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      Kelle Loughlin: 603-778-0015
      June 9, 2010

Kayak Tours of Great Bay Offered at Great Bay Discovery Center

Kayaking on Great Bay
Kayaking on Great Bay.

GREENLAND, N.H. – Looking for a summer kayak adventure?  Join staff of the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve for kayak tours in the Great Bay Estuary, where you can watch osprey diving for fish, herons gracefully glide overhead and learn what makes the Great Bay Estuary one of the most amazing and diverse places on earth. Many new offerings!

The 3-4 hour tours take place in the tidal waters of Great Bay.  Most trips begin and end at the Great Bay Discovery Center in Greenland, N.H.  All safety equipment, kayaks and basic instruction are provided.  Participants learn proper entry and exit of the kayak, basic paddling techniques and how to safely and easily do a “wet exit” (on dry land, of course).

No experience is necessary, however, be aware that kayaking is moderate to vigorous activity, and you will spend approximately 2.5 hours on the water.  You must be at least 16 years of age to participate.  You may sign up for one trip at a time and put your name on a wait list for another.

Costs are as follows:  $15 if you bring your own boat; if you do not bring your own boat, the tours are $25 for Great Bay Stewards members and $35 for non-members.  Checks should be made payable to:  Great Bay Stewards/Kayak Trips, 89 Depot Road, Greenland, NH, 03840.

In addition to tours, a number of short paddles for experienced kayakers with their own boats are being offered at a cost of $10.  Dates are listed below.

For more information or to register, call Education Coordinator Kelle Loughlin at the Great Bay Discovery Center at (603) 778-0015. 

Cancellation policy:  7 days prior to trip – full refund; less than 7 days – 50% refund; less than 24 hours, no refund.  If trips are cancelled because of bad weather, there is a full refund.

Following is the schedule of tours:

Summer Solstice Paddle: Monday, June 21, 2010, from 7:28 a.m – 11:30 a.m. Kick off this summer with an early morning Solstice paddle on the longest day of the year.  Learn why the sun is the driving force behind an estuarine ecosystem.  On this day there will be 15 hours, 23 minutes and 23 seconds of daylight.  Solstice begins at 7:28 am. Why not make the most of it!  Rating: EASY

Estuarine Extreme: Wednesday, July 10, 2010, from 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. If the idea of getting wet, muddy and having a great workout interests you, join our most extreme kayak trip ever!  As a group, you will be required to “pass” a series of kayak challenges designed to test your skills, endurance and environmental savvy. This is not a race, but rather a challenge that will require you to work together to solve problems and discover what makes Great Bay so great.  Previous kayak experience and good physical condition recommended.  Rating: CHALLENGING.

Sunset Birding -- Friday, July 16, 2010, from 4:00-8:00 p.m.  Enjoy a leisurely paddle from Sandy Point into the mouth of the Squamscott River.  Along the way we will look and listen for signs of birds that call Great Bay home during the summer, such as osprey, bald eagles, salt marsh sparrows, harriers, yellow legs and many more.  We will provide identification cards, field guides and binoculars, or bring your own. Rating:  EASY

Salt Marsh Exploration -- Saturday, July 24, 2010, from 11 a.m.-3:00 p.m. We begin our trip by paddling along the southwestern edge of Great Bay, past tall stands of spartina grass and over waving beds of eelgrass.  Listen for the calls of salt marsh sparrows, watch osprey dive for fish, and if we are lucky, catch a glimpse of the majestic bald eagle.  Paddle under the Squamscott River train trestle and into a hidden creek.  Learn about the unique natural and cultural history of the area on this gentle paddle. Rating:  EASY
Goat Island Geocache Adventure -- Saturday, July 31, 2010, from 3:00 p.m-7:00 p.m. Join us on a paddle to Goat Island in Little Bay, once the site of the Piscataqua Bridge Hotel (1827) and home of the legendary hermit of Goat Island, John Murtaugh.  While there, we will have the challenge of locating a geocache hidden on the island, one in a series associated with the publication “Passport to Great Bay"; if you have a GPS unit, please bring it along. The return paddle takes us past Wagon Hill Farm in Durham and Fox Point in Newington.  This trip begins and ends at the Scammel Bridge parking lot in Dover/Madbury.  Rating:  MODERATE DIFFICULTY

A Senior Moment -- Friday, August 6, 2010, from 8:00 a.m. – Noon. If "middle aged" is a thing of the past, then this trip is for you!  Join our most leisurely paddle on the estuary, intended to ease you in and out of your kayaks, with plenty of help and no need to rush.  Just because the knees and hips you have now may not be the ones you were born with, doesn’t mean you shouldn't paddle!  We will take a gentle paddle along the marsh, while pausing often to learn about the natural and cultural history of the bay.  Rating:  EASY EASY EASY!

Kayaking For Couples -- Friday, August 13, 2010, from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Take the afternoon off, call the sitter; it’s time for an afternoon and evening of adventure and fun on Great Bay!  Enjoy a paddle with your partner as we explore the marshes and open waters of the estuary.  August is a great time to see raptors like northern harriers, red tailed hawks and young osprey learning to fish.  Special activities designed to learn about the bay and each other, will challenge you and remind you how important it is to enjoy the outdoors, away from the day-to-day grind.  A special dinner will follow the kayak trip, featuring lobster rolls, salads, desserts and local beverages from around the Seacoast.  (Members: $80 per couple; Non-members: $100). Rating:   EASY.

Short Paddles on Great Bay -- Bring your own boat for these Thursday “quick trips,” which are 2 hours in length and designed for experienced paddlers who have their own boats.  All trips begin and end at the Great Bay Discovery Center boat access.  Short paddle trips are limited to 6 people.  These trips do not have a theme; rather they are a chance to just enjoy the scenery and wildlife of the Great Bay Estuary.  Cost: $10.  Offered on June 24, 2010, noon – 2 p.m.; July 8, 2010, 10 a.m. – noon; July 22, 2010, 10 a.m. – noon; and July 29, 2010, 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is a cooperative federal-state partnership between the N.H. Fish and Game Department and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Visit

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