I truly cannot think of a better way to experience a Hilton Head Island sunset than on a sailboat. I have been on several sailboats while living on this beautiful island, but the “Sumo” trimaran out of Harbour Town Marina is by far my favorite!

My husband, sister and I set sail at 6:30pm for a 2 hour sunset cruise to celebrate my sister’s birthday. Although warm and humid, it was a perfect evening for sailing with clear skies and a strong breeze. Using a solar powered electric engine, we set out from the Harbour Town Yacht Basin making our way into the Calibogue sound. By the time we made it approximately 100 yards out of the basin, the sails were up and we were powered by wind. We enjoyed 360 degree views of the Calibogue Sound, Harbour Town Lighthouse, South Beach area, Daufuskie Island, and Baratara Island.

The 38 foot long, 32 foot wide tri-hulled sailboat, named “Sumo”, was not only built by but also being navigated by Captain Pat. Having sailed since he was 8 years old, and spending a handful of years as a windsurf instructor, it was quickly obvious that Captain Pat had a wealth of knowledge about the use of wind and sails to gracefully navigate the ocean. And what was even more impressive was Captain Pat built the trimaran we were sailing by hand, with it taking him 5 years to complete. Within the main hull, there was a large cabin area with a kitchen, seating area, full bath and 2 sleeping areas. Then between the main hull and 2 outside hulls were trampoline areas, which proved to be perfect spots for relaxing and watching the water rush by. I was extremely impressed with the craftsmanship of the “Sumo” and how well maintained it was.

We set out on this sunset sailing excursion with sunglasses, a beach towel and a cooler filled with appetizers and homemade Sangria. After some very brief instructions on where to relax and put our things, we were given very comfy seats with backs to use for sitting along the back or front of the sailboat. My sister and I chose to set up along the back with our feet dangling onto the trampoline. My husband spent time moving around from the back to the front, even lying on the trampoline so he could experience the ride, and view, from all angles. He was even given the opportunity to take over the navigation of the “Sumo”, which gave him the perfect opportunity to ask questions about sailing.

Not long after setting sail, we began enjoying our cocktails and snacks while experiencing the sailboat slice through the water with ease and grace. Remember the towels I mentioned we brought…we never once needed them as Captain Pat kept us dry from start to finish, even though we had a good amount of chop, and speed during our adventure.

As we watched the sunset, with the sound of water rushing below my feet and the wind in my hair, I could feel the stress of the day just melt away. It could not have been a more perfect evening!

I would highly recommend Captain Pat and the “Sumo” to anyone looking for a more private (it can accommodate up to 6 people) water adventure during your next Hilton Head Island vacation. You will be greeted by a very knowledgeable, capable Captain with southern hospitality on a very beautiful trimaran sailboat. What more is there to ask for?

I hope you enjoy the brief video and pictures I have put together of our trip. To reserve your spot on the “Sumo”, contact H2O Sports at 843-671-4386 or www.h2osports.com And make sure to tell Captain Pat that Stephanie at Beachside HHI says “Hi” when boarding.