On the home page:
Explore the Great Egg Harbor Watershed
Nature Tours by Kayak, SUP or Skiff
With Captain/Naturalist Bill Stuempfig
HOME ABOUT BILL WHAT WE DO NATURE PICS BLOG by BILL LINKS CONTACT
Tuckahoe River Birds of SouthJersey etc.
Great Egg Harbor Bay
(THE HOME PAGE MAY BE BETTER WITH A PIC OF KAYAKS AND SUPS ON THE RIVER. I will look for some and send them to you. BILL)
Much of my time has been spent on and around the water. Working, playing, always
learning. Sea Level Adventures is a reflection of my love and respect for nature and a way to
share my experiences with others.
I grew up sailing and fishing on the Great Egg Harbor Bay behind Ocean City. Exploring
sandbars and riding the wake of the headboat Flying Saucer was all in a day’s fun. Dad was
fully committed to passing on his exceptional boat handling skills, and these lessons led to a life
on the water.
At 10, my first try at making a living was selling sandwiches to fishermen from my Boston
Whaler. Then, surfing, offshore sailboat racing, and Hobie catamarans taught me about the
ocean. I spent summers working along the bay, teaching sailing and paddling, and learning all I
could about this ecosystem. After high school I moved to the Florida Keys and got my captains
license. It was a time of square grouper, spear fishing, crawfishing, and bonding with Dolly, a
navy trained bottle nose dolphin, what a teacher. Winters in the Keys, summers running fishing
boats out of Cape May, so much to learn.
I jumped on a sail boat bound for the Caribbean, and got off in Puerto Rico. I found my
dream job at age 27. Full of awe and expectations, captaining the 34 passenger Catamaran
Barefoot II was challenging, and fun. Snorkeling, sailing, exploring beaches, and always a wild
ride home before the trades. A few years later I returned to New Jersey. My new hobby and
passion was windsurfing. This led to my first serious onwater business, Eastern Sailboards.
Teaching windsurfing in the bay had its challenges, so after work I sought the ocean….. I love
the freedom of windsurfing or sailing or paddling in open ocean swells. To let go of land and
become the rhythm of the sea. I guess by the time I was 40, it was time for college. Coastal
geology sprinkled with environmental studies fit the bill. This added to my perspective.
Living in Ocean City, always in touch with the tourist industry, I saw an opportunity to
combine kayaks and Hobie catamarans. This became the DNA of Bay Cats. I loved leading
guided nature tours around Cow Pens Island, and through the many marsh creeks. It was often
challenging, playing the currents to get inexperienced paddlers back to the dock. An active
sailing camp and sailboat rides made for really busy summers.
When I travel, I always try to find the local expert guides. In this way I gain insight into
nature, and the culture of the country I am visiting. Last year, before leaving for Kenya, I emailed
our guide to see if he knew where we could find a malachite kingfisher. I had a glimpse of one
briefly two years earlier while volunteering in Africa. He informed me “the kingfisher is available.”
As it turns out, I saw one before his tour. I was so taken by this creature, I wear his likeness on
The nature experience is to identify with the day that presents itself. Every day is a special
day. Every day on the water is different. Unscripted tours are the norm, dictated by conditions
and the animals’ behaviors. Come and join me not just for identification but insight into why they
are here, doing what they do.
My concern for the present and future of the planet is reflected in my affiliations: Local
environmental commissions, vice-chair of Southjersey chapter of The Surfrider Foundation, volunteering in Africa, leading beach walks in Ocean City, NJ Falconry Club, and
banding osprey for NJ Fish and Wildlife.
About Bill Stuempfig
Captain, Naturalist Bill Stuempfig has spent his life in and around water.
Bill spent his summers teaching sailing, paddling and learning about the ecosystem.
From Surfing, Windsurfing and sailing Catamarans, Bill has loves and enjoys the freedom of the ocean.