Friday, November 22, 2019

Seeing a Giant Tide and Ending Up on the Bottom of the Ocean - Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia


Time for another Nova Scotian road trip. My dad would regale me with tales of the world's highest tide when I was a kid. It was something he always wanted to see and told my about this magical place with the world's highest tides...up to 50 feet!


Watch the Video!



When he explained it, it sounded like a giant tidal wave would come in each day..."you can actually see the wave come in," he'd tell me. I was always entranced by this but never thought I'd get there. Well, you can see where this is going. Now that we're in Halifax it's only about an hour by car to the Bay of Fundy and the Fundy Discovery Site where you can watch this very tidal action take place and watch the wave, the wave my dad always talked about, come in.

In reality, the "wave"...or the tidal bore, to be technically correct...is only 1 to 3 feet tall but it is still something amazing to see.

Gray clouds are threatening as we leave Halifax towards Truro on the other side of the province. There will be rain but this will just be a normal, late summer precipitation, not the hurricane that came in a couple of days ago.

We dress appropriately and bring our raincoats and hats along.

It's a very easy drive, if a bit wet. We had checked the tide table before we left and the tide was scheduled to come in at 11:56am. We arrived, parked, and turned off the engine. It was 11:36.

With just enough time to get Tim out of the car and into his chair, we make our way over to the viewing area, a couple of hundred yards away.



There are about 40 to 50 people here for the same reason. We find a couple of chairs on the bank of the channel and then wait. It's raining so it's not the most comfortable wait but it shouldn't be too long.

The tide's a bit late. 11:56 comes and goes with nothing. Then, about ten minutes later, a flock of seagulls sitting on the ground of the estuary suddenly take flight and a shout of "here it comes!" from the visitor center behind us tell us to be on alert.

The estuary is on a curve so we look down to the bend and there it is...the magnificent, one foot tall tidal bore. Yes, it looks a bit like a large ripple but there it is (you can see it very well in our video).



It comes by and past us. The water keeps rushing in afterward like a rushing river. Soon, the water has risen about 6 feet. We stay for about a half hour before we decide to leave and look for some lunch.

One of the best restaurants in Nova Scotia is about a 30 minute drive down the bay. The Flying Apron comes highly recommended but I call just to make sure..."we just go our power back this morning so we're not going to open until tomorrow."

Scratch that on the list of Dorian related vacation casualties. Now, it'll just be a scenic drive along the bay and then back to our plan B restaurant close to the Halifax Airport.



Awhile later, we're in the town of Noel where I stop to get gas. Full serve out here in the boondocks at similar prices to what we pay in California. At the edge of town on the edge of the bay, we have to make a stop at Burntcoat Head Park. It's here where you can really see the effects of the massive tide here.

Tim's not interested in getting out of the car in the rain and the park's really not accessible anyway. He waits and listens to music while Letty and I take a short walk.

The tide's gone back out now so we walk down some stairs and soon we're walking along the bottom of the ocean, about 30 feet below the high tide line.



Nearby is a mushroom looking tower of red rock that is under water when the tide is in with a forest of trees on top. When the tide comes in, it's a small island offshore.

We spend a few minutes wandering around the seabed and then we meet back up with Tim for the drive back to Halifax.



Along the way, we stop by Oliver's Gastropub...located at the Inn on the Lake near Wellington...for a delicious lunch in a very cozy, warm atmosphere.



It'll do us nicely as we get back to our hotel and relax for the rest of the night.

Darryl Musick
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