Monday, May 18, 2009

Camping At Big Lagoon

We spent the weekend camping at Big Lagoon State Park with my sister and her family and our friend MJ and her son.

Big Lagoon is in Pensacola and sits along the edge of the Intra-Coastal Waterway just across the bridge from Perdido Key.


It's a great park with lots of nature trails, sandy beaches along the Intra-Coastal, playgrounds for the kids and several good fishing spots for the Island King.


We drove over Friday afternoon and stayed Friday night and then my sister and MJ came over Saturday morning and we all stayed til Sunday evening.

Friday night we fried fish and relaxed around camp - which was good because Saturday morning we hit the ground running and didn't stop until we got home Sunday night.


After the kids went to bed Friday night the Island King and I were sitting by the fire talking and listening to the frogs and critters in the woods. There were some hushpuppies on the picnic table that we'd been snacking on and as the fire got low I saw something peek over the Island King's shoulder at me. It was dark and it took me a minute to realize there was a raccoon looking at me.

He was sitting on the edge of the table, maybe an inch behind the Island King and had been so quiet getting up there that we never heard him. The Island King turned around to shoo him off the table and the coon turned to run off but then stopped, turned back around, grabbed a hushpuppy, and then ran off. I guess he wasn't leaving without what he came for LOL

He was completely silent and a reminder that all of our food had to be put in the car before we went to bed.

Saturday morning came and it wasn't long after we'd finished breakfast that it got brutally hot. The camping area is surrounded by woods so there was no breeze at all and while it wasn't hot like it will be in August it was seriously unpleasant if you weren't in the shade.

As soon as my sister got her camp set up, my BIL went to get their boat. The rest of us packed our stuff and headed down to the beach to wait, where we went straight into the water.


Once my BIL arrived with the boat we were off to "Pirate Island" as my nephews call it.




The Oldest Island Boy is always trying to get his hair to spike and we found out that if you ride on the front of the boat with your mom, your hair will stand straight up and stay that way until you get it wet again LOL



Pirate Island is a spill island that been built up over the years with sand dredged from Pensacola Pass. Pensacola Bay is a deep water bay and home to Pensacola Naval Air Station so the pass has to be dredged every several years to allow deep water passage for the ships that come in and out of the pass.

The island is just inside the Pass, directly across from Fort McRae. The island has become a popular spot for boaters to anchor and spend the day.


It's a beautiful little island with Pensacola NAS to the north


Fort Pickens just across the Pass to the southeast


And Fort McRae across the channel to the south


Once we got the boat anchored the kids wanted to slide on their boogey boards down the big dunes on the island. That's not normally something they can do because it's very destructive to the dunes. Sand dunes are extremely important to our barrier islands because they protect the mainland from storm surge. But there was an obvious trail that people used to get up on top of the island and we decided the kids could try it - once.

The Oldest Island Boy got a running start and threw himself on his board, expecting to ride to the bottom of the hill like he sees people do on tv. Of course they're doing it in the snow, which is a lot different than soft sand.


As soon as his weight hit the board, the board dug into the sand and came to a complete stop while momentum kept his body going.


Plowing into the sand face first wasn't as fun as they thought it would be so back down to the boat they came to do a little jumping and swimming.




After a long day on the beach we cooked burgers on the grill and loaded up on Margaritas before taking the kids fishing.


The Island King was the center of attention when he pulled in the first fish. The kids didn't care that it was only a pinfish.


His glory didn't last long because MJ landed a much larger croaker LOL


It was late and the kids were tired so it wasn't long before we were back at our tents, ready for bed.

Sunday was cloudy but we spent the day fishing again. I took lots of pictures but obviously had something set wrong on the camera and none of the pictures turned out.

We really need to get a camera that I can operate LOL

We didn't catch anything but pinfish. The kids loved catching them and then letting them go again. They must have caught a dozen each and never got tired of it.

Late Sunday afternoon we headed for home. Tired and ready to sleep in our own beds again but already planning our next trip.

It was a lot of fun and hopefully we'll be doing it again soon.
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