The salty sea sprays behind Captain Michael’s boat as he veers into the ocean near Hilton Head with his trusty first mate—a great dane named Dozer—by his side. As captain and owner of On the Water Hilton Head, Michael guides kayak trips through Lowcountry salt marshes and tidal creeks, and leads boat trips to view dolphins and seabirds in the waters around Pinckney Island and Port Royal Sound. Michael also runs water-taxi rides, charters fishing trips, and encourages visitors to take to the water themselves with kayak, standup-paddleboard, and jet-ski rentals.
Joe Lotts and most of his staff graduated from Brevard College with a degree in wilderness leadership and experiential education. At Charleston Outdoor Adventures, they put their schooling to work by educating people about the coastline’s saltwater estuaries. Their classrooms are their kayaks, paddleboards, and 23-foot bay boat, and their coursework combines environmentalism with photo opportunism. For instance, the tour route to Morris Island Lighthouse and Fort Sumter flows past scenic marshland, local birds, and pick-up games of dolphin basketball. If guests prefer to explore alone, Lotts and crew also rent out its paddleboards and kayaks.
Nature Adventures Outfitters partners the Charleston area's breathtaking aquatic scenery with finely honed expertise and a staff of passionate naturalists. Climb into kayaks almost identical to those used by Columbus to cross the Atlantic and stuff your eyes with one-of-a-kind views of blackwater swamps, tidal waterways, saltwater bays, or other marine environments. Rub elbows with watery fauna such as dolphins and pelicans, often called the dolphins of the air, or taunt gators by using your arms as shoulder-mounted meat paddles.