About the Dolphin SMART Program

Although we are not officially part of the program or view dolphins from a motor boat but from a kayak when we do get lucky enough for seeing the wildlife, we do practice in part Dolphin SMART style viewing. We do try to keep our distance, not to disturb them when feeding in the creek but being a creek it is challenging sometimes with the narrow waterways of a tidal creek. We do not ever want to chase or approach the dolphins to closely where they may feel uncomfortable, but let them come to you kind of like an unfamiliar dog. This way it is on their terms and comfortability as they pass us or check us out as curiosity. Unfortunately, we have seen signs on dolphins of people who do not practice any responsibility who have scar marks or even missing dorsal fins.

Some outfits use to in old days and tourist who rent boats always would like to see dolphins, especially up close. They would bait them in with fresh fish (fish on old tours, probably decades ago now, where tourist may use what they have for a snack or lunch for them selves on the boat) and then eventually what ever they had on the boat. Processed food is not great for us let alone a dolphin. Also they tend to be fed around the back side of the boat since the lowest part of the boat wall to the water but also brings the dolphin close to the motors. Even when I, Mark, sometimes have been out on the personal boat with family or friends. We have seen dolphins and they will approach the back of the boat sometimes, this is generally a trained behavior like a dog at the dinner table. So, even though it should not be done, people are still doing this because they either do not know better or care for the well being what some may say is our closes relation in the water as they just want to see and maybe touch like the images seen at certain water parks with more of a trained, domesticated dolphin in a controlled environment.


For more information about the practice, click link to NOAA about Dolphin SMART and intro below.


To promote responsible stewardship of wild dolphins in coastal waterways.

Dolphin SMART Program Purpose:

  • Minimize the potential of wild dolphin harassment caused by commercial viewing activities.
  • Reduce expectations of close interaction with wild dolphins in a manner that may cause harassment.
  • Eliminate advertising that creates expectations of engaging in activities that may cause harassment.
  • Promote stewardship of local coastal waterways.

Dolphin SMART acronym spelled out: Stay back 50 years from dolphins, Move away cautiously if dolphins show signw of disturbance, Always put your engin in neutral when dolphins are near, Refain from feeding, touching or swimming with wild dolphins, Teach otheres to be dolphin smart

Again, you can find out more about the program at,



Low(er)-tide not only for wildlife viewing when kayaking.

Here is another idea of places which you have to plan your visits around the tides. Just like with us kayaking, most of your wildlife viewing will be around your mid to low tides but are limited of where you can kayak then. In other parts of the world, in order to see sights or even access some locations is based around low tide as well. Below is a link from the weather.com site of 12 other places to view based around low tides.


NuCanoe Pursuit launch is near.

NuCanoe Pursuit is getting ready to launch.

NuCanoe is getting ready to release the new design to the family of fishing kayaks. After the Frontier, now comes the NuCanoe Pursuit which is a little longer and geared more toward BTB fishing or someone who is looking to paddle a little more distance to their fishing grounds. Although the NuCanoe Pursuit is more of a single person kayak, it will still provide the stability the Frontier is known for. If you want to know how the Frontier compares to the NuCanoe Pursuite follow the link. There are also a few other new additions in the boat to enjoy. Below you will find a promo video gearing up for the launch of the NuCanoe Pursuit plus a video walk through of the features. ENJOY…


NuCanoe Pursuit
NuCanoe Pursuit


Length: 13.5′
Width: 35″
Height: 12″ – 15″
Draft 3″ – 5″
Hull Weight: 82lbs (est)
Primary Seating: 1 Person
Max Capacity: 500lbs
Self-Bailing Capacity: 350lbs
Max Aux Power: 2.5HP or equivalent

Seating System:

The Pursuit Seating System sets a new standard for fishing kayaks. Modeled after high-end ergonNuCanoe Pursuit Fishing Kayak Solo Angler Seating Systemomic seats, it provides ideal lumbar support for maximum comfort without impeding the natural range of motion for paddling and fishing. Utilizing cutting-edge advanced fabric that provides natural stretch, the seat is so breathable you can literally see through the fabric. Last but not least, the multi-height adjustability provides 5” travel from low to high and adjusts on the fly. It’s simplicity – and comfort – are unmatched. (prototype pictured)


Promo Video for the NuCanoe Pursuit and below is a walk through:

Source of information is from NuCanoe.com at http://www.nucanoe.com/blog/pursuit-fishing-kayak/

3rd bottlenose dolphin found dead; cause unknown

Another sad story which has appeared in the papers the last few days with more questions then answers at the moment. Story below from Island Packet.

3rd bottlenose dolphin found dead; cause unknown

For the third time in a week, a dead bottlenose dolphin has been found in Beaufort County waters.

Beaufort resident Susan Trogdon said she was paddling in the Harbour River about 10:30 a.m. Saturday when she saw the body of the bottlenose floating in the marsh grass. The animal had a shallow, foot-long scrape on its side, said Trogdon, who contacted the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

“We saw lots of happy, healthy ones, they were all around us, so it was quite shocking and very sad,” Trogdon said.

It’s too soon to tell what killed the dolphin, or another bottlenose dolphin found dead in the May River in Bluffton on Thursday, according to Jessica Conway, a marine biologist with the center testing the animals, the Marine Mammal Stranding Network in Charleston. The Bluffton dolphin arrived at the network’s facility in Charleston on Saturday and has not yet been tested, she said.

On Monday, another dying bottlenose dolphin washed ashore on Hilton Head Island and died before marine biologists could reach it. That animal appeared to be an older dolphin and could have had pneumonia and a weak heart, according to Wayne McFee of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

While dolphin populations along the East Coast have been crippled since July by a deadly outbreak of morbillivirus, Conway said she cannot speculate as to what caused the recent deaths in Beaufort County.

Those who find a stranded dolphin should not attempt to push the animal back into the water but should should call the Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 1-800-922-5431.

“It could injure yourself or the dolphin,” she said. “They do have teeth and they can bite if they’re hurt or struggling, and they don’t usually strand if they’re not already sick.”

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.

Spring Fishing Report March 2014

For you fisherman out there; here are a few reports of what is going on.

Spottail Bass: Good.  Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) in Beaufort reports that fish remain schooled up on the flats, and the key to catching them is a very stealthy presentation.  On the fly light leaders down to 10-pound fluorocarbon, and small size 4 or 6 flies in light colors such as tan and white are best.  On spinning tackle use as light a jighead as you can get cast, tipped with a light colored grub body such as a tan/ chartreuse paddle tail grub or a Gulp! Shrimp.  Mirrolure shallow suspended twitch baits, now available in even smaller sizes, can also be good this time of year.

Captain Dan “Fishin’ Coach” Utley (843-368-2126) in Hilton Head reports that fishing is unpredictable, and on his last trip the fish had lockjaw – while two days before they caught 20 fish with half in the slot and half 24-27 inches!  On low water the fish are too spooky to feed right now, but around high tide they will feed, particularly around grass with oyster beds.   The high outgoing tide is probably best right now.  Some days fish will take a free-lined live minnow – which is very exciting to watch them eat – but on some days only Gulp! shrimp on a 1/4 ounce jighead are effective.  Cast as far away from the boat as possible and work the bait as slowly as possible – sometimes it’s necessary to let the bait sit still and wait for a bite.  Fish will get more active and aggressive as spring approaches.  Do not count on fish being in the same spots from day to day as dolphins are taking advantage of the clear water and keeping the fish on the move.

No new trout reports.

Offshore: No new report from Captain Wally Phinney (843-838-7437).

Source: “SC Fish Report

NuCanoe Fishing Kayak Rentals now being offered

Have you fished from a NuCanoe fishing kayak rental? If not, then you are missing a whole new experience. A NuCanoe fishing kayak rental allows you to get to places that boats simply cannot. Quietly paddle out to enjoy one of the most stable kayak fishing experiences out there. img_6231

We have been asked and had several customers go out fishing in Jarvis Creek. For some customers they wanted a little more then just a regular kayak or canoe. We had some NuCanoe classics for the last few years and have been very popular with multiple style paddlers out there. They have been used in older and less experienced kayakers, families wanting to be together in one boat, some customers in wheel chairs but who can still sit up to paddle and fisherman. Because there are so many options and can be changed fairly quickly for different purposes. When we ordered the new Frontiers, we also ordered fishing setups. This way we can use them as a kayak hybrid but also set up more for the fisherman looking for a stable platform. At Jarvis Creek Water Sports, we will offer two setups when it comes to the NuCanoe fishing kayak rental. A Base fisherman package and the Professional Fisherman’s package. Since there are so many options you can setup a NuCanoe with we wanted to offer fishing packages to get you on the water at a reasonable cost. We also wanted to offer some of the other options available if you really want the full experience with kayak fishing using a NuCanoe.

If you are interested in purchasing a NuCanoe in the future. Or, just in the area for a vacation and want to head out kayak fishing. Then this will be a great experience and opportunity for you. With the weekly rentals, you can take them to different kayaking locations in the area for different fishing environments.  Make a day trip or longer from Savannah, Beaufort, Charleston, or Jacksonville and throw a line out in Jarvis Creek. If you would like to try a NuCanoe fishing kayak rental in Hilton Head. Call ahead to save yours today. Since we operate as first reserved, first served.

Check out Jarvis Creek Water Sports kayaking fishing rental packages

NuCanoe Fishing Kayak Rental is a great stable way to fish in some of those hard to access by boat areas.**Boat sizes for rent, Frontier in 12 & 10 foot, Classic in 12 foot. Not included with rentals; fishing license, poles, tackle, bait, cooler, nets or other desired/ required fishing gear. We handle the boat and options with in the boat, you are responsible for anything else.


NuCanoe Frontiers are here at Jarvis Creek

NuCanoe Frontier Rentals and Tours

The NuCanoe Frontier has been on our wish list for a little while as for being a small shop. But, our fleet recently got a little bigger with the addition of the NuCanoe Frontier for rentals (demos) and tours. It felt like Christmas when the shipment came in with the new boats all wrapped up waiting to be opened. We received mostly 12 footers with a 10 footer Frontier to add to our fleet and one new 12 footer in the store for sale with a few optional additional accessories at NuCanoe prices.

img_6278 img_6280

The NuCanoe Frontier provides more stability then the classic with easier standing with the wide deck. Water drains out through the built in rear scuppers to keep your feet drier from catching that large fish or splashing water on your self to cool off. Many more options are now available for customizing these boats especially to the fisherman which the classic was already popular. It is a an easier boat to pickup by oneself (although a little heavier) then the classic with the ridges in the bottom to grip by hand when carrying off one’s hip. The cart does make it even easier though when by yourself.

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It feels very comfortable paddling one out with my DSLR and standing up in it taking pictures with the camera. Although it is a little harder to get closer to wild life in that sense because of the wider-flatter channeled bottom compared to the classic produces a slight lapping sound of the water (it was also a little windy on test day when they arrived). But it can also be expected with wider boats and flatter bottoms which produce the stability. It feels like a kayak, canoe and SUP board hybrid when paddling. Seated low on standard bench seats like a kayak, wide for stability like a canoe and stand up paddling like a SUP. The Nucanoe Frontier makes a great boat for those trailing reds up in the marsh flats and getting into those areas where the motor boats can not go.

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If you have been looking for the NuCanoe Frontier to rent or buy we can help you. We have both 10 and 12 footer to test on the water and what we do not have in the store, we can custom order it for you. If you would like to rent a Frontier for demo or look at one. Just call 843-681-9260 since Jarvis Creek Water Sports operates by appointments being a one man shop. We will shortly be offing Frontier fishing rental packages.

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Shrimp Boat update and in the News.

It has been a little while since I have been able to give an update.

The shrimp boats have has their fuel (close to 1000 gal) and hazard material removed by the Coast Guard. Unfortunately the shrimp boats them selves are still out there and breaking apart fast. There has been a lot more boat traffic in the creek since the accident, everyone wants to see the sunken shrimp boats. Some even think its cool and add a charm. The down side is that Lady Essie is breaking apart fast with items floating up and down the creek. Mark has pulled a few pickup truck loads of it out which was floating along the creek to the trash. Coolers, foam, boards and other items. There is still a mid refrigerator out there a little to big to get into a canoe safely floating in the grass area along with other debris. Lady Essie really has no back deck left to it now as it breaks apart and the walls are pulling apart as well.Diane, so far is holding together a little better at the moment, for how long, no one really know.


The boats were in the news a little while ago and so were we.





Shrimp Boat Accident in Jarvis Creek

Came down for a kayak tour Wednesday morning just before 9 AM and saw some boats out in the creek from the dock. One was sitting high and dry, Diane, and in the upright position on a mud flat. img_6019  This boat has been sitting for the last several years next to the Crazy Crab restaurant on a private dock and has been very popular as a back drop for tourist taking photos off the Crazy Crab decks or our docks at Jarvis Creek Water Sports. This is one reason why Jarvis Creek does not have a lot of boat traffic which makes it great for beginner kayaks looking for wildlife. If you do not know the creek and even a lot of times if you know the creek, people still get stuck in here with some more repercussions then others. I can not exactly say what happened, but from the looks of things I could make an educated guess.

It looked like Lady Essie was towing out Diane possibly and pulled her up onto the mud-flat (grounded her) which is shallow at high-tide and hidden unless you know the creek. Maybe in assisting, Lady Essie possibly got stuck up on the steep outer bank of the narrow elbow where the main channel of the creek flows and when the tide went out, it laid the boat on its side. The average tide change is close to 8 feet and in that area at low-tide is a little greater then waist deep on average (sometimes shallower, depending on the moon), high-tide is over your head.  When the tide started coming back in, it started overflowing into the boat. Some of the rigging on the boat is broken and laying to the side which could also created a higher offset of balance for the boat so it could not right it self as the tide came back in. Other then a few items floating around, it did not smell of look like it was leaking any fuel into the water. It did not make it easy to get around in kayaks, especially at low-tide since it blocks the creeks main entrance and creates a hazard as we have to be careful of the rigging in the water. On tour we had to wait for the tide to come back in some so there was room to get around with out getting to close to the boat. (At low-tide Jarvis Creek is very limited where you can go since you can walk most of the creek at that time but does offer better wildlife viewing.) For the people on the tour this morning it was a different site and unusual. Although our main goal was to try to see the dolphins and one of the babies which has been seen in that area around low-tide being taught to tail slap (tail whip, thrash feeding, depends on your source) which we did not see this morning.

Below are a few photos which I took. Some were from the dock before going out on tour while a few others were when I got back and could take my camera out on a more stable craft since I do not usually take my camera on the water, by then the tide was coming back in.


Story in the Packet below…

Two boats grounded in marsh on Hilton Head

Two shrimp boats are grounded in a marsh on the north end of Hilton Head Island near the Crazy Crab restaurant. One has partially overturned and has taken on some water.

Responding Marine Patrol deputies from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office helped the owner get off the now-overturned boat, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sgt. Robin McIntosh said Wednesday afternoon.

She said there were no injuries, and there is no environmental concern such as leaking fuel.

The owner said he had come from Port Royal early this morning to help tow another boat that is currently docked behind the restaurant.

As the boater approached, the tide pushed the boat aground in the marsh where the waters are extremely shallow, McIntosh said.

She said the owner is making arrangements to have the boat recovered and returned to Port Royal as soon as possible.

Update from Packet on Thursday 8/15/13

Two shrimp boats ran aground Wednesday morning in a marsh on the north end of Hilton Head Island in waters near the Crazy Crab restaurant. One partially overturned during the incident and took on some water.

James Murray is captain of the overturned Lady Essie, a 1969, 65-foot shrimp trawler based in Port Royal. He said he came into Jarvis Creek at about 7 a.m. to tow another shrimp trawler, the Dianie, from the dock behind the restaurant, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sgt. Robin McIntosh said.

Murray, who is 69 and from Savannah, said he was unfamiliar with the creek and the shallow areas, and he ran aground as he was trying to leave the creek.

He said the Lady Essie then began to list as the tide ran out and came to rest on its side. As the tide came back in, Murray’s boat became partially submerged.

Murray was the only person on board, and he was not injured in the incident, McIntosh said. Responding Marine Patrol deputies from the Sheriff’s Office helped Murray off the boat and took him and the belongings he had collected to a nearby dock.

Officers said the Lady Essie was not leaking any fuel, debris or hazardous materials into Jarvis Creek, McIntosh said. They checked several times throughout the day to make sure it had not started leaking.

Officers determined that the Dianie, the boat Murray was trying to tow, was securely moored and did not appear to be in any danger of listing or becoming submerged.

McIntosh said they notified the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Coast Guard of the incident, but they were not involved because there was no threat or collision.

She said Murray is making arrangements to try to salvage the Lady Essie Thursday morning, and will attempt to refloat the boat. He hopes he can return it to Port Royal as soon as possible.



Wood storks are again calling the South Carolina coast home

This is good news for the troubled birds and we do get to see the Wood Storks out in the creek. It is also hard to believe but grateful that they have made such a recovery in the last about 4 years. The second article is at the bottom of this page from 2009 about the trouble the some birds and Wood Storks are or were in.

Wood storks are again calling the South Carolina coast home

No more than 15 years ago, it would have made a bird watcher’s week to see the seldom-seen wood stork.

Today, a daily siting is not unusual.  MandJ100_0911-2185

That development pleases watchers, environmental agencies and wildlife experts who are happy to see wood storks — and in large numbers — calling the South Carolina coast home.

As the population has grown in recent years, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has launched a new wood stork study — part of a collaborative project throughout the Southeast — to learn more about their movements, demography and longevity, according to a DNR release.

“These studies are important to help us track the movement of the birds,” said Ken Scott, vice president of the Fripp Audubon club and a frequent birder. “We are trying to find out where the wood storks go and which ones come back for nesting.”

DNR has banded more than 50 wood storks with easy to spot orange bands with black numbers. It is asking people who see the such storks to report the sightings as part of the project.

Scott said he has called in several sightings in the past month and knows others in the club have, as well.

Just last year, the birds were listed as a federally protected endangered species, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed in December to change that status to “threatened.”

The growing number of wood storks indicate a healthier environment, Scott said.

Pete Richards, president of the Fripp Audubon club, said the birds are a great success story, especially in Beaufort County along the barrier islands. While he doesn’t have specific local numbers, he says wood stork numbers from the club’s annual Christmas Bird Count have continued to rise.

The protected habitat here provides wood storks with perfect nesting and feeding grounds and have been a key factor in their growth.

“This data that the DNR is collecting is really important to see trends and any issues these birds are facing and then develop strategies to address them,” Richards said. “It’s important to ensure these birds can continue to live, survive and thrive.”



Older Story below about the trouble they were in….

Brown pelicans, wood stork and other coastal birds at risk, new study says
March 23, 2009

Pollution, climate change and energy production are contributing to steep declines in marsh and coastal bird populations, according to a new government report.

The first-of-its-kind report chronicles a four-decade drop in many of the country’s bird populations. The report says the drop in numbers has been caused by a variety of factors, including suburban sprawl, the spread of exotic species and global warming.

Hamilton Davis of the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League said most of the zoning in the state encourages sprawl and policies must be created to use land efficiently.

He said progress is being made in Beaufort County, where local leaders have updated comprehensive plans to include progressive land planning tools, such as stormwater controls that can reduce pollution.

“They are still in implementation stages, but they are infinitely better than they were in the past,” he said. “And the benefit is preservation of wetlands and open spaces and generally less growing in a way that has fewer negative impacts on our natural resources.”

The report also shows that conservation efforts can work. Birds that live in wetlands and the nation’s waterfowl have rebounded over the past 40 years, a period marked by increased efforts to protect wetlands.

Across the country, energy production is playing a role in bird populations. Birds collide with wind turbines and oil and gas wells, and studies have shown some species will avoid nesting near those structures. The U.S. State of Birds report, released Tuesday by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, was requested in October 2007 by President George W. Bush.

Environmentalists and scientists say the report should signal to the Obama administration to proceed cautiously as it seeks to expand renewable energy production and the electricity grid on public lands, and tries to harness wind energy along the nation’s coastlines.

In South Carolina, offshore wind is gaining traction as a potential source for energy, said Davis, who sits on a governor-appointed committee to study the resource’s potential.

“We need to be wary of where we will put those wind farms,” he said, adding that if wind farms are out of birds’ migratory patterns, there is less chance of harming them.

Barry Lowes of the Hilton Head Island Audubon Society said harnessing wind is a better option for birds than pollution that can come from coal-fired plants.

Lowes said everyone needs to be aware of what a declining bird population means for the ecosystem.

“We’ve got to understand we are right in the middle of it, and whatever happens to them will happen to us too,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


•Wood stork

• Clapper rail

• Whooping crane

• Seaside sparrow

• Piping plover

• Brown pelican