Welcome to the FAQ’s. This part is a work in progress to be updated as the situation evolves. Some of these are real, actual questions.People can be…Jeez.
What happened to the Charleston Explorer?
Why, what did you hear?
It’s a long story, but you’ve got time. Between the perceived liability of copious amounts of excessively drunken people piling off the boat at the end of the night, it made people…nervous. That, and parking began becoming an issue…everywhere! All kidding aside, it was getting to be too much to handle and when the opportunity arose for it to go to a good home, we took it.
Are you going to miss doing all those huge school groups?
How do you take payment?
Any way you wanna give it to us. CASH IS ENCOURAGED, but of course, we offer online ticketing, take credit cards and maybe even a personal check if I like you. If you bounce a check, plan on me staying with you (rent free, of course) for a few months during the off season. You’ll be buying my food as well. And I eat a lot.
Where does the boat leave from?
Well, that’s a multi-faceted question. We are (mostly) based out of The Ripley Light Marina, which is at (map) 56 Ashley Point Dr, Charleston, SC 29407. We are at Slip E-15 in the marina. Parking is located in the La Quinta Inn next to the marina. St. John’s Yacht Harbor at 2408 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455.
Will we get to see the Morris Island lighthouse?
Yes and no. The lighthouse is on the Southern end of the island, and we drop on the North end. You can see it well from the beach, but if you are looking to get up close, you will need to get a boat to the other side of Morris Island. Keep in mind, the lighthouse really isn’t accessible at all except by boat, as it is surrounded by very shallow water. Even on the lowest tides you still cannot walk to it.
- Are those adorable children in your ad for sale?
- Get in line! I have first right of refusal! And yes, they are uncommonly adorable. No, they are not mine.
- How long is the Morris Island Beach trip?
- The Morris island Trip is about 3 hours long. 30+ minutes to get you there, 30+ minutes to get you back and approximately 90 minutes on the beach. I realize that doesn’t equal 3 hours, that’s why I’m a boat captain and not a math teacher. I stress that the surface conditions of the harbor can make this time vary. If it is rough, and you aren’t in a hurry, then we will slow down, the ride will improve and I won’t get wet. When you get wet, I get wet. Yes, getting splashed is fun the first 37 times, but after a while it gets old.
- What kind of shoes should we wear?
- You actually don’t need shoes at all on the island. However sandals, water shoes or even Tevas are fine, but Tevas are so 1990’s. I wouldn’t want people seeing me in Tevas…Anyways, sometimes Mother Nature leaves a small gully that we will have to wade through (ankle deep-tops) so it is definitely possible your feet will get wet. Most people go barefoot.
- What should I bring?
- Charleston can get hot and buggy in the summer months.You should bring WATER, sunscreen, sunglasses (to look cool) a wide brimmed hat and a bag for your beach treasure. No, your pockets will not be big enough and your mother is not a pack mule. Obviously, bring any medications you require. What am I gonna do with your dead body? In the Spring months, the cold ocean can make the temperature much lower on the water, so a light jacket or long sleeve T-shirt will help.
- If the flying sharks with laser beam helmets show up, can we leave early?
- Absolutely. This also includes bad weather. Another reason we need to make sure we have a cell phone number for you. Make sure you carry your phone with you. It doesn’t do us much good if its sitting in your hotel room. My attorney has asked me not to speak about the flying shark with laser beam helmets incidents. Anyone know where I can find a good used bazooka? (As of 5/7/10, it has come to my attention the the “flying sharks” thingy came from an Austin Powers movie I have yet to see. I am very disappointed that someone thought of that before me, as I take pride in my very overactive imagination. From now on we also be on the lookout for a herd of T-rex(‘s?)with machine guns. Equally frightening.)
- Do you think Japanese throwing stars are cool?
- Duh! Of course! Doesn’t everyone? They come in especially useful against the sharks and T-rex-s’s (?). I usually have a pocket full of them for the occasional skirmish. (When I was a kid, I used to steal my dads lead fishing weights and pound them flat, and use a chisel to cut them into throwing stars. Resourceful? Yes! Cheap? Maybe…)
- Huh? Why did you mention throwing stars?
- I don’t know.
- Can we pet the dolphins?
- NO! For reasons we will go over in detail, you cannot pet the dolphins. Nor can we feed them, call them over by slapping the boat or take them home with you. You can make silly dolphin noises and do your best to communicate, but were pretty sure this doesn’t work, but give it your best shot! We can however, observe them from a safe and appropriate distance, but it’s very important that we do not disturb them! From time to time, they do put on a good show. They are naturally curious, and will sometimes come over to the boat for a look. It’s also not uncommon to see them jump, splash, play and hunt their food, so bring a camera.
- Are you a dog lover?
- Well, since you asked, I am. Service animals and pets are welcome and encouraged on the boat, provided they do not freak out and eat small children. Just remember, God loves those who love the animals. You can click here at www.theanimalrescuesite.com to see how you can help. Well, copy and paste that into your browser until I get the link to show up. Every time someone clicks that link, sponsors donate food and supplies to shelters and it costs you nothing. Adopt from a shelter or rescue agency and make an animal happy. They will repay you in multiples of love!
- Will it be hot?
- Let’s not mince words. August SUCKS here. Hell is actually cooler than Charleston at times. it can get reeeeeeally hot in Charleston. We’ll do our best to keep the boat moving. Out on the water, there will be more of a breeze. That said, if you suffer from heat stroke or any heat related issues, this may not be the trip for you in the hot months. Come see us in the Spring or Fall and it will be cooler.
- Do you serve drinks on the trip?
- Depending on the boat we use, sometimes we have drinks for sale. Sometimes there isn’t enough room to bring the cooler. Bring anything you want. Pack a cooler.
- Can we bring beer on board?
- Uhh…yeah! Save one for the Captain. It’s ok to tip with beer as well. I’m just sayin. Certain times of the year, it is not only appropriate but encouraged to tip the Captain with Cadbury Creme Eggs. All flavors. We EXPECT you to pack a cooler for the sunset cruise. You may be turned away if you ain’t packin’…
- Can we charter you and your boats for private events?
- Of course you can! We are available for 2 and 3 hour private charters, and you can bring anything you like as far as decorations (just let me ok it), food and drink. However, excessive drunkeness is a good way for you to forfeit your payment and get your as* returned to the dock. Dig?
- How many people does the boats hold?
- Let me be very clear here. Coast Guard regulations are very implicit about this. Infants, children any size and even mothers-in-law (devil horns and all) are all the same shape and size according to the Coast Guard. Each person counts as 1 person, regardless of age. So putting a child on your lap still counts as 2 people. Not my rules, but I gotta follow them. Our small boat holds 10, the middle holds 24, and the large boat holds 80. More than 80 in your group? Call someone else. Just kidding, I’ll move Heaven and Earth to make it happen. Give me some notice, though.
- Does my child on lap count?
- Yes. There’s no getting around it. The Coast Guard is very strict about this. Violations will certainly result in fines, and maybe even the captain’s credentials or even my boat being taken away. Sorry, we must insist.
- What about small children?
- They’re delicious with garlic and butter-Oh, you meant bringing them. Of course they’re welcome. Just make sure you take them home with you. I’ll put them on eBay if you leave them behind!
- Do you have life jackets for all sizes?
- Yes! This is mandatory USCG equipment. For all sizes, including infants, children, and mother-in-law shaped people. You are not required to wear life jackets during the trip. You are certainly welcome to wear them if you like, keep one near you or use them as a cushion. Small children are encouraged to wear life jackets. Mother-in-laws are not encouraged to wear them.
- Do you have a problem with your mother-in-law?
- No! I got lucky there. I’m talking about YOUR mother-in-law. I have just been made aware that the phrase “Woman Hitler” can be spelled from the phrase “Mother in Law”. I believe that is called an “anagram”, and I checked it! It’s true! Actually, that explains a lot.
- Is the boat wheelchair accessible?
- Yes and no. The smallest of the three boats is not. In no way. However, the middle and large boat are easier in that respect. The floor is somewhat even with the dock and an easier transition from ship to shore. However, its tough to get a wheelchair from the boat to the beach on both of them. That said, we’ll do whatever we can to make sure your trip with us is just right. There are plenty of strong guys around to lend a hand, but we cannot promise anything.
- Why do you need my phone number?
- So we can sell it! No, just kidding! We will in no way sell or give away your personal info, such as phone number, credit card details, etc. To have a phone number on hand is the best way to ensure communication in the event of intermittent weather, mechanical issues and scheduling. We will likely never call you for anything, unless we’re really lonely.
- Is morning or afternoon better for the trips you offer?
- This depends entirely on the magnitude of the hangover I have at the time. Just kidding. (Or am I?) Morning in Charleston usually consists of very light winds-sometimes NO wind, which makes the ride wonderful and spotting dolphins much easier. In the afternoon, the phenomenon known as the “sea-breeze” usually turns up, and it can get quite windy, resulting in choppy surface conditions, a wet ride and its much harder to pick out dolphins against the waves. Mornings are always better for what we offer.
- What will we find on the beach on Morris Island?
- All kinds of shells, sand dollars, conch shells, and sharks teeth. Pirates were known to visit Charleston, so maybe even a gold doubloon or piece o’ eight. While this is unlikely, there will be a fraction of the people on Morris as other local beaches, so there’s infinitely more to pick from with less bodies doing the picking from. Whatever. Please note, we do not furnish the teeth, they are provided by Mother Nature and we cannot guarantee what we will find. However, it’s VERY unusual that we go out there and come back empty handed.
- Anything we should not do on Morris Island?
- Yes. A few of the things the local government does not want you doing are the following… no swearing, drinking alcohol, camping, littering and so forth. We especially must urge you, at the city’s request, that no golf must be played while on Morris Island. Let it be known, that while visiting, should you feel the need to strike up a game of golf, that you will be written a citation, and possibly fined or even apprehended. If we see you trying to bring your golf clubs on a shell hunting trip, you will be made to sign a waiver stating that you will not, under any circumstances, start playing golf. You can even carry your clubs with you, but you must not play golf while on Morris Island. (For those unfamiliar with my sense of humor, yes, I am being sarcastic. I guess golf has been a problem on Morris before) This is even funnier since there is nothing even closely resembling a golf course out there.
- What else shouldn’t we do while visiting Morris Island?
- Sorry to heap on more rules, but here’s a few more we must insist on, for your own good and safety on the beach. There aren’t any lifeguards-well, there isn’t anybody at all out there to rescue you if you get in trouble while swimming. The interior of the island is covered in cactus, sticker bushes and brambles. Even if you’re wearing shoes, any one of these things can ruin your day. Also, erosion is changing the shape of the beach quickly, and what used to be dunes is now more like a cliff made of sand. Please stay away for these areas. They collapse when they want to and if you got covered up by thousands of pounds of sand, its likely we’d never find you…So not bring you down, but if you die, how can we have you on another trip?
- What about bad weather?
- What about it? Mother nature is going to do what she wants and there’s little we can do about it. In the summer, afternoon rain showers spring up out of nowhere. Most of the time it will rain like hell for a moment, cooling things off, and then the sun is right back out for the rest of the day. However, we want to do our best to keep you from getting rained on, so its very important that we have a phone number on hand to coordinate getting you back to dry land and out of the weather. Again, we do not give out any confidential info whatsoever! It is, however, our policy to do our best to get you rescheduled or make sure you get a full refund if your trip gets cancelled by weather.
- Will we get wet?
- Yes. Its very possible you will get wet. In most cases, its only a bit of spray as the boat cuts through everyday chop in the harbor. As the wind picks up in the afternoon, more spray will blow into the boat. We have dry storage on the boat but it’s a good idea to bring a zip loc to protect your cell phones, iPods, and wallets, etc. While you wont get wet like running whitewater rapids, wet does happen. Its all up to Mother Nature though. If you get wet, I get wet. I don’t always want to get wet. Did I mention you might get wet?
- Are you on Facebook too?
- Yes! Look at our Adventure Harbor Tours and the Charleston Explorer page on Facebook for more pics and join for upcoming discounts on tours!
- Isn’t it a pain to have boats at two different marinas?
- You have no idea. I can retire in 16 years.
- General Policies
At this time, the small boat holds 10 people, or 11 with a mate. The middle boat holds a max of 24. Our newest boat holds 80. Children are equal to adults in the eyes of the Coast Guard. No exceptions on this one. It is sometimes possible to arrange a second boat or partner up with a bigger vessel.
Be here 20 minutes prior to your trip! If you are more than 10 minutes late for your trip (unless ok’d by the captain) you run the risk of having to be rescheduled for another day or time. If I say your trip is at 8am, take that as “please be here at 7:45, because someone always messes up our rhythm!” Use your watch! We do not interfere with the natural habits of Dolphins and other wildlife. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for anything. If you’re a jerk, I’m leaving you on the island. Get yourself home. And I’m keeping your money. The Captain is the highest authority on the boat. Parents are a close second, except in the case of children. There is no higher authority that the Mother of the kids. I’ll run the boat, you run the kids.
Rain Out Policy. We can’t do much about the weather. If you’ve already paid and the weather gets ugly and we don’t get to go, you get your money back. Partial trips get partial refund, based on length of time we did get to go. Also decided by me.
Phone number swapping is our policy to increase communication during operations or emergencies. Quite simply, if you’re on the beach, and bad weather is coming, I will call you and make sure I get you inbound. If I leave to go pick up another customer, I will let you know when I intend to be back. We DO NOT sell or give away any private info to anyone for anything. Keep the phone on prior to our trips, please.
The 3 hours devoted to the Morris Island beach trip is divided up to provide you with 30 minutes (approx) each way for transportation, leaving you with 1.5 hours on the beach. In years past, we used to allow people to stay and come back on the last trip. We cannot allow this anymore.
Pets and especially service animals are welcome at Adventure Harbor Tours. That being said, don’t be stupid about this. For example, don’t bring your pony, iguana or goldfish in a bowl. Got a dog that you don’t want to kennel? You obviously can’t leave it in the hot car. Bring the dog! Just let us know what you’re doing! Dogs love boats! Well, most dogs. Some dogs might actually be scared of the surroundings, so don’t force it!
And my latest policy. Excessive drunkenness, belligerence or blatant disrespect for crew and passengers will not be tolerated, and I will terminate your trip as I see fit, if these conditions arise. Can’t get more cut and dry than that.