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On Board Activities

Dolphin Watching

South Jersey is one of the best places on the East Coast to observe wild Bottlenose Dolphins, which are seen on approximately 90% of these trips.  They regularly inhabit the waters of Southern New Jersey from April to November.   Dolphin group sizes off southern New Jersey range from approximately 3-300 animals and since many Bottlenose Dolphin calves are born right off our coast, newborn babies are commonly seen.  If encountered, dolphins may be engaged in activities such as playing, feeding, traveling, mating, socializing, and even bow riding (racing within feet of the front of our boat) or wake jumping (jumping out of the waves created by the boat).

Trawl Net Specimen Collection

Students will use a trawl net to collect live marine specimens.  A handful of student volunteers help deploy the net and everyone on board helps to pull it up.  What better way to learn about hard manual labor than to actually be forced into it, right?  Once “the catch” is on board, it is sorted and the students will learn interesting facts about each of the specimens.  A variety of crustaceans, mollusks, echinoderms, fish, and algae are always a likely catch.  This is one of the highlights of the trip.

Plankton Studies

You will be amazed by what you see in one drop of water!  After towing a plankton net, our instructors will use microscopes and HD video equipment to introduce your group to the amazing world of Plankton inside our “Plankton Lab”.  Students will get a brief overview from instructors then divide into smaller groups to view and identify planktonic organisms.

Live Animal Touch Tank

There is no better way to learn about sea creatures than to get hands-on.  The instructors will introduce the students to a variety of live marine organisms and give them the opportunity to touch them while learning about them.

Horseshoe Crabs

The Delaware Bay has a higher concentration of horseshoe crabs than anywhere else on planet earth.  Students will be enlightened to the importance of these amazing “living fossils” while learning about their adaptations, anatomy, life cycles, and more.

Teachers/Chaperones: Teachers attend programs free of charge!  However, parent/non-teacher chaperones will be charged at the student rate and we expect all chaperones to be involved in the program, assisting the students and our instructors, and setting a good example. The following adult to student ratios are required for our programs:

  • Grades 2-4:      1 adult for every 5 students
  • Grades 5-8:      1 adult for every 8 students
  • Grades 9-12     1 adult for every 15 students

Group Sizes: Due to boat sizes and safety regulations, group size limits are strict.  Cape May/Wildwood programs can accommodate up to 125 people.

Cape May/Wildwood Location and Boat Information: The boat dock is located in Wildwood Crest, Cape May County, New Jersey.  The cruise will take the group via the inland waterways through beautiful salt marshes, Cape May Harbor, out Cape May inlet and into the Atlantic Ocean.  The boat does not travel far from shore. We will be using the 105 foot Atlantic Star or the 70 foot Starlight of the Starlight Fleet, which are owned and operated by JJC Boats, Inc, a fully insured charter boat company.  Both vessels are U.S. Coast guard inspected and certified and are extremely safe with ample seating, shelter, and two small bathrooms.

Registration Procedure: Reservations are made by email (preferred) or phone on a first come first served basis.  Please email to book a program.