Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 71: Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick

Our original idea was to take a ferry from Campobello Island to mainland Canada, but we were a week early and the ferry wasn't running yet. So much for our clever idea. So we re-entered the US and drove up Highway 1 to cross the border at Calais, ME.  Funny... we were just on the Key West end of Hwy 1 back in February!

Calais is another cute old Maine town.  We gassed up for the last time (Canadian gas is $5+ a gallon) and drove to wait in line at the border crossing.  After a short wait and a litany of questions from the nice Canadian Customs officer...

We were back in Canada!  This is the carnival atmosphere that greeted us.  How did they know we were coming?

We took Tigger the Tiger as a good luck sign!

Our next destination was Fundy National Park.  Grey skies and occasional light rain but still beautiful in spite of the weather.

It stays light past 9pm (and sunrise is before 5am!) so there was plenty of daylight left to take a drive around the park, do a quick hike to a waterfall, and still get camped before dark.

We also arrived when the tide was high so got to see what that looks like...

and saw low tide the next morning!  Angie took these two photos from the exact same spot to illustrate the huge difference.

Just outside the park is the town of Alma, a little fishing village.  The boats just rest on the bottom when the tide recedes.

Up the road from Fundy National Park are the Hopewell Rocks, another oddity of the tidal phenomenon.  We arrived at about 11:30am which was absolute low tide for the day we were there.  By 3pm the tide would start engulfing the beach again.  The time of the tides changes every day with the moon's cycle and the strength of the tides depend on the relative positions of the moon, sun, and earth.

The Bay of Fundy has abnormally large tides because of its shape. Not only is it shaped like a funnel, but it's also deeper at the end closest to the main body of the Atlantic (the wide end of the funnel) and shallower at the far end (the skinny side of the funnel), constricting the tidal flow and exaggerating it. 

Also, the Bay has its own natural rhythm, which, oddly, exactly coincides with the tidal rhythm of the Atlantic. The two rhythms resonate and amplify the tide.

Hopewell Rocks is a good place to see the effects of these extreme tides. 

The tide erodes away the softer stone at the base of the cliffs creating these "flower pots".

Please don't fall today!

Next: Halifax and Peggy's Cove

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