Monday, December 17, 2018

Gulf Islands National Seashore

We are now near Gainesville, Florida. We are enjoying the slow pace of a very nice RV park in Northern Florida this time of year. The majority of Snow Birds and not come south yet. We are really looking forward to the latter part of this week, when our Daughter and SIL along with our youngest Grand Daughter will be joining us for Christmas and a trip to Disney World. I will write all about that in my coming entries, but for now it is catch up time.

We left Big Biloxi Campground on November 25 and drove the 40 miles over to Davis Bayou campground at Gulf Islands National Seashore. This National Seashore is made up of the area around the Davis Bayou and the off-shore barrier islands that protect the gulf coast from Louisiana over to the panhandle of Florida. We have stayed in this campground once before almost 5 years ago. This was the first campground that we stayed in after I had retired. I have great memories of this place.

We were able to easily fit into this site that was limited to 30 foot rigs
The National Seashore area is surrounded by the city of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. It has the normal sounds and traffic of a city. Unfortunately, you can hear those sounds while in this protected oasis of nature. We did need to do some provisioning while we were there, so it did make it easy to find fuel and a grocery store.

We did get very active while we were visiting the National Seashore. I started out with a 4.5 mile walk around the park to see what there was to do. The next day, Kim joined me and we also walked well over 4 miles. We went to the visitor center and watched the movie. We collected a bunch of information about visiting the barrier islands, we may have to do that some day in our boat. Hmmm...we will see.

The scenery in this park is very beautiful.

We noticed that is was low tide. The park changes very significantly as it goes from low to high tide. The mud flats in the following picture were under water just a few hours later.

Here is a Great Egret fishing in a tidal marsh area

Beautiful Live Oak trees all through the park
This Egret is for you , Mom
The following day we went for a bike ride. I ended up with about 7 miles, Kim did not do as much, but at least she is exercising. The next day we got the inflatable Sea Eagle Kayak out of it's bag for the first time in over a year. We spent about 4 hours paddling around the park. We started with no wind, so we headed out into the channel. It was low tide, so it was just deep enough for our 9 inch skeg. We did hit mud in a few places.

Channel markers leading out into the bay.

As we headed out into the bay we passed the Marine Research Center. All of the structures in this area we destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

We watched as a local fisherman came by to check his crab traps. We rounded the corner and headed out into the bay. We passed a number of houses with boat docks along the shore. The opposite site was protected shoreline with birds and other wildlife.

In this shot you can see all the way down the coast to the casinos of Biloxi
Some Pelicans looking for their next meal.
As predicted, the winds picked up from the SE, so we just rode the breeze back to the park and into the protection of the bayou. We cruised around up and down the arms of the bayou checking out the birds. It was very quiet and enjoyable.

A Blue Heron and two Egrets in this shot

I got a couple of nice reflection shots to finish the day.

 We had a great time at the National Seashore. We can't wait to come back.

After staying 5 days, we left to go to Gulf Shores, Alabama. We have some awesome friends there and we were excited to see them again. I will write about our time in Gulf Shores in my next entry. Will there be boats in the story??


  1. That looks like just the place we would like to stay, thanks for sharing! We hope to get our Sea Eagle out a couple times this winter!

    1. It is a very good place to paddle. It is best to wait for high tide to get back into some of the rivers.

  2. What a fun time! Love that area. Missing the delicious food.

    1. We love the area. We went to the docks and bought shrimp right off the boat. I made some pretty fair gumbo.

  3. We love Davis Bayou also. 14 more days until we head out. We will yell real loud at ya. Be safe.
    Dick & Cathy

    1. I know Davis Bayou was on the list you gave me. The place has a great vibe.