I was in the need for some kayaking. This summer was brutal when it came to my schedule to get out in the water. Today was perfect. The weather was perfect and there were no commitments. I looked at the map to see where I haven’t gone before. What stuck out was Oyster river in Durham. I saw on the map where one can put in a kayak. I had tried to find it before but without any luck. This time I found it. It was a nice park near UNH.
I put in the kayak there. There was a group of people there that lost their Frisbee in the river. I went out in the water, picked it up and threw it back to them. I went upstream to look at the dam and then immediately went downstream in the direction of Great Bay.
Both sides were woods with some high class housing. All around me small fish were jumping. This usually means that there are bigger fish scaring the small fish out of the water. I wish I had a fishing rod. A ways down the was a path to follow in the kayak. It was a little longer than 1/2 mile and there were reeds on both sides. I traced my steps and started back on the river.
I continued down the river until Great Bay was in front of me. Then had a panic attack. Did I lock the car or not. I went back. The car was locked. I put the kayak into the truck and took off. As I was kayaking I saw another place to let in the kayak so I looked for that.
Sure enough there was Jackson point. There was a boat house where UNH stored their skulls for crew. There was also a kids playground and a skating rink. I did not know any of these places existed. It was a great time all around.
Date traveled – August 12, 2014
length of trip – 3.1 miles
weather -Sunny, about 80 degrees.
Time on the water- 1.8 hours
I have been wanting to do this trip for a few years. I decided now to do this trip. The place to let in the Kayak is in New Market center. There is great parking there. There were people fishing at the wharf there. No one was catching anything. I did see an abundance of small fish there. Where there is small fish there is usually big fish. When I left I notice that the terrain was like a miniature Fjord. With the exception of where the town buildings where on both sides of the river there were steep inclines covered with trees with some rock outcroppings.
As I started the journey I noticed a sign on the other side of the river designating a conservation area. The hills on both sides of the river was directing the wind from Great Bay against me. The view from the kayak were beautiful. I saw a number of ducks and cormorants all around me. They were friendly. As long as I did not make any sudden mores, the birds were not scared off. I continued down to Great Bay. I was the only one in the river. As I got closer to Great Bay the waves got bigger and the wind became stronger. Looking around it was all woods with some clearings and a few houses. With the exception of those houses it seemed that I was in the middle of a small wilderness.
I started heading back. I made good time with the wind in my back. From the water one can see a new prospective of the personality that Newmarket has. Past the drop in point I could see the dam that years ago provided power to the industries. The river I just was on was the way the boats came up from Portsmouth for trade. This land has much history to it. I got off the boat, put it into my truck so could have a leisurely walk through the town.
Date traveled – August 11, 2014
length of trip – 10.4 miles
weather -Sunny, about 80 degrees.
Time on the water- 6 hours
I have kayaked on the Squamscott River before and love it. There was fish jumping on both sides of me, saw Blue Heron, Osprey, Hawks and other assorted wildlife. I saw someone who had previously came early in the morning where she saw moose and deer on the shore. There would be all sorts of surprises considering a large portion of side of the river is conservation areas.
The place to put the kayak in the water is top notch. I put the kayak in the water two hours before high tide. I understand that this is the best way to traverse this river. The tide coming in help the trip up to Exeter. When you get to Exeter the tide going out will help you get back. What I experienced was that if I had left one hour earlier(three hours before high tide), walked around Exeter for 2 hours and then headed back would have kept me from experiencing the calm in the transition between the tide coming in and going out.
I enjoyed it the way I did it. The trip was beautiful. The waters were calm. On one side there were beautiful houses all with their different character. On the other side was conservation areas. I saw (and smelled) a farm. There was an ingenious method on making an Osprey nest by making a tripod. I saw very few other boats. Most of the time I had the river to myself. There was an island in the river where I saw boaters docked and went swimming. I can never get tired going under a bridge. Route 101 had a majestic span. Past the bridge was a water treatment plant.
After that was Exeter. Exeter is a quaint city with a lot of personality. There is history, scenic areas, quaint shops, good restaurants and a nice place just to walk around. I saw a place to take the kayak to get off and explore. To see Exeter from the harbor was a unique to see the personality that a town like Exeter had to offer. I then started back. If took a while until the tide was in my favor. It was just as beautiful going back down the river as going up. I reached my starting point and got out. It was a great trip. I need to do this again except early morning.
It was a long hard winter. I was overdue for a kayak adventure. There was 4 places I set aside for spring time. 3 of the locations are dependent on the tide. I tried this location last year and found the trail to put in the kayak was covered with poison ivy. This year there was only a few plants but not overrun like last year. The kayak needed to be carried about 50 yards until a suitable spot to let in the kayak was found. As I went into the kayak, I slipped on some mud and got soaked. My camera, GPS and my cell phone all wet. They all seemed to still be working so I started my journey. A side note- the water felt pretty warm even though ice out was only a month earlier.
I started down the river. Although the water level was higher than normal it was still a nice slow pace. Both sides of the river had character. Some parts were woodland and some parts were brushes. On the left I came across a campground. There were campers even in mid may. I could smell campfires burning. It brought back pleasant memories of the times I used to go camping. One person yelled out saying she wishes she was out on her boat. As I passed under a large fallen tree another person said they heard a crack indicating the tree was ready to fall even more.
There was a sound of the boat brushing over a log. The log was a few inches under water where it was hard to see. I saw an error in my camera. It seems my waterproof camera had a small leak and water was interfering with its operation. I opened the battery portion and wiped down the batteries and the memory card. When the camera was put together it worked flawlessly. The GPS also started failing. Kept getting a continual beeping sound. I did not want to disturb the GPS keeping my progress so I let it keep beeping. Sure enough at the end of the trip I took the GPS apart, wiped it down and put it back together. It worked perfectly. When I downloaded the information into my computer it was like there was any problems.
Getting back to the story, I continued my trip down the river until there was blockage preventing me from going further. I turned around. The sights were still enjoyable to see on the way back. The was a pair of ducks going through the brushes. There were other birds around. I went past the location where I put the kayak in and was able to go up the river an additional quarter of a mile. I went back to the location and took the kayak out without incident. My cell phone will never be the same.