Another key to our Rudee Flipper family are our wonderful volunteers. The volunteers aboard the Rudee Flipper help to bring even more knowledge and excitement on board and you can usually catch them walking around with the skull and teeth of a dolphin for everyone to check out!
Captain Skip Feller comes from one of the most well known fishing families on the East Coast. He is a third generation Captain, and has been a Captain for over 22 years. Growing up in Virginia Beach, Captain Skip spent his youth mating and “learning the ropes” of the fishing industry. After earning his Captains license Skip perfected his skills at Rudee Inlet and Pirates Cove. After spending five years at Pirates Cove running the sportfishing vessel “Hustler”, he won Captain of the year in 1992; which accompanied his landings of such monsters as a 495lb, a 563lb, and 600lb Blue Marlins. Shortly thereafter Skip returned to Virginia Beach to join Rudee Inlet Charters. He has been in charge of operating and running the Rudee fleet of headboats and cruise boats with his crew of Captains. To add even more emphases to his Captains record, Captain Skip, in March of 2008, landed the new World Record Yellow Edge Grouper weighing in at 46lbs and 2oz.
Captain Mark Sterling has spent nearly his entire life learning the fishing business. Being second generation waterman, he’s more familiar with the water than many others. He grew up and began fishing in Gloucester, VA helping his family and father with their fishing company. Knowing how to catch and find fish seems like second nature for Captain Mark. After obtaining his 100 ton fishing license he began steadily running boats for Captain Skip and has been with the company for over 15 years. He has become one of the family, and has the best of both worlds; the knowledge of his families fishing business, and extensive amounts of fishing information from working with the Fellers for such an extended amount of time.
Captain Wes Feller carries on the family tradition, being fourth generation Captain, and son of Captain Skip Feller. After spending his young life learning from the best of the best, he obtained his 100 ton Captains license at the age of 20, in February of 2007. Captain Wes has immense knowledge of the fleet and of the fishing grounds in and around Rudee Inlet and Virginia Beach, since he has literally been fishing these vessels and these waters his entire life. He is a well respected Captain, and when he is in the wheel house you could mistake him for an “old salt”, with his talent on the water.
Captain Jeff has been working in the maritime industry for 37 years and has been a Captain for Rudee Tours for 27 years. Captain Parks is in charge of all dolphin and whale watching tours and seems to attract them like a magnet! Captain Parks’ knowledge of the ocean and the Rudee Flipper are truly spectacular and a major facet to the success of our tours.
First Mate, Director of Educational Services
Kristin is not only one of our First Mates, but also our Director of Educational Services aboard the Rudee Flipper. Kristin graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in Biology and is a key member in training all of our staff. Kristin has worked aboard the Rudee Flipper for 7 years now and loves nothing more than spending her days on the water educating the public about the wildlife, Virginia Beach, and the importance of keeping our marine mammals safe.
Another one of our First Mates, Jen was born and raised right here in Virginia Beach. With a love for the warmth of summer and a passion for the beach and marine mammals, Jen is a key member of the Rudee Flipper team. When she isn’t spending her days on the water, Jen has her hands full with her two year old daughter, Teagan.
First Mate, Self-Proclaimed Dolphin Whisperer
Casey is our third First Mate, and the self-proclaimed Dolphin Whisperer aboard the Rudee Flipper. Casey has been a member of the Rudee Tours team for 6 years and was originally a mate aboard our fishing boats, but traded in his hooks for his microphone. Casey’s favorite part about working aboard the Flipper is that every trip is different and you never see the same thing twice! On Casey’s days off you can regularly catch him in his kayak fishing right at home in Rudee Inlet.