While waiting for a group of tour participants aboard his kayak on Cape Island Creek, Bob Lubberman made a new acquaintance when a 4-foot great blue heron landed on the nose of his boat. It's not an entirely new experience for the owner of Miss Chris Kayak Rentals and Tours, as opportunities to commune with nature came often as he crabbed and fished as a child from his grandmother's dock. Now he's able to connect visitors to this ecosystem as they independently paddle rented sit-on-top kayaks or as they participate in guided kayak or boat tours.
Paddlers on kayak tours often catch close-ups of ospreys, terns, and other birds, and see diamondback terrapin turtles sunning themselves on the shore or trying to hold their own ice-cream cones. Day and sunset tours let guests explore the wildlife-rich salt marshes, and night tours led during high tide let them paddle over grassy terrain to otherwise inaccessible areas. Guests explore similar territory on tours aboard the Osprey as they watch migrating shore birds or look out on the harbor's historic buildings. Kayak tour guides include an associate naturalist and a Cape May Bird Observatory field associate, and land-based staffers maintain a touch tank on the Miss Chris mooring dock, which they temporarily fill with conches, eels, and other sea life pulled up using open-sided conservation traps.
The ships that comprise The Starlight Fleet's squadron of vessels each transport passengers across the waves on a variety of sea adventures. The Starlight ferries fisherman on four-hour excursions to hook sea bass, flounder, croakers and triggerfish, the captain using sonar, GPS, and a knowledge of the currents to identify prime fishing real estate. The Atlantic Star typically serves as a whale-watching vessel and is kitted out with a snack-filled galley and a touch tank filled with horseshoe crabs and other local sea life.
The company even boasts its very own pirate ship, The Dark Star, a custom-designed vessel built by Naval Architect Michael LeMole. It takes passengers on swashbuckling adventures during which they learn what a swash is and how to buckle it, as well as participate in treasure hunts and face painting.
Nestled within the South Jersey Marina, the boats and charters of Cape May Lady traverse local waters under the steady hands of an experienced crew. From April to December, seafaring personnel whisk clientele away on four- to eight-hour daytime and, depending on the season and mood of the moon, nighttime voyages. During excursions, guests may see aquatic critters such as striped bass, weakfish, and drum fish. Each trek supplies guests with necessary gear, such as fishing licenses, rods, reels, bait, and tackle. In addition to fish-hunting excursions, Cape May Lady’s charters can accommodate burials at sea or private dolphin-watching trips.
Hard-rock juggernauts Five Finger Death Punch give audiences four for flinching on their Share The Welt tour, a high-octane evening of nail-driving metal and chugging aural concrete. Since bursting onto the scene in 2007 with its gold-selling debut, The Way of the Fist, Five Finger Death Punch has scaled the charts and the musical food chain, gulping its competition like a possessed Takeru Kobayashi. For the tour in support of its latest effort, American Capitalist, the gang enlists an entire posse of heavy hitters. Massachusetts metal mavens All That Remains, fresh from melting soles on the Vans Warped Tour, bludgeon audiences with an arsenal of hits, and hardcore shredders Hatebreed share unkind words as they haze the speed of sound. Adding power-chord crunch to the show, Fort Wayne’s Rains sprinkles audiences with raw and emotional sonic sleet.
Pickles Pub's culinary wizards transfigure quality ingredients into a hefty menu of pub grub enjoyed alongside billiards, sports broadcasts, and nightly live entertainment. Rev up idling jaw hinges with the three cheese pub chips, which finds Old Bay-sprinkled Pickles' chips baked beneath a mighty triumvirate of gorgonzola, cheddar, and monterey jack cheeses ($3.50). Sautéed onions and onion straws pirouette across the Bourbonzola burger's half-pound platform of Angus beef, drizzled with Pickles' signature Jack Daniels bourbon glaze and tangy gorgonzola ($9.95), while a personal pizza ($7, plus $0.50 per topping), like a studio apartment, allows the freedom to arrange toppings however you'd like within 10 inches of personal space. In addition to occupying otherwise vacant bellies, Pickles Pub satisfies brains' long-neglected sports receptors with a bevy of high-def televisions protruding from the exposed brick walls. Six pool tables provide both platforms and implements for elevated cue stick fencing matches, soundtracked by nightly live entertainment throughout the summer.
Cape May Stage’s professional-grade, seasonally themed performances match with an upscale spread from Tisha’s for an entertaining, belly-placating evening out. Couples, family foursomes, or strangers brought together by an eccentric millionaire can cover the culinary bases at Tisha's, with entrees such as veal saltimbocca ($29), a mix of veal medallions, prosciutto, spinach, and fontina cheese, or the veggie-friendly broccoli rabe and penne ($22), prefaced by an appetizer of the award-winning clam chowder ($7) or Cajun fried oysters ($12).