At least 215 Spectacled Petrels Procellaria conspicillata were observed during systematic seabird surveys in the south-east Atlantic in January-March 2000 and 2001. These sightings provide a clearer picture of the pelagic distribution, relative abundance, habitat preferences, behaviour, and tendency to join vessels at sea of this rare seabird off Southern Africa. Spectacled Petrels were among the species that most readily associated with the research vessel, both during steaming and while the ship was stationary. Flocks of up to 18 individuals joined the ship. Nearby long-lining fishing vessels were also followed by this species. Most Spectacled Petrels occurred in an area where frontal edges of so-called Agulhas Rings provided enhanced feeding opportunities for a variety of seabirds. However, Spectacled Petrels were not seen to directly benefit from these conditions, which may have been caused by their predominantly nocturnal foraging habits.