Cape Cod Bay stretches out in all directions, its waters glittering under an azure sky. Here, razor bills, petrals, and shearwater circle over the cresting waves. Occasionally, a massive black flank breaks the surface, and a whale sprays a fountain of blow toward the sun. Such is the typical scene enjoyed by the passengers, U.S. Coast Guard?licensed captain, and crew aboard a Capt. John Boats tour.
Following more than six decades of tradition, the company's boats embark on whale-watching tours of Cape Cod Bay and Stellwagen Bank, passing landmarks such as Gurnet Light and Clark's Island on their quest to find local sea birds and marine life. All the while, on-board naturalists educate passengers about the local ecosystem. But Capt. John Boats' excursions aren't limited to observation?the boats also depart for private and group fishing trips ranging from just a few hours to multiple days. By dropping anchor or drifting with the tide, the captain teaches groups to ply the waters of local fishing grounds for seasonal catches.
A United States Coast Guard-certified captain, Captain Cullen Lundholm honed his sea legs at a young age. His father was a commercial rod and reel fisherman, and Cullen quickly developed a passion for the sea and a fisherman?s intuition, which he taps into during Cape Star Charters? watery excursions.
Captain Cullen has traveled the Eastern Seaboard and beyond, plucking fish from the waters of the Bahamas, the Gulf Stream, and Bermuda. But most days you can find him on his 26-foot Regulator Classic, steering his passengers through the Cape Cod waters intent on securing a memorable catch. Cullen equips his guests with Avet and Shimano reels and leads them to populated waters during half- or full-day excursions, where they can try their hand at catching Bluefin tuna, striped bass, fluke, and bonito. And since Cullen is on the water every fishable day from April through October, he has first-hand knowledge of where the fish are, what they are feeding on, and which fish are out visiting family at the aquarium.
Fish don’t say “cheese.” But that doesn’t stop captains Doug and Jeff Amorello from snapping photos of the monstrous striped bass and bluefish that their customers reel in. The two own Sashamy Sportfishing, where they orchestrate half-day fishing trips around Plymouth Harbor aboard their 36-foot charter fishing boat, Sashamy. As full-time fishermen, the duo knows their way around the area, and as family members, the two have a soft spot for promoting wholesome activities. They welcome all ages aboard their boat, fostering the future of fishing stories shared between fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, and teenagers and their cell phones.
A love of the deep sea and adventure was instilled in Captain Jeff DePersia at a young age, when his charter-fishermen relatives would take him out on trips across New England waters. Captain Jeff continued to fish throughout his life, gradually gaining a reputation as one of the most successful fishers of cod and tuna on the Cape and catching the eye of reporters from the Republican Herald. Today, the US Coast Guard–licensed captain shares his fishing expertise with others, captaining fishing charters across Stellwagen Bank and surrounding waters. Upon the sturdy docks of the captain's classic 35-foot T Jason Downeast boat, Jeff and his crew encounter an abundance of water dwellers, including tuna, striped bass, and occasionally Jimmy Hoffa in his secret submarine.
During the summer months, Stephen Fox and Eliza Gilford do their best to ensure that the verdant forests, rippling ponds, and white-sand beaches of Martha's Vineyard constantly echo with the laughter of children. As the owner and camp director, respectively, of Martha's Vineyard Adventure Camp, the duo engages children ages 7-15 in local exploration and education during adventure camps built on a wealth of wilderness activities.
Led by certified and experienced staff members, campers steer mountain bikes along winding trails in the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest, practice deep-sea fishing in the Vineyard Sound aboard a Coast-Guard-licensed boat, hike through wildlife sanctuaries, and hone kayaking skills in Sengekontacket Pond. Throughout the adventures, counselors keep kids focused on wilderness education, demonstrating ways to appreciate the outdoors without harming the ecosystem or asking the wrong raccoon for its autograph. Staff members also focus on safety; each counselor is CPR, first aid, and lifeguard certified, and is never in charge of more than six campers at a time.
In the depths of Cape Cod swim delicacies such as sea-bass and fluke. With backgrounds in both commercial and recreational fishing, the captains of Helen H Fleet lead anglers on trips for these catches, motoring to fishing grounds such as Nantucket Sound. The seven-boat fleet, which ranges from the 30-foot Sea Hawk to the 100-foot Helen H, lets the captains accommodate small charters of one to five anglers as well as party cruises. Crews rent out rods and reels, as well as sell refreshments in between anglers' bouts with feisty bass or boots stuck to the ocean floor. Targeted species change with the season, and Helen H Fleet's captains also charter whale- and seal-watching excursions whenever the creatures migrate along Cape Cod.