could reach out and infest himself with lice. đŸ˜‰ Marta had a packed house in the NOAA section of the lighthouse visitor…

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Community Meal at the Lifeboat Station

Hello Docents, my apologies for the dearth of blog posts over the last 1-2 weeks. I wanted to share an experience from last week. After sending the reminder email for the upcoming docent shifts, I received an invitation to dinner at the lifeboat station on Saturday night. Dinner was to be potluck style and I happily signed up for dessert. When I arrived at the lifeboat station, pasta, salad and bread were all being prepared. The coffee table was moved…

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Feb 3rd / 4th – weekend update

It was a beautiful weekend out in the park. Temperatures reached the low 70s and the sun was out both on Saturday and on Sunday. Some of the noteworthy happenings over the last week: In her weekly report to all staff of Point Reyes National Seashore, the park superintendent specifically called out the Winter Wildlife Docent Program and praised the program’s rapid re-evaluation and response with new check-in/out procedures in light of the Lassen investigation and safety review. Thank you…

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Docent Safety Reminders

Hello docents, just a quick note to say that the safety of the volunteers at Point Reyes National Seashore is a top priority. Here are some reminders to help to ensure that we remain safe during our time in the park. If you or others with whom you are volunteering ever feel unsafe, cease all activities immediately, assess the situation, and determine the best next steps. Maintain situational awareness. We are in a dynamic environment. Weather, tides, seals, vehicles, ticks,…

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New Location & Time for the Morning Meeting – 930am @ Drakes Beach

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…

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Tribute to a Fallen Comrade

Docents, It is with deep regret that I report the retirement of the e seal wagon. This sturdy comrade was a steady presence for, regretfully, two or three short seasons before suffering catastrophic failure on its way back from the e seal overlook yesterday. As you can see, it suffered a remarkable collapse at a critical welded joint. Thankfully, Sean was with it in its last moments and brought it back to the lighthouse office where we will soon bid…

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Sterling Kicks off the Whale Program!

It was fitting that Sterling, a charter volunteer of Winter Wildlife, became the first docent this season to take up the Journey of the Whales program.  Being a humble man, he will tell you it turned out OK but from what I saw, he crushed it. Over thirty visitors gained a new appreciation for Eschrichtius robustus, its life cycle, its habits, and its challenges. His professionalism, knowledge, and wry humor was on full display and visitors were all the more…

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