As someone who grew up on the marshy shores of southeastern Virginia, I make sure to gaze out over the Stono Bridge every time I drive home to Johns Island. Sometimes I even remember to roll the windows down. It looks and smells and feels like a childhood of mud fights in the creek and blue crabs on the dock. As I got older, our evening family boat rides turned into mini booze cruises, with coolers packed to the brim with beers for the humans and plenty of water for the dogs. I was, and still am, pretty sure that there’s no better body of water on which to enjoy a cold one than the Mobjack Bay.
The Stono River and its surrounding estuaries come pretty damn close, though. Last night we hopped aboard the 100+ foot luxury yacht, Carolina Girl, for an hour and a half cruise along those beautiful, quiet waterways. Although Captain Bob Murray has been renting out his yacht for private parties since 2006, he and his crew just recently added a locals Lowcountry Cruise to take place every other Wed. night., launching from the St. Johns Yacht Harbor. For just $35, Lowcountry denizens can get over the hump on a bad ass BYOB boat.
Yes, you read that right. No over-priced watered down rail cocktails that you may find on another cruising vessel. We went with our personal favorite, a solid box of red wine from Trader Joes, but we saw other boaters sipping on cans of beer, bottles of white, and even some vodka soda. You can obviously bring your own snacks, too. Cheese plate on the water with a breeze skirting across your slice of Swiss? Yes please.
The boat is huge, so even with a handful of separate groups on deck, there’s plenty of room to move about (and mingle if you so choose). Murray noted that on a cruise a couple of weeks ago a love connection was forged, and the new couple came back, together, for a ride the following Wednesday. Below deck is air-conditioned, if you’ve had enough of the sunset views and fresh, salty air. The bathrooms are far nicer than any we’ve ever seen on the water, which is a huge plus if you’re throwing back a few glasses of vino.
The sailing is smooth (Captain Bob has had his Captain’s license since he was 21) and there were quite a few dolphin sightings in addition to a wild boar. Yes, a wild boar.
The next Wed. sunset cruise will be June 6 at 6:30 p.m. Whether you’re looking for love, a fun evening with friends, or a pleasant spot for boozin and cheesin and selfie taking, we highly suggest scooping up a ticket. It’s the most fun you could have in the middle of the week, and where else can you (safely) spot a wild boar?
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