Bay of Fundy…..
The Bay of Fundy is a bay between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, with a small portion touching the US state of Maine. It has the highest tidal range in the world. Twice a day, the Bay of Fundy fills and empties a billion tons of water – more than the flow of all the world’s freshwater rivers. We were fortunate to view the magnitude of the tidal variation in New Brunswick and the change itself in Nova Scotia.
Alma & the Hopewell Rocks…..
On leaving Florenceville, we drove down the lower half of New Brunswick, hitting the coast at the Fundy National Park and the village of Alma. Whilst we’d heard and read about the tidal variations, nothing had prepared us for what we’d see. Having sailed in The Whitsundays off the coast of Australia, we had experienced changes in tides of a few metres, where boat keels had hit the ocean floor when people misjudged their anchoring and wide beaches had been exposed by the outgoing tide. But nowhere have we seen anything near the 15+ metres changes here! We reached Alma at close to low tide, so all the fishing boats where on dry land, most on boxes to protect the bottom. We were really only able to understand what it meant when we visited at high tide the following day and the “dry dock” was full of water and most of the boats had gone out fishing – probably for lobsters.
Alma was also home to the Holy Whale Brewery and Buddha Bear Coffee Roaster – a converted church building – where we stopped for a macchiato.
Further along the Bay of Fundy are the Hopewell Rocks – where you can walk around the famous “flowerpot rocks” at low tide then watch them disappear as the tide rises. We were fortunate to be staying at a bed & breakfast about 1km away from the rocks – owned by ex-South Africans Heather and Attie – so visited them at various stages within the tide cycle. Unfortunately the winds were extremely strong whilst we were there creating a huge swell, so our kayaking trip around the rocks at high tide was cancelled. However, we did experience the rising of the tide from the beach surrounding the rocks, with Glenda being the last person to leave the beach except for the staff from Parks Canada. It was incredible to watch how quickly the water level rose.
The tidal bore…..
From Hopewell Rocks, we made our way into Nova Scotia, our focus being to visit relatives in Truro before heading down to explore the southern coast. What we hadn’t realised is that our Fundy tide experience was to continue. We visited the Fundy Tidal Interpretive Centre where we stood on the observation deck and watched the flow of the Shubenacadie River reverse in front of our eyes as the water emptied from the Bay of Fundy. An hour later, further upriver and just outside Truro, we stood gob-smacked as the wave of the tidal bore approached, almost swallowing up the river as it went. When the tidal bore approaches, completely drained riverbeds are filled. It has claimed the lives of several tourists who were in the riverbeds when the bore came in.