Rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtle rescued off pier

An endangered sea turtle hooked April 13 on Navarre Beach Fishing Pier is set to make a full recovery thanks to stellar response by our pier staff. This was the first sea turtle rescue of the upcoming sea turtle nesting season, which officially starts May 1.

The rescued turtle was barely bigger than a dinner plate and too cute. The juvenile is one of the rarest, most endangered species of turtle: a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle. There are only 2,500 breeding females of this species in the wild. The turtle had been hooked in the right flipper, but the hook came out without difficulty.

The turtle was transported to Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center for recovery. Gulfarium gave the rescued turtle the nickname Buckbeak.

Buckbeak’s name comes from the “Harry Potter” fans will recognize the turtle’s namesake, the infamous hippogriff that rescues Sirius Black. Looking at Buckbeak, the resemblance in their beaks is pretty spot on.

While Navarre’s Buckbeak will not be flying away like his namesake, he swam away in a successful release April 23.

Kemp’s ridleys are one of four turtle species that frequent Navarre Beach, especially during nesting season which begins May 1 and runs through the end of October in our area.

Already there have been several sightings of a leatherback sea turtle off the pier, another rarity. These are the largest sea turtle species in the world. In 2017, Navarre Beach saw its first leatherback nest on record.

Kemp’s ridleys like Buckbeak are also uncommon, but several have been spotted. Navarre Beach also plays host to green and loggerhead species commonly each year.

To help protect turtles, give nesting moms lots of space. Other tips to ensure turtle safety:

  • Do not make noise
  • Do not approach or touch the turtle
  • Do not use flash or close-up photography
  • Stay back and behind the nesting turtle at all times
  • Do not use lights as they can disorient the turtle

It is against state and federal law to harass a sea turtle or disturb a nest.

Kemp’s ridleys are especially at risk for disruption because they are the only species of sea turtle that nests predominantly during daylight. If you are lucky enough to spot one of our nesting turtles, congrats! But do your part to protect these animals by staying back.

Lights can disorient turtles, so keep them off at night and only use red lights when absolutely necessary. These lights have less of an impact on the turtles.

Items should also be removed from the beach between sunset and sunrise. It is against county ordinance to leave items on the beach overnight.

By doing your part we can ensure these animals are here for years to come. Come learn about sea turtles and get up close with them at the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center. Book your stay at NavarreListings.com.

Tunes by the Dunes: free concert series schedule released

Tunes by the Dunes is returning this summer!

The Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce will kick off its 12th Annual Free Summer Concert Series May 30 at the Sand Crab Pavilion in Navarre Beach Park, just east of the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier.

The summer concert series will offer a line-up of 12 free outdoor concerts every Thursday from May 30 to Aug. 15, co-hosted by the Okaloosa Gas District, Navarre Press, Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Office and Chamber Foundation,

The series will showcase a variety of local musicians with the Gulf of Mexico and sunset as the backdrop. Each night, from 7 to 9 p.m. a different genre of music will be featured ranging from Jazz, Reggae, Southern Rock, Country, Oldies and much more.

 

Schedule

  • May 30, Rowdies Rock (Classic Rock)
  • June 6, Tribe Zion (Reggae, Hip-Hop)
  • June 13, Platinum Premier Band (Various)
  • June 20, Paxton Norris Band (Blues)
  • June 27, Jay Williams (Modern Rock)
  • July 4, Robert Wayne (Country)
  • July 11, Glenn Parker (Variety, R&B)
  • July 18, Remedy Band (Southern Classic Rock)
  • July 25, Chloe Channell from “American Idol” (Country)
  • Aug. 1, Overdrive Band (Rock & Roll)
  • Aug. 8, Sheandtheits Band (Classic Rock)
  • Aug. 15, Freeway 98 (Blues, Funk, Rock and Pop, Southern Rock, Country, Classic Rock)

 

Spectators are encouraged to bring their beach blankets and lawn chairs for a night of free family entertainment. Come hungry as concessions will be provided by Navarre Chamber member food establishments, and a dance area will be provided to work off those extra calories.

The concert series is free and open to the public.

As a reminder, smoking is prohibited, and pets are not allowed. In the event of inclement weather, the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce will announce cancellations by 4:30 p.m. the day of concert. The most up-to-date information on Tunes by the Dunes will be provided via the Navarre Facebook Page.  For more information, log on to navarrechamber.com.

Book your stay for the summer fun at NavarreListings.com

 

Blue Angels bring high flying fun

The Blue Angels have launched their 2019 season along our beautiful Florida beaches, and members of the public are invited to come check them out.

The Blues are a skilled team of U.S. Navy precision flight demonstrators who showcase the power and prowess of F/A-18s in sequence of impressive maneuvers in shows. They are accompanied by the C130 “Fat Albert” and other flight performers on occasion.

What could be better than a spot on the beach and a show in the sky? This year shows visible from Navarre Beach will be July 13 and November 8-9 (Homecoming Air Show).

You can also check out their practices at the National Naval Aviation Museum.

 

Blue Angels 2019 Practice Schedule

April 2, 3*, 9, 10*, 16, 17*, 18, 19, 23, 24*, 30

May 1*, 7, 14, 15*, 28, 29*

June 4, 5*, 11, 12, 18, 19*, 20, 21, 25, 26*

July 2, 3, 16

August 7*, 8, 9, 13, 14, 20

September 4*, 10, 11*, 12, 13, 17

October 16*, 22, 23*, 29, 30*

November 5, 6, 7 (1430 practices for End of Season Week)

 

Dates with a star (*) are autograph days at the National Naval Aviation Museum following the practice. All practices are at 11:30 a.m. unless otherwise noted. Practices may be cancelled on short notice due to weather and operational commitments.

Access to the Naval Museum for those visitors not in possession of Department of Defense ID is only through NAS West Gate Entrance located at 1878 S Blue Angel Parkway. 100% ID check for all visitors 16 years old and over to access the museum flight line to view Blue Angel practice.

The outside viewing area for the Blue Angels practice is located on the Museum Flight Line north of the Museum. Signs are posted to direct visitors to viewing and parking locations, including limited parking for handicapped visitors. Open bleacher seating is available for seating 1,000 people. Chair service is provided at each practice session, a limited quantity of chairs are available for a fee of $3 per chair good for that day’s practice session.

Concessions (bottled water, sport drinks, light food and treats) and merchandise are also available. Please note that backpacks, daypacks, luggage, or similar items are not allowed on the flight line during Blue Angel practice air shows. Small purses, bags containing medications and diaper bags are allowed, but are subject to search by Naval Air Station Pensacola Security personnel.

Come check out the show along beautiful Navarre Beach. You can view the fun from the balcony of your gulf front condo booked at NavarreListings.com.

Inaugural Craft Beer Fest a success

If you missed Craft Beer Fest this year, you really missed out.

Garage operations, commercial brewhouses and mom and pop shops came out in force to Ye Olde Brothers Brewery inaugural Craft Beer Fest 2019 last month.

As Navarre’s first craft brewery and a leader in the region, Ye Olde brought together more than 20 local and regional craft brewers to offer samples of their wares in a friendly competition. And those wares were delicious.

As live music played, hundreds of 21 and overs sipped samples ranging from fruity concoctions to classic styles.

Home brewers Brett Reid and Thomas Grier of Alga Beer Co. took home the title of People’s Choice. Alga is looking to open up a brewery business in downtown Pensacola in the near future.

“It is awesome,” Reid said. “To be a home brewer right now and beat out regionally commercial breweries is pretty dope.”

The companies stand outs were a crawfish saison made with Zataran’s seasoning and lemon zest as well as their galapagos double IPA.

“We ran out of almost everything,” Reid said.

The name Alga is a mass up of the abbreviations for Alabama and Georgia. The company got its start as two dudes meeting up on the weekends to share their creations. Reid lived in Birmingham, and Grier was living in Atlanta.

Coming in second by just one vote was Navarre’s up and coming brewery, St. Michaels Brewing Company. Located at 2199 Highway 87, St. Michaels owner Michael Bares has already cleared land for construction of a new brewhouse and tap room. Their cream ale, Irish stout and other brews were favorites among those sampling.

“We are waiting for some of the engineered building plans to come back to us,” he said. “Then we go back to the county for our second review. Then hopefully we can start pulling permits for construction.”

The gulf coast sports an impressive brewing legacy, and these craft brewers are always ready to welcome new taste testers. Plan to attend next year’s Craft Beer Fest by booking today at NavarreListings.com.