Beach safety: understanding the flags

While the Gulf of Mexico’s glistening waters are beautiful, it is important to respect mother nature. Unlike Atlantic beaches where big crashing, white caps tell swimmers when dangerous conditions exist, gulf waters seem more placid even when there are strong currents at work.

Our top-notch lifeguard program is constantly monitoring water conditions during the summer and uses a standardized flag system to alert swimmers to beach conditions including strong wave breaks and rip currents. That is why it is so important to pay attention to the flag system when enjoying Navarre Beach.

 

Green

If a green flag is flying, the risk to swimmers is very low. Have fun! Just remember it is important to always know your limits when swimming, even on green flag days.

 

Yellow

There is moderate risk to swimmers due to surf and current conditions. Our highly trained lifeguards may be able to see risks that you cannot. On yellow flag days, avoid entering the water above your waistline. Follow any instructions lifeguards give you.

 

Red

Beach water conditions are dangerous. Do not enter the water.

 

Double red

If there are two red flags flying, the water is closed. Period. These conditions mean it is storming bad, and rescuers will be unable to safely enter the water if someone is in distress. Do not ever go in the gulf, even up to your ankles, during a double red flag. One rogue wave could spell disaster.

Play it safe and visit one of our indoor amenities instead. Check out the Sea Turtle Conservation Center or try your hand at one of our Escape Rooms.

 

Purple

This flag means there is marine life risk. Typically, purple flags go up when there is an elevated risk of being stung by a jellyfish or stingray. Ask a lifeguard for additional information and where to safely swim.

Stingrays are not aggressive and will run from people given the chance. But if you step on them, the barb on their tail can really hurt. To avoid this, locals do what is called the stingray shuffle, dragging your feet gently on the underwater sand to let these critters know your coming.

 

Now that you know, it is time to go! Come see us at NavarreListings.com.

Black Skimmer Grille is ready to serve you

There’s a new eatery in town, and they are located in the heart of Navarre Beach’s gold standard golf course, Hidden Creek.

Andrew Suthers is owner of the newly opened Black Skimmer Grille which started officially serving customers June 1. From local brews to masterful burgers, this eatery flies under the banner of comfort food done right. It is named for the shorebirds that frequent our white sand beaches.

“We want to be neighborhood casual comfort food, like the local ‘Cheers’ but also great food,” Andrew said. “We are very reasonably priced. We think we are right at that sweet spot.”

The restaurant features four 55- to 65-inch TVs mounted on the walls, along with a dartboard, full bar and new outdoor deck seating overlooking the course’s rolling greens.

The menu features a few consistent entrees with a chalkboard of rotating specials for the rest of the fare.

The space has been leaving much to be desired up to now, if I’m being honest. It felt stuffy like your typical Then the property just sat vacant for a while as the golf course management wanted to find a perfect fit to bring it to the next level.

Then came Andrew and his crew.

Andrew moved to our coastal community from Lexington, Kentucky. He’s been working in restaurants for 17 years, having started up two locations in that time. The chef previously owned Oscar Diggs, a phenomenal gastropub in downtown Lexington known for its high-end food and beer.

In addition to the combined 22 years of experience between Andrew and his partner, Kara Mardell, they have also partnered with Michael Juhl, who has been working in restaurants and pubs for 25 years.

When I stop in, Michael always stops by the tables to check in with guests and maybe crack a few jokes.

Andrew said they are excited to get the food rolling out. And rolling out it has been.

This place knows how to do it from scratch, and I mean actual scratch kitchen style. None of this ‘well only part of it came from the freezer’ nonsense. They cut their own potatoes in house to make their seasoned French fries, and that savory peppercorn bacon was created in the onsite smoker, not bought in a store.

Same with the wings which are smoked to perfection, then fried for that crispy texture.

My partner in crime said he loved their bratwurst, and the steak is well seasoned in a delicious demi glace.

Plus, the prices weren’t hard to swallow either, a rarity for golf courses.

So whether you are looking for a round of golf or just a great burger, come check out The Black Skimmer Grille this summer on beautiful Navarre Beach, NavarreListings.com.

June events bring art, relaxation and fun

 

Here are some of the great events coming up next month along beautiful Navarre Beach, Florida’s most relaxing place!

 

Sand Dollar Saturday and Local Marketplace
June 1, 9 a.m.
Join the merchants of Sand Dollar Plaza on the first Saturday of each month for a community and customer appreciation event. Grab a bite to eat at Alphy’s, check out the gift shops and visit the local vendors at the Local Marketplace. Call 850-368-9500 or visit www.facebook.com/SandDollarSaturdays for more info.

Shell Flower Making Class at Artistry 98
June 3, 10, 17 and 24, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Artistry 98, 1993 Hwy. 87 in Navarre, will offer a free shell flower making class. Class is limited to 10, reserve a seat at www.artistry98.com/classes.
 
Painting Events at Pik-Itz hosted by Art Uncorked Navarre
Art Uncorked – Navarre at Pik-Itz, 1922 Hwy. 87 in Navarre, is designed to help uncork participants’ creative spirit. Participants may bring a beverage to the painting classes. Each class has different artwork. For more information call 850-843-437-4246 or visit www.artuncorked-navarre.com.

  • June 7, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. – Wine and Beer Glasses on canvas
  • June 15, 1 – 3 p.m. – Wheelbarrow and Flowers
  • June 22, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. – Dolphin Wave

Kids’ Summer Art Camp at Pik-Itz hosted by Art Uncorked Navarre
June 5, 12, 19 and 26, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Each Wednesday in June at Pik-Itz, 1922 Hwy. 87 in Navarre, learn about a famous artist and paint one of their designs. For more information call 850-843-4226 or visit www.artuncorked-navarre.com.
 
Tunes by the Dunes
June 6, 13, 20 and 27, 7 – 9 p.m.
The Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce will kick off their annual free summer concert series at the Sand Crab pavilion in the Navarre Beach Pier parking lot, just east of the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier, 8220 Gulf Blvd. in Navarre. Bring a lawn chair. Food will also be available for purchase. Call 850-939-32667 or visit www.navarrechamber.com for more information.

  • June 6 – Tribe Zion
  • June 13 – Platinum Premier Band
  • June 20 – Paxton Norris Band
  • June 27 – Jay Williams

Clear Bottom Kayak Tours
June 8 and 22, 9 – 11 a.m.
Explore and discover Navarre Beach with a 45-minute clear bottom kayak tour of the gulf side artificial reef. Meet at the Sea Oat Pavilion in the Navarre Beach Marine Park, 8739 Gulf Blvd. in Navarre. For more information call 850-939-3267 or visit www.facebook.com/navarrebeachmarinesanctuary

Shark School at the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center
June 8 and 22, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Shark School students will learn about our local gulf coast sharks, shark biology and shark conservation. Students will also participate in arts and crafts, a shark tooth treasure hunt and gain early entry into the center. The Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center is located at 8740 Gulf Blvd. in Navarre. For availability and pricing call 850-684-3347 or visit www.tiny.cc/sharkschool.

Trash Bash with the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center
June 29, 8 – 10 a.m.
Meet up to clean up! Volunteers for a beach cleanup will meet in the main Navarre Beach parking lot near the Sand Crab Pavilion. A limited supply of gloves, buckets and pickers are provided or participants can bring supplies. For more information call 850-684-3347 or visit www.navarrebeachseaturtles.org.
Book your stay at NavarreListings.com.

Make summer memorable with beach mini camps

 

Summer is here, and the kiddos are out of school!

This year share the wonders of the marine world with your child by sending them to camp at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station. From building underwater ROVs to surfing on the waves to dolphin cruises and so much more these camps are so cool and right here on beautiful Navarre Beach.

 

According to the station’s website camps for this summer include:

Arts and the Sea

June 10-14

Grades: (students entering) grade 1 – 3rd grade (2 sections)

Cost: $175 (includes t-shirt and bag)

Time: 8 a.m.-11a.m.

“Learn, make, and play as we dive into the life and beauty of the ocean world. Using a variety of materials and techniques, this camp is dedicated to creating art inspired by the creature, habitats, and mysteries of the big blue.

Your child will need to bring sun block, a snack (no peanut products please), drink and water bottle, water shoes (or old tennis shoes-something that can be worn in the water),beach towel and a change of clothes.”

 

Fins and Flippers

June 24-28

Grades: (Students entering) grades 3rd-5th (2 sections)

Time: Daily 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Cost: $275 includes a t-shirt and private dolphin cruise and an animal encounter at the Gulfarium.

“During this week of summer camp, we study marine mammals, sea turtles and SHARKS! Students will about animal anatomy and adaptations by participating in hands-on activities. Join us as we look for sea turtles and dolphins on a private dolphin cruise on Pensacola Bay and an animal encounter. Participants will also dissect a shark.

Your child will need to bring sun block, a lunch (no peanut products please), drink and water bottle, water shoes (or old tennis shoes-something that can be worn in the water), beach towel and a change of clothes.”

 

Reefs & Robotics (Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles)

Back by Popular Demand! New this year: AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles)

July 8-12

Grades: (students entering) grades 6th-8th

Time: 9am-3pm daily

Cost: $300 (Includes a t-shirt, ROV supplies, kayaking, snorkeling equipment and instruction)

“The camp will introduce students to mechanical design, construction, and problem solving and teamwork skills to build an ROV and AUV to explore the underwater world. This camp is excellent for students who enjoy robotics.”

 

Visit www.navarresciencestation.org for more info and to register.

 

P.S. Mom and Dad

 

Most of the station’s camps will keep the kids occupied for the day, so what are you going to do? Might I recommend toes in the sand, drink in hand and not a care in the world? Walk down to the water from your condominium rental then grab lunch at Windjammers Bar and Grill on Navarre Beach Fishing Pier.

Slots and accommodations fill up fast. Find yourself a home away from home today at NavarreListings.com. We offer a variety of options to make your trip relaxing and memorable.

Juana’s: celebrating 30 years with an upgrade

 

Juana’s Pagodas and Sailors’ Grill is celebrating 30 years of service along Navarre Beach this year, and with that anniversary came a hefty investment.

This staple of the beach underwent a major remodel to its long-standing restaurant and bar.

Much of the remodel resulted in a reworking of the restaurant layout. The two kitchens were combined into one streamlined space with a slight expansion. In the kitchen, the equipment for food preparation has been replaced, as have the floors and surfaces.

This has translated into faster service.

The bar has been completely replaced and realigned to create additional window seating near Santa Rosa Sound. The dining spaces have also been opened up, making the restaurants impressive pagoda-style ceiling more visible.

The bathrooms were also remodeled with easily cleanable surfaces and ADA accessibility.

Work on this revamp started back in December with the original goal of completion, and they managed to keep the place open the entire time.

Juana’s is part of the history of Navarre Beach. The past 30 years have seen quite a bit of growth for the restaurant. They were named a Top 10 Florida Beach Bar for a third year in 2018, and they continue to add new amenities including water equipment rentals and event space.

They also attract some of the best talent in the business with employees sticking with the company for 10-20 years in some cases.

Over the years, the restaurant has turned that support back toward the community, hosting several charity events through the year including the Penguin Plunge and Spring Jam. If you have not attended these events, mark your calendar!

The last 30 years have not been all rosy. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan flooded the restaurant spaces, causing damage that would not become apparent until years later.

Competitors have come and gone. So have storms and economic down turns. Juana’s stays.

And its no surprise with a delicious menu, friendly staff and one of the best views of beach side sunsets available on the Gulf Coast.

Five things: Sea turtle nesting season is here

Sea turtle nesting season is underway on Navarre Beach as of May 1. As these endangered and threatened species come to our shores to lay their nests in the sand, human beings can be their biggest threat. Kemp’s ridley, leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtles frequent Navarre Beach and are expected to start laying nests over the coming weeks. Here are tips from sea turtle conservationists on limiting human impacts during nesting season.

 

  1. Clear the way

Sea turtles have difficulty navigating outside of the water. The only time adult sea turtles naturally return to the shore is to lay their eggs. Items along the shoreline can block their way and even entrap the turtles. Adult sea turtles have died due to entanglement in beach furniture. Litter can also be an issue.

Santa Rosa County has a “Leave No Trace” ordinance which makes it illegal to leave items on the beach between dusk and dawn. Items left out become property of Santa Rosa County, and violators could face fines. Clean these items up to pave the way for nesting turtles.

 

  1. Lights out

Typical man-made lights can be disorienting for sea turtle adults and hatchlings. Females may avoid nesting on a beach if it is too bright, and hatchlings can also be drawn away from the safety of the water by lights, causing them to die on shore.

At night, turn off outdoor lights or replace bulbs with turtle-friendly red or amber versions available at hardware stores. Close blinds to keep indoor lights from shining to the outside.

If on the beach at night, do not use flashlights or flash photography which can disorient the turtles.

 

  1. Knock it down, fill it in

Just like beach chairs and trash, sandcastles and holes can be dangerous to sea turtles. Adults and hatchlings can have difficulty getting around buildups in the sand. Holes can be deadly, trapping hatchlings and adults. When playing in the sand, beachgoers are advised to level the surface back out once they are done, toppling piles and filling in any holes.

 

  1. Give her space

On occasion, beachgoers will have the good luck to spot a sea turtle nesting on the beach. Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are the only species that regularly nests during the daylight, while other species nest at night or just before dawn.

Observers can limit their impact on nesting sea turtles by remaining back away from the turtle and behind her. Noise should be minimal, and flash photography should be avoided to keep from disturbing the turtle.

 

  1. Do not disturb

It is against the law to disturb, touch or otherwise harass a nesting sea turtle, her nest or hatchlings. These species receive critical protections from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and federal endangered species laws. Harassment of nesting sea turtles or their nests can result in fines and even jail time.

 

Give the turtles the best chance of survival by limiting impacts to their natural home during your visit to beautiful Navarre Beach. Book at NavarreListings.com.

Cobia, tarpon and mackerel: Oh my!

As the weather heats up with the coming of summer, so is the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier!

Fishermen of all ages and skill levels are flocking to our beaches for some of the best saltwater fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. And the fish are here.

Cobia seems to be the hot ticket right now, with skilled anglers managing to land this difficult catch off the pier and off charter boats with regularity.

Other fun catches including redfish, tarpon, mackerel and more are also on tap to be great catches this summer. Friendly staff at the fishing pier will be able to help identify what is biting.
Ours is the longest pier in the Gulf, putting you right on top of the fish, and we have recently completed work on the new deep-water artificial reef meaning more of the big ones coming closer to shore.

If you would like to cast your line a little farther out, experienced charter fishing captains are ready to make your day along our emerald coasts. A day of fishing and relaxing on the water sounds like heaven doesn’t it?

Check out the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s business directory to find the perfect fit for your family at NavarreChamber.com.

All skill levels can get in on the fun. Whether you are an experienced angler with your own custom gear or if you just want to rent a pole from our pier for a couple hours, we have something for everyone.

Come see what’s biting and book your stay at NavarreListings.com. 

Joey Ferrell shows off the first cobia he has ever caught

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.