I have been organizing and leading pelagic birding trips since 1986. In 1995, I moved to Hatteras, North Carolina so that I could offer a more extensive schedule of sea trips in some of the most consistently productive offshore waters in the western North Atlantic. The close proximity of both the warm Gulf Stream current and the edge of the Continental Shelf inshore, as well as the influence of the cooler Labrador Current make Hatteras waters a dynamic environment which attracts a remarkable diversity of seabirds throughout the year. In 2001 Kate Sutherland moved to Hatteras to work with me and she has been here since. Kate has a degree in Marine Biology from University of North Carolina at Wilmington and is our co-captain, deckhand, and naturalist guide.
For several years we ran trips on chartered vessels, but in 2006, we began operating on our own boat. In 2008, we ran the most trips we have ever run- 52! of these, 49 of these were on our own boat in Hatteras. At 61 feet overall, the Stormy Petrel II is an even better boat for birding than the Stormy Petrel, which we operated in 2006, and she has much more deck space, particularly in the bow. I am very excited to have this boat, and look forward to many more trips aboard her. Already she has proven to be a great sea boat, and very comfortable in rough water.
At Seabirding, we are committed to our customers, and this dedication has resulted in a loyal following over the years, with many repeat travelers. Because of our unique situation, we are able to operate some of our trips and charters with a relatively small number of people, and we limit our passenger count to about 25 at the most (less than two thirds of our inspected capacity) so there is always plenty of room on the boat. While emphasizing the birds, we make every effort to identify and document whales, fish, sea turtles, and other marine life, thus to provide our participants a well-rounded offshore experience. Our expertise in pelagic birding off Cape Hatteras is without equal.
Seabirding is the most active and successful operator of pelagic bird watching trips in the Eastern U.S., and our trips have a long-standing reputation for experience and excellence. A key to our success has been repeat business and our reputation is known worldwide.
Each trip is staffed by 2 to 5 leaders, each of whom have extensive offshore experience and the knowledge necessary to locate and identify some of the most cryptic and elusive species.
I hope that you will join us on one of these offshore birding adventures! -Brian Patteson