The Gulf of Mexico is home to 10,000 bottlenose dolphins often seen from shore by those in the right place at the right time. The Walton County Snowbirds, wishing to eliminate the possibility of not being in the "right place at the right time," will sail aboard Capt. Jason McGregory’s Southern Star, an 80-foot glass-bottom vessel that can accommodate nearly 150 passengers, at 3 p.m. on Jan. 31.

The good captain knows where to find the dolphins and does so 98 percent of the time. If the seas are too rough for landlubber tummies, he will guide his sturdy craft into the calmer Choctawhatchee Bay, another gathering place for dolphin pods, to share his expansive knowledge of the dolphins, sea birds and other inhabitants of the emerald waters. Normally, the two-hour cruise costs $29, but club members who enlist for the sponsored event will go aboard for $20 including appetizers, beer, wine, soda and water, live entertainment by JB Dyess and door prizes. For more information, contact Pat Whitledge at

Among January highlights is a dinner social scheduled for Jan. 18 and again Feb. 8 at Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar and Grill at 20001 Emerald Coast Parkway (U.s. Highway 98) in Destin. The fun kicks off with a guided tour of what Fudpucker’s unabashedly refers to as the world’s greatest gator park. For more details, contact event organizers Sharon and Gary Pinylo at

Adding luster to Walton County Snowbird cultural stature is four-time Pulitzer Prize in Music nominee David Ott, who conducts the club’s weekly music series beginning at 1 p.m. Jan. 21 and the following Mondays at Christ the King Episcopal Church at 480 Walton County Road 393 in Santa Rosa Beach. Ott explains music and music history in a folksy style then follows up with faultless renditions of both classical and pop tunes.

Those seeking membership in the Walton County Snowbirds may register from 8:30-10 a.m. Jan. 14 at Faith Assembly Hall at 306 South Geronimo St. in Miramar Beach.

The next general meeting will be Jan. 23 at Destin Life Center of the Destin United Methodist Church at 200 Beach Drive in Destin. In addition to vendor exhibits, a raffle, door prizes and chuckles, a special treat awaits the crowd in the person of master entertainer and crowd pleaser Chuck Lawson. He will combine guitar, voice and steel drums to create a tropical welcome for the snowbirds with a variety of Caribbean, calypso, reggae, rock, country, classic rock, oldies, pop and dance music.

Tom Mahar writes for the Walton County Snowbirds. Reach him at