Scientist for a Day on Great Bay
2015 Scientist for a Day on Great Bay Cruise Dates
(Formerly known as Great Bay Discovery Cruise)
Click on dates below to make a reservation for that day.
Join fellow explorers on an activity-based cruise from Portsmouth up the Piscataqua River into the Great Bay Estuary and to the Jackson Estuarine Laboratory. You are likely to get your hands wet as you learn about marine and estuarine ecosystems on this informal, educational cruise. You'll be invited to tow for plankton and marvel at its movement in a magnifying scope; capture water from below the surface and test its characteristics; observe, handle and hear about plants and animals from the unique habitats of the estuary; deploy an otter trawl; and find out what scientists study about The Great Bay.
The Great Bay Estuary system adds approximately 150 miles to New Hampshire's relatively small coastline. Those 150 miles include everything from industrial, historical and military landmarks to a wildlife refuge and National Estuarine Research Reserve. There will be opportunities to learn more about these landmarks and share what you know. There is also plenty of time on-board to just enjoy the fresh air, sights and sounds of the estuary with your on-board companions as we scan for bald eagles, osprey, and harbor seals.
You will cruise aboard the 50 foot UNH Research Vessel, Gulf Challenger, under the guidance of the enthusiastic and knowledgeable UNH Marine Docents, a N.H. Sea Grant water resources educator and the crew of the Gulf Challenger. Time aboard the boat is approximately 5 hours including about a half-hour visit to the Jackson Estuarine Laboratory.
What to bring & details
To ensure your comfort on the cruise, plan to dress for variable weather and to be exposed to the elements much of the time, although there is some space down below for use as needed. We cruise rain or shine! Bring a brown-bag lunch to eat while we make our way up the River or during our stop at Jackson Estuarine Lab. There are toilet facilities at the UNH Pier facility, on the Gulf Challenger, and at Jackson Lab.
Some walking is required, mostly embarking and disembarking and can include steep ramps and floating docks. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.
Seating is very limited, except on deck surfaces. The cruises are best experienced with an attitude for adventure and learning, sure to ignite your curiosity and provide an unforgettable experience!
Reservations, Prices & Times:
Open to members of the public on a first come, first served basis
Ages: Adults & Children 10 years of age and older (must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: $35 for Adults $25 for Children (10 & up)
Location: UNH Pier next to the U.S. Coast Guard Station at Fort Point in New Castle, N.H.
8:30 a.m.: Mandatory check-in and orientation
9:00 a.m.: Departure
2:30 p.m.: Return to dock
IMPORTANT – Parking at the UNH pier is limited, so please carpool. Parking is in the Public Parking lot on the left side of the access road to the Coast Guard Station. Click here for directions to the pier and parking.