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New sunset cruise captures the beauty of the islands

PHOTO BY: Kim Little and Vince Bono

PHOTO BY: Kim Little and Vince Bono

As the Palmetto Breeze pulled away from the docks at Morgan Creek Grill this past Tuesday, Captain John Borden announced, “Next stop, Bermuda!” And while we knew that wasn’t where we were headed, for two hours we were transported somewhere eerily similar.

Ominous clouds hung over the Isle of Palms inlet before the newest sunset excursion offered by Charleston AquaSafaris departed. Minutes after motoring out, passengers were delighted to see a vibrant and stratified rainbow dominating the view from the catamaran’s starboard side. With all the signs of a bothersome rainstorm passing, the cruise took on another life as the 20 or so passengers let out a collective sigh of relief.

Captain Borden, a middle-aged man born of the same mold as Jimmy Buffett, belted a guttural honk from a conch shell to announce the boat’s departure. Rene Russell, a traveled 12-string guitar player and Morgan Creek regular, plugged in and strummed Stephen Stills’ “Southern Cross”, followed by Buffett’s “A Pirate Looks At 40.” The guests hovered at the cash bar, which offered the usual selection of domestic and import beers and each of the popular wine varietals. Seared tuna, pimiento cheese rolls, and satay chicken kept everyone on their feet.

The clouds overhead morphed from red to rainbow to a beautiful canary yellow. As Dewees Island came into the ship’s view, the captain cut the motor and sailed. After reaching the breakwaters past the Isle of Palms coastline, the Palmetto Breeze turned around, chasing the impending darkness home for the most tranquil hour one will likely ever experience.

There’s plenty of sunset cruises in the Charleston area, but this one encompasses the natural beauty of the Dewees Island and Capers Island inlets, making it something truly special. It’s not Bermuda, but with a little imagination, it very well could be.

The Palmetto Breeze leaves the Morgan Creek Grill at 6:30pm every Tuesday. The sunset cruise features complimentary soft drinks, bottled water and appetizers along with a cash bar. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased by calling the restaurant at 886-8133.

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