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Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina Welcomed the Exciting Captain Kidd Crabbing Adventure in 2023

Updated: Apr 1

Looking for a fun, safe, educational and hands on outing for the whole family during your next Hilton Head vacation? Then you’ll have to keep in mind our new Captain Kidd Crabbing Adventure! The Crabber J had recently retired this past spring, but they were always about creating a kid friendly boat tour. Continuing that same spirit behind the crabbing adventure, the Captain Kidd starting running tours in April of 2023 at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina.

Captain Kidd boat in the harbour

The Captain Kidd runs seasonally from April – September featuring two tours: Sport Crabbing Adventure and Fireworks Crabbing Adventure. Take a crabbing adventure during the day or enjoy a beautiful evening sunset and fantastic fireworks show from the water. The crew will offer a brief demonstration on how to catch the little critters and educate guests on Hilton Head’s local ecosystem and salt-marsh wildlife. Continue reading below to learn about the captain, the tour experience, custom boat wrap, and guests reviews from this season.

Get to Know the Captain Kidd Crew at Shelter Cove Harbour

Pictured Left to Right - First Mate Paul and Captain Deborah
Pictured Left to Right - First Mate Paul and Captain Deborah

Captain Deborah has a passion for people, Hilton Head Island, education and conservation. She started out in Shelter Cove aboard Dolphin Seafari in 2017, received her captain’s license a few years ago and is now in her 3rd season of running boats at the marina. One of Captain Deborah’s favorite parts about her job is being a storyteller and narrating the tour in a way that’s easy for all ages to digest. She said, “I love interacting with people and seeing their group have a great time. It’s wonderful to hear guests walking away saying they had learned so much or hearing kids ask if they can go again in the future! And I really want to share what a world class ecosystem Hilton Head has. Its waters have a rich history and I hope that people will love and respect the island even more after this tour.”

group of guests holding a crab on the boat of Captain Kidd
Guest Photo Credit via Tripadvisor

Captain Kidd will get families coming back year after year to share this experience together with each generation. Captain Deborah and First Mate Paul will show guests how to handle the crabs safely and upon making their catch, take their photo for a memory.

Side of the Captain Kidd boat with a bunch of guests on board

Captain Deborah and her First Mate Paul strive to make it a fun experience all around! Captain Deborah spoke to us about Paul and she said, “He makes an excellent first mate. Paul has a great personality and positive attitude. He is a team player and is a natural with guests & kids. We both genuinely love people, being hospitable and creating a warm welcome for all.”

view of the Captain Kidd boat with decals on the side
Photo Credit: Hilton Head Wrap Company

Along with a friendly welcome from the crew, the custom boat wrap provides an inviting feel while walking aboard.

Hilton Head Natives Design Custom Boat Wrap for Captain Kidd

different views of the detailed boat decals on the Captain Kidd boat
Photo Credit: Hilton Head Wrap Company

Hilton Head Wrap Company is a collective of Hilton Head Island natives who have over 40 years combined experience in the industry. They created this custom boat wrap for Captain Kidd as it began its first season at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina in 2023! The Hilton Head Island Natives delivered a highly creative and colorful piece, capturing the fun that awaits on board a Captain Kidd Boat Tour.

Captain Kidd boat leaving he marina

Captain Deborah narrates your trip as you head out on your adventure. Captain Deborah shared, “I’ll exchange an exciting amount of information about our ecosystem & the marsh, the tides, the nursey & low tides, sharks, the seafood we eat, dolphins, spartina grass, blue crabs, history, and fun wildlife stories.” Captain Kidd will anchor up in the shallow saltwater marshes of Hilton Head and the crew will demonstrate how to safely make your catch.

Guests Return Year After Year for a Memorable Crabbing Adventure on Hilton Head Island

(Guest Photo Credit via Tripadvisor)

Each passenger is supplied with their own crabbing equipment and whoever catches the most crabs by the time the bell rings wins the official (and much coveted) t-shirt!

Tripadvisor Guest Review from July 2023: “We’ve had Captain Deb both years we’ve gone and she’s awesome! She is incredibly knowledgeable about the area and makes the trip not just about crabbing. We saw dolphins and learned all about the oysters in HH. And the crabbing part is a competition, so whoever catches the most crabs wins a t-shirt! Great experience for families and friends - highlight of our vacation and highly recommend!!”

shark head with captains hat over a touch tank on board

The Captain Kidd boat is safe, stable and comfortable with a bathroom and fully shaded seating for those hot summer days. There’s even a touch tank on the Captain Kidd that provides an area for kids to hold a live crab and salt-marsh wildlife.

girls looking over the edge of the boat with their fishing rods
Photo Credit Captain Kidd

Plan to catch local blue crabs, fish (seasonally), hopefully see dolphins, learn about oysters, and more!

Father and son holding a crab in a net on board
Guest Photo Credit via Tripadvisor

During your trip you will release everything you catch which protects the local commercial crabbing industry.

young boy as the captain of the boat
Guest Photo Credit via Tripadvisor

Another recent guest review left this past August on Tripadvisor said, “Highly recommend! Took our two kids crab fishing enjoyed the entire experience! Enjoyed hearing facts about the island, fishing, banter with crew, and allowing the kids to become captain! The entire experience was amazing we truly enjoyed and will be 100% booking again on our next trip to HHI next year. Thank you to the crew (female captain and male crew mate) for such an exciting adventure! We look forward to seeing you all soon.” Read more Captain Kidd Tripadvisor reviews here.

Captain Kidd boat leaving the marina with trees to the left

This is the perfect activity to keep in mind while planning your next Hilton Head family vacation! Get ready to set sail on the Captain Kidd in 2024 at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina.


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