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Sapphire Pelagics

In partnership with                                                           

Joe Pender is the skipper of MV Sapphire and is an experienced seaman. He was a member of the Scillonian Life Boat crew for many years and was involved in a number of life-saving daring rescues.


Joe has operated pelagic trips out of St Mary’s since 2000 and has subsequently focused on seabird photography and a shark tagging research program. Seabirds and other wildlife to be expected on Sapphire Pelagics are as given under Birder Special Pelagics. Experienced local seabirders are on board all pelagic trips to assist in spotting, identification, and chumming.


2024 schedule
June, July, early September: Monday and Thursday 5 pm to 10 pm. 
August: Tuesday and Thursday 5 pm to 10 pm.
September and October: day time trips TBA depending on demand.
All pelagic trips are advertised on bird information services and on Joe’s board at St Mary’s Quay. Alternatively, ring Joe on 0777 620 4631 or email at
These trips cost £50 for birders, booking is not required, pay on board (rates differ for involvement in shark fishing, please contact Joe for prices and availability). They are normally combined with shark fishing and involve the use of chum to attract sharks. The chum also attracts seabirds and in particular tubenoses. It is the method developed in Scilly for attracting Wilson’s Storm-petrel. Other forms of chum are used on the outward and return trips to attract a range of other seabirds.

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