July 2020

Pedal Power: Bluewater Adventures’ latest party boat offers a wheel good time

Author: Barry Kaufman | Photographer: M.KAT Photography

Captain Nick Haidon and the CH2 crew head out on the water after boarding Miss Christie in Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina.

If you’ve spent any amount of time in a major city over the last few years, you’ve no doubt seen one of the coolest trends to hit the drinking world: pedal-powered pubs. In essence, these wheeled watering holes take patrons on a sudsy tour of the city, propelling themselves along as they imbibe.

Like food trucks before them, these mobile bars seemed like a novelty but have proven their staying power, and it was only a matter of time before they came to Hilton Head Island. Bluewater Adventures, however, is putting their own twist on the pedal pub. Enter the Miss Christie, a cycleboat that seats a dozen and holds 20 for a pedal-powered paddlewheel drinking tour of Calibogue Sound.

“There’s nothing like it on Hilton Head,” Captain Nick Haidon said. “When we finally got it out on the water, the phone started ringing non-stop.”

It’s easy to see why. Decked out in its eye-catching orange and teal paint scheme, the Miss Christie demands attention when it sails out of Shelter Cove Marina. On board, the party atmosphere is unlike anything else on the island. Some folks will wander the deck, watching dolphins dance on the waves, while some will perch on one of a dozen bike seats set around a central BYOB bar and help turn the boat’s paddlewheel. And one lucky guest at a time will get to serve as DJ, connecting to the Bluetooth sound system to pump up the jams.

And you’d better bring it. As Haidon pointed out with a laugh, “The Captain reserves the right to turn your music off.” (During the C2 cruise you see here, Captain Mike did have to step in at one point, because apparently, I was the only Slayer fan on the boat). “We actually blew out the speakers on the maiden voyage. That’s how loud and rowdy this group was.”

The speakers have been upgraded, so feel free to crank it. But then, everything on the ship has been upgraded. Part of creating something entirely new is having to constantly tweak the formula. “It took a full year to get this because it’s such a new concept,” Haidon said. “Every time we’d get to a new part, there would be a Coast Guard inspection. We had to move that boat around a lot.”

The result is a machine built for a good time. All you have to do is bring a few friends and a cooler of your most potent potables. A two-hour tour will run $55 a person, and a four-hour tour is $99 a person, with bottled water and ice for your drinks included.

To learn more, visit bluewateradventurehiltonhead.com.

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