2017 Cape May Spring Festival

Cape May, New Jersey
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Overnight Pelagic

9:30 pm Saturday to 5:00 pm Sunday, departing Utsch's Marina


Description: This overnight pelagic will depart from Utsch's Marina in Cape May and travel to the edge of the Continental Shelf. We cruise through the night out to these deep 3,000-6,000 foot deep waters and arrive before sunrise. When we arrive, we will set up a chum slick and by dawn we should have already attracted birds to the boat. Once we've felt we've sat with the slick long enough, we will work our way up to find if there are any birds hanging out beyond our sight. As we work our way inshore, we hope to find commercial fishing boats in shallower water on our return trip to see what they have attracted. If we find gulls, we'll attempt to keep a flock behind the boat with chum to attract other birds.Target species are Wilson’s and Leach’s Storm-petrels, Northern Fulmar, Cory’s, Great, Sooty, and Manx Shearwater, Pomarine, Parasitic, and Long-tailed Jaegers, South Polar Skua, Arctic Tern, Red and Red-necked Phalarope. On some of the past trips we've also had some warm water birds like Black-capped Petrel, Audubon's Shearwater, and Bridled Tern.

This trip costs $215 for both registrants and non registrants. Do not do a three-day registration if you are taking this trip. If the trip is cancelled due to weather, there will be time for you to register for the day on Sunday and participate in the day's activities, based on availability.

Sleeping arrangements are basically camping on the boat. You may be sleeping on the floor or bench inside of the cabin or on the floor of the upper deck. People are boarded in the order they signed up so those who sign up earliest get their choice of sleeping spaces. Bring a ground pad, sleeping bag, and pillow (or something that can be used as a pillow). If you're upstairs you may wish to wrap your sleeping bag in a tarp to ward off condensation and spray. We also recommend an eye mask and ear plugs for a better night's sleep.

Click here for helpful tips on preparation.


Contact Information

  • If you have questions, please contact Deb Shaw, deb.shaw@njaudubon.org or 609-400-3836.

Payment Instructions

  • If paying by check please make payable to NJ Audubon and send to:

    Cape May Spring Festival
    Cape May Bird Observatory
    600 Route 47 N
    Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
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