Have you ever dreamed of paddling down the Choctawhatchee River, or exploring the Gulf of Mexico? Well here’s your chance! Tune in to our latest video adventure – 30A Deep Dive – where we explore all the history and beauty this area has to offer
30A Deep Dive is an adventure series hosted by Shane Reynolds. Shane Reynolds is a professional adventure travel host who has been taking adventurous people on adventures in other lands for over 20 years. Now he’s exploring the wilds of Florida’s Emerald Coast and sharing his adventures with you.
In this episode, Shane takes an EPIC Paddleboarding adventure down the Choctawhatchee River and then travels to the Gulf of Mexico with Gulf Therapy in Grayton Beach, Florida. Joining him on this adventure is celebrated local artist, Justin Gaffrey.
“It’s a place that I don’t take nearly enough advantage of, for something being in my own backyard and I get to do it with the one and only Justin Gaffrey, artist extraordinaire!” said Shane.
They are joined on this adventure by Captain Andy. Beginning their adventure at Smokehouse Lake, Shane, and Gaffrey get talking about art and artists who’ve influenced Gaffrey.
“There was a lot of newer, contemporary artists, but I was like always influenced by like old painters, you know, the Van Gogh’s, the Monet’s, you know, Monet was another big one, you know. And this very place, where we are right now, when I was I think like eighteen, I went up to Niceville, and bought my own, my first boat. It was like $1,400. First day exploring, I came up to the Choctawhatachee River, I didn’t even know there was a river up here, and I ended up right here in this spot, at Smokehouse Lake,” said Gaffrey. And it’s been my favorite place since then. Yeah. This is, this is Florida, man! The one thing I love about rivers is, like paddling this whole river, you know for like thirty miles or so, I love coming around a different corner.”
The next day, Shane meets up with Amanda Abbott and her group for a little Gulf Therapy off Grayton Beach.
“Gulf therapy is whatever you need it to be! But it is just a time to connect with nature and slow down, and just kind of have a release. So, it helps just have better mental health and start your day nice,” explained Amanda. “Any time you’re in nature and moving your body, and being active, that’s obviously going to release endorphins and make you feel good as well. So, but it’s definitely, especially at seven in the morning, it’s definitely a mental release too, so that’s where the therapy part comes in from like obviously, none of us are therapists, but we’re out here just enjoying it and getting in our own therapy from the gulf.”
The group paddles out and enjoys some therapy from harnessing the power of the gulf.
“I’m going to be honest, when it comes to a high-octane, day-trip adventure, paddle boarding isn’t typically my first choice. But nothing gives me better access to the best things this area has to offer,” said Shane.
“This is excitement in slow motion. Deceptive adrenaline. An exercise in disguise. Whether you like spending time alone in nature to find your muse, or if you find your balance in more of a social setting. This is an equal opportunity vessel of inspiration.”
“So, when it comes to a deep dive, there is no better way on 30A,” Shane signed off.