Dollywood adds new raft with water guns

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. - Dolly Parton's Dollywood theme park will be adding a new $5 million raft ride equipped with water guns to soak targets, other riders and bystanders.

Scheduled to open in 2008, the River Battle sends eight passengers on rafts down a 500-foot channel lined with more than 100 targets.

The targets include large-scale talking animals such as beavers, skunks, otters and bears, some of which shoot water back at the riders.

Riders can also aim at other passengers on their raft or park guests along the edge of the ride.

The Great Smoky Mountains venue will also build a new connecting walkway between two areas of the park. The project is the park's largest earthworks project since a train track bed was completed in 1960.

Canoeist finishes East Coast feat

CAMDEN, Maine - A woman who paddled her outrigger canoe from Florida to Maine to promote ocean conservation was met by a flotilla of small boats as she completed her 21â "2-month journey on July 20 in the harbor of this yachting and tourist mecca.

""This is just the beginning. It's ain't over yet,' said Margo Pellegrino, of Medford Lakes, N.J. She said she intends to continue her campaign even though her East Coast journey of nearly 2,000 miles from Miami has ended.

The 40-year-old mother of two set out on her solo coastal venture on May 7 in a 20-foot outrigger canoe that she said was made in China. Following the Intracoastal Waterway and hugging the Atlantic coast, Pellegrino paddled about 40 miles a day and stopped at 74 communities.

St. Lucia resort introduces ferry

CASTRIES, St. Lucia - A solar-powered ferry has been introduced by a resort in St. Lucia that hopes to inspire others across the Caribbean.

The 12-foot Sunshine Express, which has photovoltaic panels mounted on the roof, carries up to 15 guests of the Discovery at Marigot Bay resort - www.discoverystlucia.com - to waterfront bars and restaurants.

""One resource the Caribbean has in abundance is solar power,' owner Judith Verity said. ""We hope that the (ferry) will be the first of many solar-powered boats not just in St. Lucia but throughout the Caribbean.'

Okla. River taxis to connect downtown with hotels

OKLAHOMA CITY - A $2 million gift from Devon Energy Corp. will allow Oklahoma City to set sail on a plan to launch taxi boats along the Oklahoma River, connecting downtown with hotels commonly used for conventions.

The river taxi service, expected to start next spring, would use 49-passenger boats that would depart every 30 minutes and travel between a dock under construction near Meridian Avenue and Interstate 40 and one planned near the Chesapeake Boathouse and within walking distance of the canal that runs through the Bricktown entertainment district.

- From wire reports