Capt Joe Abbate
Oh Captain, My Captain! Captain of the Shamock and undisputed champion of all cape fear naturalist! – JOSEPH ABBATE!
Joseph Abbate, the Cape Fear Naturalist
“Interested in fostering local environmental stewardship through outdoor educational adventures. My hope is to increase environmental awareness and understanding for everyone enjoying the Cape Fear region.”
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
B.A. – Environmental Science
Masters Graduate Certificate – Environmental Science
United States Coast Guard Charter Boat Captain’s Credential
50 Ton Masters License
Cape Fear River Watch, Wilmington, NC
Environmental Education Coordinator
Nature Conservancy, Boiling Springs Lakes Project, NC
Warnell School of Forest Resources, Athens, GA
Carolina Ocean Studies, Carolina Beach, NC
Marine Education Instructor
Department of Environmental Protection, Valhalla, NY
North Carolina Forestry Service, Wilmington, NC
Environmental Coordinator, Airlie Gardens, NC
National Audubon Society, Wilmington, NC
Wildlife Refuge Manager
Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Point Reyes National Seashore, CA
Shorebird Biologist, Snowy Plover Recovery Project
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Waterbird Surveys, Mason Inlet, Figure Eight Island, NC
Marbled Murrelet Conservation Project , Olympic Peninsula, WA
Endangered Species Biologist
Forest Health Monitoring Project, Rocky Mountains, CO
M/V Shamrock is a custom built 27 foot motorized catamaran, Coast Guard inspected and rated to carry up to 22 passengers with enclosed on-board head. Stable and level in the chop of the Intra-Coastal Waterway, Shamrock’s shallow draft allows here to work her way up the twisty shallow water creeks that characterize the area and then land her passengers right on the shore of the area’s islands – no dock required.
Landing on the beach is one way the Shamrock stands out from the rest.
Pirate Don Juan Cortez
Don Juan Cortez, the Pirate
Ben Cortez, AKA Don Juan Cortez, Captain Kidd, and Blackbeard, is a historical re-enactor from Santa Clara, CA. He spent 20 years in the Seattle area where he was an active member of The Seattle Seafair Pirates and served as Captain Kidd in 1999-2000, the year of their 50th Golden Anniversary.
During his 14 years with the Seafair Pirates, he sailed the western waters of Seattle and Oregon to Mazatlan Mexico, British Columbia Canada, Taiwan, and The Cayman Islands.
In 2006 Ben relocated to the waters of the Atlantic making Virginia Beach his new port of call. He was pressed into service with Blackbeard’s Crew of Hampton, VA and became a member of the Colonial Seaport Foundation. Teaching living history, during the Golden Age of Piracy 1680 – 1730, he has been ship’s carpenter, taught seamanship, and navigation, conducted Scallywag School and portrayed many characters, even BlackBeard himself https://www.casinonorske.com/!
Ben has also served as a gunner aboard The Meka II, under the sail of Captain Sinbad, of Beaufort, NC.
In 2011 Ben and his wife Susan, aka Hatchetmeg, sailed on to Carolina Beach, NC, where he is currently the tour guide for Pirates on the Cape Fear. He is also teaching Pirate School for Kids.
From Philadelphia to Charleston and all ports in between and even in New Orleans, It’s a pirates life for him!
Pirate captain Don Juan Cortez and his junior mates. Pirate tours available daily.
Emily is a 23 year old who grew up in Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay. From a young age she was fascinated by the water and the life in or around it. Making the Blue Crab her favorite
animal, not just because of its taste but because of its amazing function in our ecosystems. She recently graduated from Randolph-Macon College with a dual degree in Environmental Studies and Biology, making her a great addition to our team.
She has also spent time traveling Australia where she had the amazing experience to dive the Great Barrier Reef. She not only plans to have many more diving ventures but is also planning to pursue her master’s degree right here in Wilmington. She is an avid advocate for environmental education and health, doing her part to lessen her eco footprint and live a more sustainable life. She is very excited to start this season as our Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tour Manager.