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Kayaking the Eastern Shore: The Chesapeake and the Atlantic

Program Number: 2285RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/29/2013 - 10/4/2013; 9/21/2014 - 9/26/2014; 5/17/2015 - 5/22/2015; 5/24/2015 - 5/29/2015; 6/7/2015 - 6/12/2015; 6/14/2015 - 6/19/2015; 8/16/2015 - 8/21/2015; 8/23/2015 - 8/28/2015; 9/6/2015 - 9/11/2015; 9/20/2015 - 9/25/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Wallops Island, Virginia
Price starting at: $565.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Water Sports Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Experience the coastal environment from a new perspective as you kayak while viewing coastal flora and fauna. Paddle with Chincoteague Bay Field Station ecologists/biologists through salt marsh ecosystems, over eel grass beds and up a picturesque river and extraordinary coastal creeks of the Chesapeake and Chincoteague Bays.




Highlights

• Experience day and night paddles through the diverse waters of the Eastern Shore, including the scenic Pocomoke River, which snakes through one of the northernmost cypress swamps.
• Refresh your skills through classroom and field instruction and demonstrations, starting with the basics and progressing through more advanced skills.
• Learn about the coastal and bay ecosystems of the Eastern Shore, winding through a salt marsh for intimate encounters with egrets, herons and other animals.



Activity Particulars

Kayaking five miles daily; experience recommended. Good swimming skills required. Walking up to a half-mile.



Coordinated by the Chincoteague Bay Field Station.




Wallops Island

Virginia’s Eastern Shore offers a historic and scenic combination of maritime heritage, wave-swept beaches, and both fresh and saltwater wetlands, as well as Wallops Island, a barrier island just off the coast in Chesapeake Bay.



Accommodations
New residential hall with university-style suites; two bedrooms per bathroom, air conditioning.
Meals and Lodgings
   Residence Hall, Marine Science Consortium
  Wallops Island 5 nights
 Residence Hall, Marine Science Consortium
Type: Field Station
  Description: The Marine Science Consortium (MSC) is a residential environmental learning center and field station which provides hands-on educational programs on coastal and marine environments. Road Scholar participants will be housed in one of the MSC’s residence halls. The residence hall is two stories tall and has no elevator. This facility is set up like a college-style dorm or camp retreat center where bedrooms are grouped into sets of four bedrooms, accessed through one exterior locking door. Inside participants will find four comfortable bedrooms and two bathrooms. Bedrooms have single twin beds, no bunk beds. There are two bathrooms per set of four rooms. Each bathroom has two sinks, two showers with changing areas, and two toilets. Bathrooms are not connected to bedrooms but are shared by only two rooms. (There will never be more than 4 people sharing one bathroom. Usually there are only two). All rooms are comfortable with central heat, and air conditioning. Each room has 2-4 beds, one night stand, a lamp and clothing storage. These accommodations give participants the private space they need, in private single bedrooms or shared with desired roommate, as well as great opportunities for socializing with others. Meals are served in a common dining room shared by all MSC guests. A hot meal option is provided along with cereal, fruit, and yogurt available at breakfast and a salad bar available at lunch and dinner. Some meals are also taken at area restaurants that feature a variety of local seafood specialties. While our address says that MSC is located on Wallops Island, participants will find that our campus is not actually on an island. We share a historic postal code with the nearby NASA Wallops Flight Facility and Navy base because of our common history and partnership. We are just a 5-minute drive away from three of Virginia's beautiful barrier islands- Wallops, Chincoteague, and Assateague.
  Contact info: 34001 Mill Dam Rd
Wallops Island, VA 23337 USA
phone: 757-824-5636
web: www.msconsortium.org
  Room amenities: A/C and Heat, Nightstand, Clothing Storage
  Facility amenities: The residence hall is located across campus from meeting spaces and cafeteria, with parking available nearby. A coin-operated laundry room is available. The campus has a large lounge for participants with comfortable chairs and sofas, tables to play games, and television. Wireless Internet access is available in the main Education Center.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: There are two bathrooms per set of four rooms. Each bathroom has two sinks, two showers, and two toilets. Bathrooms are not connected to bedrooms. (There will never be more than 4 people sharing one bathroom. Usually there are only two).
  Additional nights prior: $35 Please call the MSC to make a reservation.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $35 Please call the MSC to make a reservation.
  Check out time: 9:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Registration and Check-In is from at 3:00-5:00 PM at the Marine Science Consortium Education Center. You will be staying at Residence Hall, Marine Science Consortium that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after lunch 1:00 p.m. You will be staying at Residence Hall, Marine Science Consortium the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Three forms are required prior to the group starting: medical release, health history and participant acknowledgment of risk form. Bring photo ID (is required if the schedule is changed to include visiting the NASA base on Wallops Island). Foreign Nationals must complete the Foreign National Form 6 weeks in advance to access the NASA/Navy Base
  Parking availability:
In front or near apartments.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Wallops Island
  Nearest city or town:  Chincoteague, VA
  Nearest highway: VA Rt 13
  Nearest airport:  Salisbury Airport (SBY)
  From End of Program
  Location: Wallops Island
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Oak Hall / T's Corner

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Marine Science Consortium
phone: 757-824-5636
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

0
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

.25 

   

Please call the Marine Science Consortium and let us know in advance if you are arriving by bus to Oak Hall, Virginia. We will arrange a ride for you.

 

Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Travel Time:

 

1.25 

   

We recommend renting a car ahead of time for the week. As there is no public transportation at all in Chincoteague, participants would otherwise be confined to the downtown shopping area during downtime. Avis, Enterprise and Hertz rentals have desks and cars at the airport. Avis: (410) 742-8566 Enterprise: (410) 677-3810 Hertz: (410) 749-2235

 

Salisbury Regional Airport to Greyhound Station

 

To Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Taxi Service
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Travel Time:

 

15 min ride from Airport to the Greyhound Station 

 

Distance:

 

7.5 Miles

   

Bus station is a 5.2 mile ride from the airport by taxi. Gene's Taxi: (410) 749-8888 Bailey's Taxi: (410) 546-4025 International Taxi: (410) 548-1008 You will be traveling to the bus stop in Oak Hall, Va. Information is provided above about how to get from there to your final destination.

 

Salisbury MD ( Airport-Taxi-Greyhound Bus Station-Marine Science Consortium)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Greyhound Bus Lines
phone: 800-231-2222
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$33.00 (not including taxi from airport)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.3 

   

From the Salisbury Regional Airport you can take the Greyhound Bus to the program. The bus station is a 7 mile ride from the airport by taxi. You will be traveling to the bus stop in OAK HALL, VA. Greyhound Station Address 350 CYPRESS ST Salisbury, MD 21801 IMPORTANT: Tickets are NOT sold at the location in Salisbury. You may get tickets by mail for trips departing from Salisbury if you buy at least two weeks in advance. Tickets may be purchased on Greyhound.com or by calling 1-800-231-2222.

 

Norfolk International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Price of rental + $12.00 toll for Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

2.3 

   

We recommend renting a car ahead of time for the week. As there is no public transportation at all in Chincoteague, participants would otherwise be confined to the downtown shopping area during downtime. The following companies have cars and desks at the airport: Alamo (800) 462-5266 Avis (800) 831-2847 Budget (800) 527-0700 Dollar (800) 800-3665 Enterprise (800) 736-8222 Hertz (800) 654-3131 National (800) 227-7368 Thrifty (800) 367-2277

 

Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Travel Time:

 

1.25 

   

Costs include both the arrival and return trips. Gene's Taxi: (410) 749-8888 Cost: $206 Bailey's Taxi: (410) 546-4025 Cost: $199 cash $239 credit

 

From Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport to The Marine Science Consortium

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Marine Science Consortium
phone: 757-824-5636
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Shuttle cost: $25.00/one way and $45.00/round trip.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 

 

Distance:

 

45 miles

   

The MSC offers limited Airport shuttle service on the first/last day of programs. On the first day the shuttle departs the airport at 1:00 pm and arrives at the MSC by 2:30 pm. On the last day the shuttle departs the MSC at 1:00 pm and arrives at the airport by 3:30 pm. Because shuttle service is limited and air travel unpredictable we advise scheduling your flight to arrive well in advance and to depart well after the scheduled shuttle times. Call at least 4 weeks in advance for reservations.

 
Driving Directions
  VA Rt 13 Follow Route 13 (Lankford Highway) to the traffic light at VA 175 (T’s Corner and Chincoteague Road). This is about 4 miles south of the MD-VA border on the Delmarva Peninsula. Take VA 175 E for approximately 3 miles. At the traffic light take a left onto Atlantic Road. At the end of Atlantic Road (approx. 0.5 miles) bear left onto Mill Dam Road. The Consortium is located on your right. Turn right onto Enterprise Street (the right after the blue and white Marine Science Consortium sign), the cafeteria will be on your right (gray and blue building).
Elevation Note: Sea Level

Equipment Requirements: 1-2 Bathing suits, quick drying clothing, synthetic top (polypropolene,capolene, thermax), footwear that will get wet and preferably float (neoprene booties, aqua socks, old sneakers), attachable hat, waterproof sunscreen, insect repellent. All Kayaks are Tandem Kayaks.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check In/Campus Orientation/Welcome/Schedule Overview
(Sunday, September 29)
   
 Afternoon: Please check into the Marine Science Consortium (MSC) between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm. Check in will be held in the Education Center. There will be signs to direct you. Program information, a current schedule, and your name tag will be given out at registration.
 Dinner: Get ready for a seafood feast! Sample local crabs and shrimp or if you choose, chicken and portobello mushrooms.
 Evening: The first evening will entail introductions, a schedule overview, and social time.
   
Accommodations: Residence Hall, Marine Science Consortium
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Distribution of Gear & Stroke Practice/Pocomoke River Swamp/Barrier Island Ecology & Tides
(Monday, September 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is at the MSC cafeteria from 7:30- 8:30 am. Each day will present an array of fruits, hot and cold cereals, meats, breads/biscuits, eggs or pancakes for your choosing.
 Morning: Before heading out to the water, we will introduce you to the world of kayaking with a brief video demonstrating different paddling techniques. Your leaders will then provide additional instruction on nautical safety and orient you to your kayak and equipment. We will depart for the first paddle on the scenic Pocomoke River once everyone is comfortable with their gear. The scenic Pocomoke River snakes through one of the northernmost cypress swamps. We will launch from Snow Hill, MD, but not before we stretch and practice our stroke techniques! Our maiden paddle will focus on developing important skills and technique. In addition, as you paddle your instructors will provide information about the magnificent flora and fauna you will encounter and share their knowledge of the values and ecology of this unique environment.
 Lunch: Box lunches prepared by participants prior to departure will be eaten along the bank of the river. Lunch options will include sandwiches, yogurts, fruits, chips, & cookies. We will provide a refillable water bottle that you can fill with any of our fountain drinks. Extra water will be supplied by your guides.
 Afternoon: The afternoon will be a continuation of the Pocomoke River cypress swamp paddle to the take-out site at Shad Landing, in Pocomoke State Park.
 Dinner: Dinner will be in the MSC cafeteria.
 Evening: Barrier islands: the natural history, importance and future of these unique ecosystems. Learn about how one of the world's most biologically productive areas constantly changes as a result of a multitude of collaborative environmental factors.
   
Accommodations: Residence Hall, Marine Science Consortium
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Janes Island State Park/Salt Marsh Ecology
(Tuesday, October 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is at the MSC cafeteria from 7:30- 8:30 am. Each day will present an array of fruits, hot and cold cereals, meats, breads/biscuits, eggs or pancakes for your choosing.
 Morning: Today's adventure will lead us through Jane’s Island State Park in the Chesapeake Bay. Winding through the small tidal inlets of the salt marsh in our quiet kayaks will provide intimate encounters with egrets, herons and other animals. Learn about the different microhabitats within a marsh, the organisms that spend their lives there, and the reasons we should protect this increasingly endangered environment.
 Lunch: Box lunches will be eaten on along the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Participants will prepare their lunches in the cafeteria before leaving in the morning.
 Afternoon: During lunch, your instructors will lead a group discussion about wetlands. The afternoon will be a continuation of the paddle through the winding creeks and guts of the salt marsh.
 Dinner: Dinner will be in the MSC cafeteria.
 Evening: This evening will be an evening lecture on the different organisms in the area! We will set out the organisms for a fun and interactive talk about the local creatures that are beneath us while we paddle throughout the Eastern Shore.
   
Accommodations: Residence Hall, Marine Science Consortium
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Simon Easton Bay/Sunset Paddle
(Wednesday, October 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is at the MSC cafeteria from 7:30- 8:30 am. Each day will present an array of fruits, hot and cold cereals, meats, breads/biscuits, eggs or pancakes for your choosing.
 Morning: This half-day paddle will lead us through several winding tidal creeks and into a shallow, open bay. Along the way we will get up close to oyster reefs and farms while we discuss local fisheries. This area will also provide exceptional views of wading birds.
 Lunch: Lunch will be in the fieldstation’s cafeteria from 12:00 pm to 1:00 PM. Help yourself to a hot meal, sandwiches, and a salad bar.
 Afternoon: This will be your free afternoon to visit some of the local sites, explore the town of Chincoteague, walk the trails of the Wildlife Refuge, fish, shop, or just relax on Assateague's pristine beach.
 Dinner: Dinner will be in the MSC cafeteria.
 Evening: Tonight we will head out to Chincoteague Island for a sunset paddle up Assateague Channel!
   
Accommodations: Residence Hall, Marine Science Consortium
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Memorial Park to Assateague Island/Tom's Cove/Seafood Feast & Graduation
(Thursday, October 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is at the MSC cafeteria from 7:30- 8:30 am. Each day will present an array of fruits, hot and cold cereals, meats, breads/biscuits, eggs or pancakes for your choosing.
 Morning: Today's adventure will take you to Memorial Park, the site of the famous Pony Swim. From there we will kayak over to a secluded beach on Assateague Island that is only accessible by water. This is a good place to see herds of wild horses feeding on the banks of the marsh. We will also catch and examine some of the inhabitants of the shallow waters near the beach.
 Lunch: The sunny picnic lunch will be on a secluded beach at the edge of the maritime forest on Assateague Island. Lunch will be a box lunch prepared by you in the cafeteria.
 Afternoon: Search for clues to the natural history of Assateague Island and how barrier islands move over time.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at a local seafood restaurant. A Taste of the Eastern Shore! Sample some of our local fare, including steamed blue crabs, clams, & shrimp.
 Evening: After the feast, musical performance will wrap up the week's events and allow time to sit back and enjoy the company of new friends.
   
Accommodations: Residence Hall, Marine Science Consortium
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Equipment Return & Dune System Ecology/Check Out
(Friday, October 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is at the MSC cafeteria from 7:30- 8:30 am. Each day will present an array of fruits, hot and cold cereals, meats, breads/biscuits, eggs or pancakes for your choosing.
 Morning: Spend the morning on Wallops Island, a Navy/NASA facility that is closed to the general public. We will wrap up our week with a field discussion of dune formation and beach dynamics. Time will be alloted for beach combing on the treasure-filled beach.
 Lunch: Lunch will be in the MSC cafeteria.
 Afternoon: After lunch it is time to pack up, turn in evaluations, and say goodbye.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore: From the Bay of Fundy to Cape Hatteras


Author: Kenneth L. Gosner


Description: More than 1,000 illustrations, arranged according to visual similarities, show plant and animal species of the Atlantic Coast from the Bay of Fundy to Cape Hatteras. This guide includes information on how to locate each species by geographic range, tidal range, tidal level, season, topography, and climate.



Kayaking Made Easy, 3rd: A Manual for Beginners with Tips for the Experienced (Made Easy Series)


Author: Dennis Stuhaug


Description: This newly expanded and revised third edition of Kayaking Made Easy: A Manual For Beginners With Tips For The Experienced by Dennis Stuhaug is a complete and thorough "how to" guide to the sport and recreation of kayaking. Providing readers with a concisely presenting approach to preparing for and engaging in kayaking, Kayaking Made Easy offers a truly "user friendly" guide to everything from choosing the right hull for individual needs, outfitting the kayak with seat, flotation, spray deck and other fittings, mastering basic maneuvers from the sweep stroke to the sculling brace, and assembling a kayaking wardrobe that is both comfortable and affordable, to safe navigation through the hazards of wind, fog, eddies and rip currents, and ensuring that all companions, including kids, enjoy the active and fun ride. A welcome addition to personal and community library reference collections, Kayaking Made Easy is very strongly recommended reading for novice kayakers, and has much of value to offer even seasoned kayakers. Warning: This instruction guide relies heavily on written descriptions rather than pictures.



Life and Death of the Salt Marsh


Author: Mildred and John Teal


Description: Life and Death of the Salt Marsh is a book that focuses on many aspects of the ecology of the salt marsh. To quote the authors, it is "about the marshes of the East Coast of North America: how they were formed; why they continue to exist; the interplay of plants and animals; and the effect of that influential animal, man." This book does a very thorough job of covering all these topics. It begins with the story of one particular salt marsh, how it formed, what happened to it when colonists first arrived and used it for hay production, and its eventual death after human impact became so great as to prevent marsh recovery. The remainder of the book gives detailed descriptions of the processes and organisms that affect the salt marsh. These include the geology, history of glaciation, plant and animal species, seasons, and topics relating to marsh pollution and conservation. Considering that this book was written in 1969, thirty years ago, it still seems to have good scientific accuracy. It is interesting to look at this book from a historical perspective, especially the sections on conservation. Preservation of marshes is important for many reasons. The main reason for preservation being that a large variety of species rely on salt marshes during part or all of their life cycle. Many of these species are commercially viable and are (or were when the book was written) important to the East Coast economy. The chapter on pollution control was very interesting. It includes discussion of the use of DDT. Most ecologist today have heard of or read Silent Spring and know about the dangers of DDT. Life and Death of the Salt Marsh was written just before Silent Spring, by Janet Carson, and brings up the many dangers and harmful side effects of DDT. Obvious DDT was an area of concern for many people in fields related to ecology in the late 60's. The entire book could be related to many aspects of ecology and is thus relevant to anyone interested in the ecology of salt marshes.



Sea Kayaking: A Woman's Guide


Author: Shelley Johnson


Description: All kayakers, women and men, will benefit from reading this book. It is an interesting and easy-to-understand guide with lots of descriptive photos and drawings. It covers a wide range of topics such as:getting to know your kayak & paddle, safety and emergency info, carrying and transporting your kayak, weather and navigation, and much more Novice paddlers and seasoned veterans alike will find this a highly readable and eminently sensible guidebook to the essentials of safe and enjoyable sea kayaking. Basing her instructive technique on the "talk it over and think it through first" school of outdoor learning, author Shelley Johnson's tone is friendly and conversational. Whether discussing useful ways to carry and transport a kayak, getting in and out of it, or staying afloat, she is quick to offer supportive, practical advice. Yes, for instance, proper paddling techniques are difficult to master; but with the easy-to-follow captioned photographs provided, forward, backward, turning, and support strokes are a whole lot easier to understand and ultimately execute. If your greatest fears are the "wet exit" (capsizing) and hypothermia, you'll be pleased to learn there are myriad ways to prepare for and/or prevent such safety hazards. In addition to lending her own expertise, Johnson also includes comments, stories, and instruction from veteran water women of all ages. Chapters on weather/tidal conditions, equipment, and heading out with children all brim with excellent tips and straightforward advice. A resource listing is also included. So if you want the lowdown on how to be well prepared, properly geared, and safety conscious in a sea kayak, this edition of the Ragged Mountain Press Woman's Guide series points the way.



The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America


Author: David Allen Sibley and Rick Cech


Description: Providing birders the convenience of portability, Sibley's newest volume breaks down the information in The Sibley Guide to Birds into specific regions (The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America will be published the same month). The guide includes much of the basic information in the Guide to Birds, such as the parts of a bird and general color-coded maps, but focuses most of its attention on birds who make their home east of the Rocky Mountains, such as the Double-crested Cormorant and the Eastern Screech-Owl. The color-coded maps that accompany each bird show where the birds live throughout North America, so that birders in, say, Pennsylvania, will know to look for the Northern Mockingbird in California as well. And, of course, Sibley's beautiful full-colored paintings of birds jump out at every page-even in small format.





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