The Farallon Islands, part of San Francisco, are home to the largest colony of nesting seabirds in the contiguous United States. Credit Joshua Hull/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
San Francisco these days doesn’t feel so wild to me, but then I step off its shores and head out into the bay. I think about how stunning it must have been when explorers first arrived at its mouth. People commute mindlessly over the Golden Gate Bridge day after day without realizing that whales, sea lions, seals and harbor porpoises congregate here still. Venture a little farther out from shore, to the Farallon Islands, and you get a sense of what it was like to truly feel wild, remote, at sea.