Our boats

The Ocean Spirit

The Ocean Spirit is the flagship of our fleet. She is an off-shore going 27 foot Yacht, equipped with a toilet and comfortable seating for up to 14 passengers plus crew – and still with a lot of space left to move around.

We have adapted the Yacht to the special needs of our clients:

Speed:

The worst that can happen to a tourist is having to sit and wait for hours in order to get to the place where the animals are (probably already feeling seasick), having a short time to see the animals and then having to suffer more hours of seasickness to get home again.

Speed is essential to shorten the boring and sickening travel time and to have more time at the location where the animals are. The Ocean Spirit is equipped with two brand new 200 hp Evinrude E-tec outboard engines. The 400 horsepower make this light Yacht the fastest tourism boat along the entire Peruvian coast. This way you can make the most out of your trip having a whale of a time with the animals.

Low environmental impact

 The Evinrude E-tec outboard engines are the most environmentally friendly motors worldwide:

  • They are hermetically closed. Not a single drop of oil is spilled into the ocean.
  • They use 50 % less gasoline and oil in comparison to any other outboard engine of similar power.
  • They produce 30 % less noise than any other outboard engine of the same size.

The Germany

The Germany is a 18 foot fiberglass boat, equipped with a 115 hp motor and offering comfortable seating space as well as space to move around for ten passengers plus crew. She’s a great boat for smaller diving groups as she offers lots of space for diving equipment. She is equipped with extra large fuel tanks in order to increase her operational range.

 

  

 The Stich

The Stich is a 14 foot zodiac-type boat with a fiberglass hull. It has been equipped with internal seats (one of them being a big fuel tank providing a huge operational range and the other one being a waterproof box for the small backpacks and camera bags of our passengers). It is equipped with a 40 hp outboard engine and offers comfortable seating space for up to 4 passengers. Going dolphin watching with this boat actually is the best – because you just can’t get closer to the dolphins.

 

 If you have any question regarding our boats, please write us: click here

Your safety on board

For Nature Expeditions your safety on board comes first:

  1. The Peruvian part of the Pacific is not known for storms and it never rains. Nevertheless you obviously will be equipped with a life-jacket and we require you to wear it at all times. Our life jackets are of superior quality in comparison to standard Peruvian life jackets used by some other operators.
  2. Children on board: We also have life-jackets for children from 5 years on. We do not allow children younger than 3 years on board our ships and we do not recommend taking children younger than 5 years. All children younger than 12 years have to be accompanied on board by a parent or authorized adult. For children bewteen 13 and 18 years we require an accompanying parent or authorized adult to sign an authorization form. Our staff will advise you about this before booking your trip. (The latter also applies for under-aged divers from 12-18 years)
  3. Smoking is prohibited on board our boats.
  4. During all diving trips we are equipped with a DAN-rescue-luggage with two oxygen tanks. We are the only dive operator in Peru that operates this emergency equipment.
  5. All our boats have a valid and updated Safety Certificate from the Peruvian Coast Guard.
  6. Peru is not Europe or the US. In fact the rescue capabilities of the Peruvian coast guard are limited. The nearest coast guard ship is stationed in Callao port (more than 70 kms north of Pucusana port) and will probably take many hours if sent in an emergency. During any off-shore trip radios installed on ships do not reach the coast but are designed to contact other vessels. But what if  there is no other boat around? For us therefore, it was important to obtain a communication option that would always work – for any distance – and that would reach our land-based staff in order to make sure immediate action is taken. On all our marine trips (along the coastline or off-shore) we carry a SPOT-satellite emergency message system (not required by the Peruvian coast guard). SPOT allows our land based staff to track the position of our boats in real time at any moment. It also allows us to send help signals to the email box of our staff members on land. A second level of emergency signal alarms our staff AND the system operators emergency room, which in turn will alarm the Peruvian Coast Guard. We are therefore never out of communication even when the radio and cellphones are out of signal. SPOT enables our company to immediately initiate rescue procedures long before the Peruvian coast guard would react. To the best of our knowledge we are the only Peruvian marine tourism operator working with SPOT.
  7. Our smaller boats used for trips along the coastline are equipped with anchor, oars, rescue ring, first-aid box, tool-box, tow-end, flare gun, whistles, signal mirror, hand-held compass and hand-held GPS (in case a sudden fog should set in). Communication with our land based staff is established via cell-phone (the cell-phone is protected by waterproof housing and cell-phone coverage is given 100 %  on our tours close to the coastline).
  8.  The Ocean Spirit is a 27 feet long Yacht and is our boat for off-shore tours. The Ocean Spirit is light, of adequate size for up to 12 birders or whale watchers and is equipped with a toilet. The seats are equipped with comfortable cushions and positioned along the walls of the hull leaving space in the middle so you can stand up and turn into the best position to observe marine wildlife or take pictures. The Ocean Spirit is faster and more powerful than any of the other tourist boats in the central Peruvian coast. Even though we rarely drive at full speed we can make the return journey (port to off-shore) in a comparatively short timeframe . Our speeds vary between 20 and 40 nautical miles per hour depending on Ocean conditions. On the Ocean Spirit you do not lose time travelling – you have maximum time at sea to observe whales, dolphins and birds and we are likely to have you back on land faster than any other tourist boat in Peru. The Ocean Spirit does not only fulfill the safety standards required by the Peruvian coastguard for pelagic off-shore trips, it actually surpasses them in several aspects:
    • The Peruvian coast guard requires a boat like the Ocean Spirit to have 2 bilge pumps. The Ocean Spirit has 5 bilge pumps.
    •  The Peruvian coast guard requires boats to have a national radio on board. We have this and a second one of higher quality.
    • We have all necessary emergency equipment on board – for example flares, signal mirror, rescue ring, first aid-package, etc and we have a marine safety certificate for offshore trips from the Peruvian coast guard.
    • The Ocean Spirit has a compass and a GPS-based electronic navigation system. We usually also carry handheld GPS as additional safety.
    • The Ocean Spirit has an EPIRB visibly installed in its cabin.
    • The Ocean Spirit is equipped with two 200HP Evinrude E-Tec Outboard engines. Even if one should fail entirely the second one is more than strong enough to bring us safely back to shore at high speed if necessary. E-Tec engines are the only outboard motors existing which continue to function for 5 hours even if it should run out of oil.
    • Fiberglass boats like the Ocean Spirit normally do not have a wooden skeleton. We, however, reinforced the hull of the Ocean Spirit with an additional wooden skeleton which is isolated from any water by several layers of fiberglass and fused with the hull. The hull of the Ocean Spirit has therefore become virtually unbreakable even in the heaviest of seas (of course we have yet to try the Humpback-whale-jumps-on-boat-test)

 

A final call for caution:

The Peruvian marine tourism industry has been affected lately by several marine accidents with fatal results. In one case, a tourist boat capsized and one person drowned. The investigation showed the cause to be poor boat design and negligence of the captain allowing too many people on the second floor of the boat, therefore affecting the stability. Nobody was wearing life jackets. In a second case negligence was the reason again for a fatality during a pelagic birding trip where one person fell overboard with nobody being aware. Again no-one on board was wearing a life jacket.

As a consequence of this, the Peruvian coast guard implemented much stricter regulations and safety standards for off-shore trips. According to our knowledge our boat, the Ocean Spirit, is the only tourism boat equipped with the necessary permits and safety standards to conduct real pelagic birding (reaching 45 miles from the coast – required to observe special species like Markhams storm petrels and albatrosses) or off-shore whale-watching tours. Most other boats used for marine tourism are most likely restricted to distances of a maximum of 5 miles off shore.

In light of the tragic accidents we would like to advise you to make the following inquiries before booking a pelagic off-shore tour in Peru:

1. What is the distance of your pelagic birding trip?
It is fairly well known that a “real” pelagic trip should go to 40-45 miles off-shore in order to see the special birds desired by birders. Shorter trips offered as pelagic trips or mini-pelagic trips may be an indication of the boats being used not having permits or adequate equipment to go further off-shore. Nature Expeditions is also offering a Mini-pelagic trip for people with little time, but we make our clients aware of the fact that they should not expect to see real high-seas species. For this you have to book our full pelagic birding trip.

2. Does your boat have the necessary equipment and permits to go up to 35 miles off shore for pelagic birding?
If you do not get a positive answer on your question be wary. Please be aware of the fact that along the central Peruvian coast Nature Expeditions is the only marine birding company operating its own boats and not subcontracting them.

When you step on the boat for your pelagic birding trip we advise you to be aware of the following warning signs:

  1. Are clients are allowed to be on board without wearing life jackets ?
    This is not only negligent but actually prohibited.
  2. Is the boat equipped with an EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon) ?
    An EPIRB must be visibly connected to the wall in the main cabin or any other space close to the roof of the boat. In case the boat is turned over or sinks the EPIRB will send the emergency signal to the Peruvian coast guard. The EPIRB is never hidden away or stored – it is openly visible and must be installed. If there is no EPIRB on board you can be sure that this boat does not have a permit to go further off-shore than 5 miles.
  3. Does the boat have a GPS-based navigation instrument ?
    If the boat is navigated without an electronic GPS-based navigation system you can be sure it has no permit to go further off-shore than 5 miles.

If you have any question regarding our boats, please write us: click here

 
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Related links:

 

Nature Adventures: Whale and dolphin watching BirdingScuba diving Diving and swimming with sea lions 

Stay in touch: Follow Nature Expeditions on Twitter Nature Expeditions Facebook Page Visit Stefan Austermühle’s web site

Help protect nature in Peru: Be a dolphin conservation volunteer – NGO Mundo Azul on Facebook Facebook Page: Volunteering in Peru

Join, share, protect on Facebook: Pelagic Birding Peru  Birding Peru – Whale and Dolphin Watching Peru – Peru Bird Guide – Endemic birds of Peru – Diving in Peru