The City Magazine Since 1975

Head Out on the Water

Head Out on the Water
June 2017

Summer Guide 2017

Crab Bank Kayak Tour

For nearly two decades, the dedicated staff at Nature Adventures Outfitters has steered curious kayakers along the blackwater rivers and salt waters of the Lowcountry. One of the company’s most popular excursions launches from the group’s Shem Creek ramp, then journeys past shrimp boats and out to designated seabird sanctuary Crab Bank. This 22-acre islet preserve is a prolific nesting site for brown pelicans, black skimmers, royal terns, and American oystercatchers. Though people are not permitted to land on the sandspit from March to October, boaters can watch thousands of birds take to the skies, calling over the harbor breezes and circling overhead to guard their nests. The panorama on this paddle also takes in first-rate views of Castle Pinckney and Fort Sumter., (843) 568-3222

Cool tip: For a preview of the winged wonders on Crab Bank, visit coastal, which relays live video feed of the sandbar’s nesting brown pelicans via a pair of solar-powered cameras.

Catamaran Charters

For a fast, stable sail without the heeling and rolling of a monohull, step aboard a catamaran. The 27-foot Prevailaing Winds from Charleston Sailing Adventures [, (843) 277-9019] departs from the Maritime Center for daytime, sunset, and moonlight sails into Charleston Harbor, during which you can observe the city’s historic landmarks from a fresh perspective, as well as catch sight of dolphin pods and sea birds. For harbor and ocean cruising with a bit more sprawl, Om Sailing Charters [, (843) 209-5280] out of Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina provides a 43-foot vessel complete with a covered cockpit and interior cabin. U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captains pilot both boats. Or dip into the Stono River on board Charleston Trimaran’s ocean-ready, 37-foot, three-hulled craft [, (843) 597-3388].

Cool tip: Venture out onto the boat’s trampoline while underway—the netting allows you to watch the water rushing below as you cruise across the surface.

Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga

Centuries-old practice meets modern sport in this conflux of breath, balance, and board. The Lowcountry is awash with floating studios where tenderfeet and gurus come together to practice yoga atop an anchored paddleboard. Most sessions open with an on-the-ground lesson in SUP fundamentals before guiding participants on a short paddle out to an aquatic classroom for a vinyasa flow. And with the open sky above and the gentle ripple of the water below, the concluding savasana promises a peacefulness unlike anything you might experience inside a gym.

Charleston SUP Safaris: Folly Beach, www.charlestonsup, (843) 817-7877
Move IT!: James Island County Park,, (843) 795-4386
Nature Adventures Outfitters: Mount Pleasant,, (843) 568-3222
Ocean Fitness: Isle of Palms,, (843) 559-6073

Cool tip: Yoga atop a paddleboard may seem wildly unattainable, but you don’t have to be experienced in yoga or SUPing to participate. The instructors will provide options for every level, and the risk of falling in mainly comes into play if you want to get adventurous with your poses.

Charleston Paddle Club

Here’s a workout that’ll build up your core and your community. The six-year-old Charleston Paddle Club invites fledgling paddlers to join for beginner dragon boat practices at the Brittlebank Park dock every Saturday morning at 8 a.m. The meetings go over basics, techniques, and safety for this ancient Chinese sport, which sets 10 pairs of paddlers side-by-side in a 40-foot-long fiberglass watercraft, with a coach in the bow and a steersman on the stern. As participants become more comfortable with the mechanics and commands, they can join the nonprofit for practices on Tuesday evenings and six-man outrigger canoeing sessions. Be sure to register for practices on the club’s Meetup webpage., paddlecompany, (843) 906-9755

Cool tip: On July 29, Charleston Paddle Club hosts its second annual Palmetto Paddle competition [] with a three- and an eight-mile race up the Ashley River. From SUPs to sea kayaks to canoes, any paddle craft with fewer than eight people aboard can take part in the challenge.


HOBA: Hop On a Boat Anywhere

Even landlubbers can answer the call of the sea by dialing up the recently launched HOBA app, created by Charleston captain David Yates. Described as “Uber for boats,” HOBA has connected local boat owners with more than 4,000 passengers seeking on-demand water taxi, fishing, and day-cruise services. Navigate the searchable map to locate available vessels and view each one’s rates, photos, routes, and abilities. To get on board, providers must possess a charter boat captain’s license from the United States Coast Guard [].


Photographs by (Sailing) Captain Banff Luther, (SUP) Jon Ory, & HOBA) David Shenman & Courtesy of (Kayaks) Nature Adventure Outfitters