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.