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Cape Fear-Atlantic Voyage

The "Cape Fear-Atlantic Voyage" is for groups that want the most "at sea" experience coupled with a lot of fishing action. This excursion is also a good trip for sighting dolphins and discovering marine life caught in a shrimp net. The exhilaration and freedom of being on the ocean is something the students will always remember. Many of your students will catch the first fish they have ever caught during this excursion!

We fish 3 miles offshore over sunken ships that provide a rich habitat for numerous species of fish. Everybody gets to fish! We provide all that is needed for fishing, including rods, tackle, and bait. The vast majority of the students catch fish on most trips. This includes students who have never fished before! It is a great thrill for the students to catch their very first fish. Likely catch includes sea bass, tom-tates, porgies, hog fish, blow fish, and lizard fish. In the early spring the catch also includes small sharks and bluefish. Taking students fishing is a great way to spark their interest in the natural sciences.

The fish that are caught will be studied to yield insights into their adaptations and behavior. Discussion will also include the role of shipwrecks and other reefs as habitats for marine life. Even the bait is interesting to study. The squid we put on the hooks is an important part of marine food webs, is an ancient form of marine life, and has a fascinating anatomy.

We also pull a shrimp net in order to collect a vast array of fish and invertebrates. The students learn about the marine life that is collected which often includes numerous species of fish, crabs, echinoderms, and sea anemones. Our instructors lead all activities and add insights to the students' discoveries. Bottlenose dolphin are often sighted during this trip. Other possible observations can include sea turtles, jellyfish, and sharks lurking around the boat as we fish.

photo by Mike Williamson

About the waters we travel through. Our course takes us through Carolina Beach yacht basin, the Intracoastal Waterway, the peaceful waters of Myrtle Grove Sound, and the vast Atlantic Ocean. The cruise starts out in Myrtle Grove Sound where snowy egrets are often seen stalking fish in the tidal flats. As we enter the Intercoastal Waterway, students will likely see barges, tugs, and sailboats that use this water highway.

Motion sickness: since we are traveling on the ocean, motion sickness is sometimes an issue with some participants during this program. If the ocean is too rough we can adapt the program so that we can usually do all the activities on the flat waters of the sound.