Landing on the Farallones

Our island is surrounded by vertical cliffs and open ocean, so it’s tricky to land here. Standard procedure is to winch the entire boat out of the water with a large crane, which then swings the boat ashore; in bad weather, landings are impossible. Even so, we get resupplied once every week (or three) via a network of volunteer yacht (er, sailboat) operators from San Francisco, who ferry supplies for the sake of reputation and adventure. Last week, our resupply boat endured 10 hours of 25-knot winds, 10-foot swells, and a thunderstorm after dark.

But we’ve now had our last resupply of the fall season. I’ll be going off on the next boat (along with the other three people here) on December 4th after two and a half months of island life. Time flies! For me, more adventures await; I’ll have a week at home before spending the winter in Costa Rica, where I’m scheduled to work from mid-December to mid-February. Can’t wait – it’s 42 degrees F today with a stiff west wind and rain squalls, about as cold as the Farallones ever get. (Looking forward to toucans and 90-degree beach days in a couple weeks.) But, first, I think the Farallones still have a couple surprises left…

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