27. March 2013 · Comments Off on Florida Discoveries 41: Navarre Beach Marine Science Station · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
The Navarre Beach Marine Science Station is run by Santa Rosa County and the Santa Rosa County Schools. Its mission is to promote environmental awareness through education of the county's marine ecosystem.

The Navarre Beach Marine Science Station started in August 2009 and is run by Santa Rosa County and the Santa Rosa County School District. Its mission is to promote environmental awareness through education of the county’s marine ecosystem.

Just before the kids’ Spring Break, I had the chance to partially chaperone for Timmy’s class trip to the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station. My sons have taken field trips with their classes every school year they’ve been living here, and I suspect it’s an annual tradition for all the Santa Rosa County School District kids who live on the coast.

Nostalgic note: When I was growing up in Norfolk in the 1980s, my school system also had a Marine Science Center. I’m not sure if the program still exists, but I fondly remember an annual field trip to Crossroads Elementary School, where we’d spend the day petting horseshoe crabs, learning about turtles, flounder, the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and our community’s nautical history. 

The Science Station is really close, it shares a parking lot with the Navarre Beach Park beach access that our family uses quite often, only about 10 minutes from our house. It started in 2009 after the Navarre Beach State Park property was turned over to the county after suffering extensive hurricane damage in recent years.

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06. April 2011 · Comments Off on Florida Discoveries 8.5*: Kayaking! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,

*I’ve had to do some re-numbering with my Florida Discoveries posts, so instead of re-numbering everything, I just stuck a “0.5” in there.

How many of you remember this video from Sesame Street?

For years and years and years this was my perception of kayaking.  Being sealed into this fiberglass tube-thingy as if you have no legs and navigating river rapids.  And of course being able to flip around like this guy (allegedly Jim Henson) does at the end.

Last week as a surprise for my sister and nephews, we borrowed a 2+ man ocean kayak from our friend/neighbor/former commander Mike D.  This is different than the traditional, competition kayak that I was more familiar with (but had never done).

I’d been canoeing many times — Girl Scouting, in college, in Louisiana on the Sabine River — but kayaking is somewhat different, and in many cases it was easier.

The first day we took the kayak out to Navarre Beach, we were mortified at how tall the waves were in the Gulf (it was chilly and windy), so we packed everything up and ran about 500′ across the parking lot to the Santa Rosa Sound side where things were much calmer!  We all took turns taking short trips out.

After my sister’s family left last weekend, we took a trip to the beach again, this time so Dave and the kids could try out the kayak.  The gulf side was nice and calm, and we all got a chance to paddle out towards the dolphins!

Here are pictures from our two kayaking trips.

I believe it was a 130″ long kayak (just under 11′).  So here’s how it looked packed into our suddenly-small-looking SUV.  Luckily we were only transporting it about 5 miles, or 10 minutes drive.
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