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I have driven by Odiorne Point in Rye, New Hampshire a bunch of times in the Spring and Summer and it always seems to be crawling with kayakers. Not being familiar with the tides and currents in the area I have always been hesitant to make the trip. The NE Seacoast Paddlers Meetup Group had a trip planned from Odiorne this past weekend so I couldn''t pass up the opportunity to paddle some new waters. The plan for the trip was to put in a few hours before high tide, paddle into Little Harbor and the up Sagamore Creek. There was an option to stop at a restaurant along the river for lunch/dinner and then paddle back out when the tide turned.
The put in at Odiorne Point State Park was pretty good. There was a large parkhing lot which was pretty full by the time the 40 or so paddlers in our group arrived. The address of the put in is 505 Ocean Boulevard (Route 1A) Rye NH. Coming from the south it is just before the small bridge in Rye. The is actually another informal put in on the other side of the bridge that I saw a few people using. The ramp itself was a bit muddy, I almost lost a shoe along the edge of the ramp.
|Wentworth by the Sea Hotel|
|Wentworth Golf Club|
We set out around 1pm, I though the initial paddle out into the harbor would be tough with the tide coming in but it was pretty easy paddling, We paddled north past a nice golf course on the left and toward the Wentworth by the Sea Hotel on New Castle Island. There is a large Marina on the island but there was not too much boat traffic, a bit surprising being Memorial Day weekend. The trip leaders directed us to pass under the (Route 1B) bridge on the right. The current under the bridge was pretty strong, kind of fun to get shot through.
|Shooting Under the Bridge|
|Playing in the waves|
Once the group was through we pushed further north toward the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and around a couple small islands. One area to watch out for is a small ledge that the incoming tide was flowing over. A couple brave souls from our group paddled over it and had a rough time getting back. I briefly considered giving it a shot but after watching a couple guys struggle I decided to conserve my energy.
|Portmouth Naval Prison|
Once around the islands we let the incoming tide push us up the Sagamore Creek. At the mouth of the Sagamore is the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion. This structure dates to the 1700s and is the former home of the first Governor of New Hampshire. The Sagamore itself has a few shallow spots at the mouth but a little speed will push you through. We paddled about 2 miles upstream where it opens up a bit and the area appears to be surrounded by conservation land.
|Lots of rocky shoreline|
|Wentworth Coolidge Mansion|
|Cold Water...Crazy Kids|