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The Captain

Captain Christopher Neste is a USCG License Captain and South Carolina Interpretive Naturalist. 20 years of experience operating small craft, sailing vessels, Sport fishers, and skiffs. He acquired a boating license at the age of 12 from the Coast Guard Auxiliary and had his first boat shortly after. Each summer, he worked as a mate from the bottom up learning many things the hard way, by seasoned sailors and fishermen that didn't take it easy on him. The experiences have molded him along the way. Each one has taught him what he really wants out of working as a full-time guide on the water. Taking people out into Nature is his passion, especially trips teaching kids. He gets some groups whose kids have never seen the ocean before or it’s there 2nd or 3rd time as a young adult. These trips are where good memories of the ocean begin.

Fulfilling someone’s dream to see a dolphin up-close or catch a shark for the first time, those are the trips he always remembers.

Safety is obviously the number one priority. Hilton Head Island Tours has a perfect safety record for a reason and would like to keep it that way. Situations can arise quickly and It’s the Captain’s job to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Always, the constant pursuit is to get better. The term “Day Off” doesn't really exist for a full-time guide. Operating around 200 days per year, there is no time for breakdowns and canceling trips mid-season, during busy weeks, is a no-can-do. The Captain keeps a strict maintenance schedule to make sure The Night Heron is in tip-top shape throughout the year. The salt marsh environment can be hard on boats and also produces its own unique challenges daily. On average, there’s a 6-7ft tide, but some days tides can fluctuate 9 1/2 ft. Experience matters out here, and a seasoned Captain always welcomes a challenge. Every day is different and that’s what makes it great.


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The Boat

You will be riding aboard The Night Heron, a customized 22ft Sea Pro Bay Boat powered by a brand-new, whisper quiet, 2018 140hp Suzuki Outboard. This boat has comfortable seating for up to six passengers and boasts a large shade canopy. The Captain prides himself in boat safety and boat comfort. An experienced boater will appreciate the way The Night Heron performs in choppy seas or remote glassy backwaters. Onboard, is an array of cast and scoop nets, buckets, crab traps, fish grips, gloves, plyers, and other tools to inspect wild creatures residing in our waterways. Something interesting and exciting is usually going on throughout the year and the Captain will rig the boat accordingly. It changes throughout the year, some days there will be 3 different nets and 8 different fishing rods, for all types of different situations.

Unfortunately, there is no bathroom on board, but you are never more than 5 mins away from the nearest restroom if the Captain has a heads up. The boat has plenty of storage for towels, beach bags, sunscreen (rub on only), camera, snacks, drinks, and hats. The boat is required to have life preservers for all ages and sizes aboard. Multiple sizes of life jackets for small kids and young adults is also a benefit when riding with Captain Chris.

The Captain

Captain Christopher Neste is a USCG License Captain and South Carolina Interpretive Naturalist. 20 years of experience operating small craft, sailing vessels, Sport fishers, and skiffs. He acquired a boating license at the age of 12 from the Coast Guard Auxiliary and had his first boat shortly after. Each summer, he worked as a mate from the bottom up learning many things the hard way, by seasoned sailors and fishermen that didn't take it easy on him. The experiences have molded him along the way. Each one has taught him what he really wants out of working as a full-time guide on the water. Taking people out into Nature is his passion, especially trips teaching kids. He gets some groups whose kids have never seen the ocean before or it’s there 2nd or 3rd time as a young adult. These trips are where good memories of the ocean begin.

Fulfilling someone’s dream to see a dolphin up-close or catch a shark for the first time, those are the trips he always remembers.

Safety is obviously the number one priority. Hilton Head Island Tours has a perfect safety record for a reason and would like to keep it that way. Situations can arise quickly and It’s the Captain’s job to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Always, the constant pursuit is to get better. The term “Day Off” doesn't really exist for a full-time guide. Operating around 200 days per year, there is no time for breakdowns and canceling trips mid-season, during busy weeks, is a no-can-do. The Captain keeps a strict maintenance schedule to make sure The Night Heron is in tip-top shape throughout the year. The salt marsh environment can be hard on boats and also produces its own unique challenges daily. On average, there’s a 6-7ft tide, but some days tides can fluctuate 9 1/2 ft. Experience matters out here, and a seasoned Captain always welcomes a challenge. Every day is different and that’s what makes it great.

The Boat

You will be riding aboard The Night Heron, a customized 22ft Sea Pro Bay Boat powered by a brand-new, whisper quiet, 2018 140hp Suzuki Outboard. This boat has comfortable seating for up to six passengers and boasts a large shade canopy. The Captain prides himself in boat safety and boat comfort. An experienced boater will appreciate the way The Night Heron performs in choppy seas or remote glassy backwaters. Onboard, is an array of cast and scoop nets, buckets, crab traps, fish grips, gloves, plyers, and other tools to inspect wild creatures residing in our waterways. Something interesting and exciting is usually going on throughout the year and the Captain will rig the boat accordingly. It changes throughout the year, some days there will be 3 different nets and 8 different fishing rods, for all types of different situations.

Unfortunately, there is no bathroom on board, but you are never more than 5 mins away from the nearest restroom if the Captain has a heads up. The boat has plenty of storage for towels, beach bags, sunscreen (rub on only), camera, snacks, drinks, and hats. The boat is required to have life preservers for all ages and sizes aboard. Multiple sizes of life jackets for small kids and young adults is also a benefit when riding with Captain Chris.

What People Are Saying

  • Great family experience. Captain Chris did a great job of catering to everyone on the trip. We would recommend Chris for family fishing trips in HHI! - Fishing Trip
  • Captain Chris was amazing on our shark fishing trip. Our 11 year old twins enjoyed every second of it and he took the time to teach them , help them and show them the sharks . We would highly recommend. - Shark Fishing
  • We took a ride through the Calibogue Sound with Captain Chris, we had such a fun time, he knew lots about the island, the wildlife and many amazing features of the island. Most importantly we saw lots of dolphins, such a great experience, we'll definitely visit him again! - Dolphin Tour
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