Holy City by sea: Charter captain, HOBA founder shares his favorite Charleston views from the water

This article was written by HOBA founder, David Yates for the Post and Courier. Photo by Grace Beahm.

Something I’ve always been passionate about is getting people out on the water — whether for fishing or just cruising.

Here in my hometown, I’m fortunate to live in one of the one of the most beautiful and historical cities in the world — Charleston. Surrounded by rivers, ocean, harbor, barrier islands, sandy beaches and historical landmarks, Charleston also has a world-class ecosystem with unparalleled sunsets. All in my own backyard!

Sixteen years ago, I decided to leave the world of construction to pursue a dream of becoming a charter fishing captain. Growing up with a trout fishing legend, my dad, gave me and my brother Jeff a slight edge. We already knew the waterways and how to catch a fish.

After years of chartering, I realized there was more to Charleston than just fishing. With my new venture, I created a free app to show the public the Lowcountry at its best. The name of the app is HOBA, "Hop On a Boat Anywhere."

There’s nothing like seeing the Ravenel Bridge from the Charleston Harbor. The expanse's structural beauty coupled with its iconic nature are perfectly captured from the comfort of a boat.

Right next to the Ravenel Bridge is Patriot's Point, where the historic aircraft carrier the USS Yorktown rests. Seeing it from a boat is a truly humbling and patriotic experience. Ten minutes across the Harbor are Battery Park and Rainbow Row. For anyone who has toured Charleston, these famous places are at the top of the must-see list; yet, few have had the chance to view them from the water. When leisurely cruising the Charleston Peninsula on a boat, one feels the serenity and awesomeness rarely experienced on a walking or carriage tour. Chartering a boat cruise truly captures the heart and soul of Charleston.

Straight offshore from downtown is Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Fort Moultrie is directly across on the beach of Sullivan’s Island. Beyond that is the 3-mile stretch of the Jetties, lined with fisherme n— both recreational and charter. On the way south, you’ll see the Morris Island Lighthouse on the ocean side of the island. On the inland side, you won’t be surprised to see a gang of boats tied up for a party.

My last stop is the famous Shem Creek —where locals and visitors gather to eat, drink, and be merry. Whether tying up to grab a fresh seafood bite or just taking a minute to watch the amazing dolphins, manatees and pelicans, Shem Creek is the perfect place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The atmosphere is lively and the people are friendly.

David Yates is the founder of the HOBA app and Yates Sea Charters.