We invite you to bring your students on a very special field trip – a school sail aboard the gundalow PISCATAQUA on the tidal waters of New Hampshire and southern Maine.
Our sailing season begins mid-May and runs through October, with sails offered mornings and afternoons Monday through Friday. Our standard 2.5 hour program is typically based in Portsmouth and can accommodate up to 27 students (with four adults). If two classes share a bus, gundalow staff will help arrange a shore-based activity for students when they’re not out on the boat.
Each season the PISCATAQUA visits one or two towns “up river” or in Great Bay, and we’ll be happy to arrange programs in other towns when possible. Our programs and activities are correlated with state frameworks and closely aligned with principles of both estuarine and ocean literacy. Gundalow crew will work with you to customize the trip and guarantee your class a meaningful educational experience.
During school sails on the PISCATAQUA, students are engaged at customized learning stations related to exploration of the waterways and the operation of the gundalow, and work with the crew to set the sail, steer, and navigate. Activities are hands-on and place-based, combining concepts from social studies, science, math, art, and language arts. Critical thinking skills, decision making, and working as a team are all incorporated into the experience.
The cultural and natural history of the area will come alive as your students join the gundalow crew – – setting the sail, steering the boat, and engaging in active learning and teamwork throughout the trip. Students will board as a group and then rotate through an established program as the PISCATAQUA leaves the dock and travels down river.
All students will participate in three education stations, where they’ll be engaged with analyzing water, collecting data, studying charts, discovering human impact, observing the weather, exploring ecosystems, and/or learning boat handling skills. Concepts from science, math, social studies and language arts will be woven into the activities.
While the trip will be customized for your class, a sample agenda follows. Please note that the times are approximate and are based on your arrival.
9:00 Safety talk and orientation
9:15 First watch (set the sail)
9:30 First learning station
10:00 Off watch (chantey or observation)
10:15 Second learning station
10:45 Last watch (chantey or observation)
11:00 Third learning station
11:30 Return to the Dock
Your class will sail rain or shine so be sure students dress appropriately.
The trip will be canceled by the captain only in severe conditions *