What we're about

Calling all paddlers of sea kayaks, recreation kayaks, sit-on-tops (SOTs), fishing kayaks, and racers! (Canoeists/paddle-boarders too.)

Our mission is to form a community of people who enjoy paddling safely , meeting other kayakers, and discovering new places to paddle in the South Mississippi area.

There are many waterways to explore along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, and for hearty adventurers even the barrier islands for those who complete specialized sea kayak training and develop rescue skills. Plus, we are 4 hours or less drive to outstanding paddling and kayak surfing in Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana.

It is FREE to join our paddling group. You will get emails and email updates on kayak trips we plan.

Some paddling things you can choose to do:

• Group paddles. An event organizer coordinates each group paddle. Meet up paddles may be conducted at various levels of required paddling skill necessary to safely enjoy the event. Each paddler is responsible for his/her own safety. These are not guided paddles - the event organizer is not a paddling guide, merely a paddling enthusiast just as each of us !! The paddle trips may range from easy to very challenging (and only for trained & experienced paddlers). Almost all kayak trips sound interesting for one reason or another regardless of the difficulty, however if you do not have the skill, paddling experience, and/or equipment required for a particular paddle, the event organizer may ask you to sit out that specific scheduled paddle. Please be understanding and recognize the event organizer is doing this for your safety and the safety of the group based on their personal experience.

• Safe paddling! This covers many areas of concern, some we cannot control, however the two most important items we can control are: 1) wear a properly fitting life jacket (PFD) that is buckled/zipped up at all times when on the water in your kayak, and 2) abstain from alcohol and/or drugs before and while paddling on kayak trips. Another lesson learned about safe paddling is to never wear cotton clothing when paddling - when it gets wet, it stays wet and promotes the onset of hypothermia even in our disgustingly HOT summers.

• Paddling friends. Kayaking is a team sport. It is much safer to paddle with others rather than paddling solo.

• Kayak skill development. A few meetup members are certified instructors who offer American Canoe Association (ACA) sanctioned kayaking lessons which are ideal for our coastal area. Learning to paddle efficiently and being introduced to and/or practicing with kayaking safety equipment will give you the confidence to paddle more and in more challenging conditions. Completing some classes followed by additional individual practice should make you a safer paddler. NOTE: Instructors usually charge a fee for these highly recommended ACA classes.

• Paddling advocacy. Though we have no political agenda, many of us enjoy nature and would like to see wild areas remain friendly for people to enjoy the outdoors and viewing wildlife. Sometimes we choose individually to make our voices heard.

There is also no obligation to be a part of our paddling community. We ask that you simply have a love for the outdoors and a desire for safe paddling adventure.

As our group grows we hope to create group discounts at other events, races, kayak instruction, and with local outfitters.

Please basic paddling safety: 1) wear a properly fitting PFD when on the water, and 2) no alcohol prior to or while paddling a kayak. Save any alcohol for a post-paddling celebration on land!

Upcoming events (1)

Upper Bayou Bernard and/or Turkey Creek - 5 to 7 miles

Gulf Port Lake Boat Ramp

RESCHEDULED: Hopefully the weather will cooperate this Saturday. Please update your attendance plans. Lets' go visit SAM's Club by kayak !! Not for shopping, but by paddling Upper Bayou Bernard. This is a seldom paddled route. It is fun to paddle by these intersections we look down upon regularly when driving. Parts are nicely remote yet you may hear the cars cruise by on the other side of our urban greenscapes. This route is suitable for all paddlers comfortable with the distance. Most of this out & back route is clear paddling, however once we get into the narrow part of either bayou you can expect to avoid downed trees. It is an easy, urban scenic paddle right in our Gulfport backyard. I do not recommend using inflatable kayaks. Any rigid hull kayak or canoe at least 10 feet long will be fine. Shorter boats will have to work to keep up with longer, faster hulls. Let's meet at the Gulfport Lake Boat Ramp at 1000. We will launch as a group soon thereafter approximately 1030. If you look at the map, the red route is Upper Bayou Bernard. The yellow route is Turkey Creek. If we are overly energetic and the tree cover of Turkey Creek cooperates, we may be able to paddle all the way to Hwy 49 also which would be a 10+ mile paddle if we do all of both legs. BTW, that is not my intention right now. What to bring: water, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, sunglasses retainer, snacks, water shoes, synthetic clothing, and a wind jacket. Also suggested is dry clothes in a dry bag or back at your car, and a thermos with hot tea or other hot beverage. There are stumps and muddy bottoms along our route; please don't wear flip flops. Paddlers agree to wear a properly fitted PDF/life jacket on the water, and to abstain from alcohol (and/or drugs) prior to and while kayaking/boating. As with all open invitation meetups, you acknowledge that you are properly experienced/trained for this activity, and you accept full responsibility for your own safety by joining this paddle. PS - Turkey Creek is a designated Blueway by Department of Marine Resources (DMR). Click through the link below to read about the Turkey Creek Blueway. https://gis.dmr.ms.gov/Blueways/

Past events (283)

Simmons Bayou

Simmons Bayou Launch Ramp

Photos (4,554)