I've been wanting to do this tour for years and finally got a chance yesterday. Unfortunately you have to book so far in advance that the weather conditions are a bit of a gamble, and in this case we lost. Looks like one of my fellow passengers has already reviewed our trip and I agree that it should have been canceled. The policy (I believe) is to issue refunds for any trip under four hours, and the converse of that is that as long as they keep us out for four hours they don't have to issue refunds. So we started out with an extended tour of the Bay that you can do with any tour operator, then spent 2 hours fighting our way out to the closest Farallon Island, floated there for a little while, and headed back to SF. Total time on the boat was about 6 hours, the best wildlife sighting was a humpback in the Golden Gate, and pretty much everybody was seasick to some extent. I understand that the Oceanic Society can't control the weather and I would actually really like to try this again, but don't want to risk spending another day like yesterday. I'm at a loss as to why they let the trip go out yesterday.
I do want to give credit to our excellent crew - Susan, Alicia, and Jared - who made the best of a bad situation, did a stellar job keeping everybody safe and as warm as possible, and consistently lifted our spirits. We could tell they were disappointed too, but they stayed professional and friendly throughout. Most of the passengers were pretty unhappy and the crew managed to prevent that from escalating into something worse.
For anybody else considering this tour, look at the other reviews here and know that you'll probably have a much better experience than we did, but understand the risks (and it would be interesting to know more about under what circumstances they actually do cancel the trip). Here are a couple of other specifics you'll want to know:
* Coffee, tea, and drinkable water are provided on the boat. Food is not, and you'll probably want sandwiches or something simple like that.
* It gets COLD on the boat, and there's a decent chance you'll get wet. My girlfriend wore her skiing outfit and she was still cold. They're not kidding when they say "bring layers". I'd add that the coffee and tea are piping hot and they help a bit.
* There are toilets on the boat (maybe that's obvious).
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