Half day tours and trips can be scheduled on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the morning hours. Departures will be within 1-2 hours of sunrise and returning by late morning hours, in order to avoid higher afternoon winds and storms. Departure and return times are adjusted, depending on time of year, weather conditions, and the needs of the customer. Tours will depart from the Belhaven city dock, the NC Wildlife Resources ramp in Belhaven, or from the NC Wildlife Resources ramp at Wright’s Creek.
A minimum of 2 persons is required per tour or trip and participants must be age 6 or older, with the exception of boat assisted kayaking, where the minimum age for participation is twelve. If under age 18, participants must be accompanied by a parent or legally appointed guardian, or legally responsible adult sponsor. Protective footwear is required on all excursions.
A cooler is provided on all tours and trips, in which participants may store any snacks and drinks that they choose to bring along. All disposable containers are asked to be recyclable aluminum or plastic. Smoking is prohibited on board any Machapunga Ecotours vessel. Alcohol and other substances that impair judgment are prohibited on all Machapunga Ecotours tours and trips.
90 minute scenic cruises are available in the afternoon and evening on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
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Learn all about what our estuaries really are, the interdependency of the diverse life forms they support, and the amazing productivity and services they provide for us. Activities on this tour may include learning local history and culture, measuring changes in salinity, watching dolphins and sting rays, observing shoreline birds and wildlife, wading in the shallows to pull a seine net and examining the catch, checking eel and crab pots, cast netting for shrimp, and much more. Activities are seasonally dependent. Tours are offered mid-spring through early fall. Rate is $175 per group.
All About Blue Crabs
A great choice for young and old, friends and family. This tour emphasizes the fascinating life cycle of NC’s most prolific seafood product. On this trip you will check crab pots and learn how they work, cruise by water to a crab shedding operation when available, and go crabbing with hand lines on Captain Peter’s private dock. By the end of your tour you will be very knowledgeable about these cranky crustaceans, and will be familiar with crab terminology. On top of all that you can take your catch home for a tasty feast. Sun Screen, insect repellant, drinking fluids, binoculars, and a camera are strongly recommended. Tours are offered mid-spring through early fall. Rate is $150.
Birding by Water
An absolute must for the birding fanatic or the beginner. Let Capt Peter put you in the back waters inaccessible on foot and by driving. Observe neotropical songbirds, wading shore birds, birds of prey, wintering waterfowl, and many more in unspoiled habitat. Sun Screen, insect repellant, drinking fluids, binoculars, and a camera are strongly recommended. Rate is $35 per person.
Boat Assisted Kayaking
Enjoy your own private, paddling expedition on the wilderness tributaries of the Pungo River and Pamlico Sound. Wildlife viewing, fishing, and photography opportunities are abundant on these protected streams. Capt Peter will transport you and your personal or rented kayak to these remote areas, where you will be deployed to experience estuarine paddling at its finest. Participants must be capable of assisting with loading their kayaks on and off the boat, from the dock and on the water. For the more adventurous fisherman, Capt Peter will put you and your kayak onto the open waters of the Pamlico Sound to pursue giant red drum sport fishing from mid-summer into early fall.
A personal floatation device (life jacket) must be worn at all times, and will be provided to you if you do not have one. Protective footwear is required. Sun Screen, insect repellant, drinking fluids, binoculars, and a camera are strongly recommended. Rate is $30-$40 per person, depending on destination.
Self-Guided Fishing- A Different Angle on Angling
Captain Peter provides the boat, fuel, and a dip net. Bring your own rods, tackle, bait, coolers, snacks and drinks. You design your strategy, call the shots, and make the decisions within a 20 mile radius of the departure ramp. In other words, you are the guide. Rate is $150 per group. Maximum number of fishermen is four.
Learn the basics of gear, techniques, and tactics for light tackle fishing in the Western Pamlico region, and how its unique environment effects the diversity of fish that it supports. Bait and tackle are provided. An excellent introduction for any beginner, limited to 4 participants. Rate is $150.
90 Minute Afternoon/Evening Scenic Cruises
Observe birds and other wildlife while cruising the upper Pungo and its remote creeks, or choose to visit Dowry Creek Marina on a “Spirit Cruise”. This is the perfect compliment to lunch or dinner at one of Belhaven’s quality restaurants. Rate is $30 for two passengers, $20 per additional passenger.