Kayaking at Naval Live Oaks

The trailer that holds all of the kayaks and related equipment for the program.

Hello everyone! This Jada, reporting in from Gulf Islands National Seashore.

One of the main programs I am doing this summer is the kayak program, which kicked off a couple weeks ago! It is hosted out of Naval Live Oaks, right on the Santa Rosa Sound. The sound spans the space in between Santa Rosa Island and Gulf Breeze, and is brackish since it gets water both from the Gulf and Pensacola Bay. It continues along the barrier islands to the east of Pensacola Bay, eventually connecting it to Choctawhatchee Bay.

The program runs every Friday and Saturday, with two groups going out onto the water per day. I have been running the program with another ranger, but I won’t be doing it every week— this weekend, for example, I’ll be busy with a Fish Clinic! More on that in another blog.is 

A couple of Live oaks, which gave this section of the park its name. These trees were used for shipbuilding, since they are dense and have a natural curve.
A view of Santa Rosa Sound. The water here is usually calmer than on the Gulf side of Santa Rosa island, which is where the buildings are located.

The program has been quite a success. We can bring a maximum of 12 people out on the water at a time, and we average groups of around 8-11. Spots fill up fast, especially in the mornings! It has been fun to teach people about kayaking and interpret the environment while out on the water. We have seen horseshoe crabs, comb jellies, snowy egrets, and more while kayaking out on the sound.

I am eager to continue this program throughout the summer and report back on what else we can spy out on the water! As the waters warm, it is possible we’ll see even more wildlife, like manatees or even dolphins out foraging in the distance, in the deepest parts of the sound.

1 Comment
  • Jasminn Del Rio
    Posted at 10:05h, 05 July

    Really good to see how you’ve been doing out there. Stay safe and can’t wait to read more. Also horseshoe crabs are the best!