I have seen some impressive natural wonders in my travels but nothing prepared me for the Bay of Fundy. Standing on the sand at Cape Enrage at low tide staring inland I was confronted by a steep slope of shingle 60ft (20m) to the high tide mark. Earlier when the tide was only half way out I was wandering at Hopewell Rocks where the tides are at their highest among the rock formations and caves; caves that at 30ft (10m) at their entrance are filled to the roof at high tide. Here at low tide you are walking on the sea bed and six hours later you can kayak 50ft above your footprints.
It is the funnel shape of the Bay of Fundy that is partial responsible for the extremely high tides. As the bay narrows the water has nowhere to go except upwards effectively creating a slope. Additionally the bay is the perfect length for tidal resonance to occur as the outgoing the water from the top end of the bay meets the water from the next incoming tide.
Just staring at high tides soon loses its appeal so I headed south-west to the other end of the bay on the New Brunswick side. Here the difference between high and low tide is a lot less but with 115 billion tons of water flowing around the archipelago twice a day it creates tidal rips, strong currents and the odd whirlpool or two. This stirs up the nutrients which attracts the fish which in turn attract several species of Cetacea. Minke, finback, humpback and the occasional endangered northern right whale along with porpoises feed here regularly. A whole industry has grown up around watching these animals but the best way for my money is to get into a kayak.
Seascape Kayak Tours operating out of Deer Island are one of the best operators I have come across. Their tours around the islands will show you New Brunswick from a different angle while bringing you up close and personal with bald eagles fishing, seals, whales and porpoises. With an intimate knowledge of tides and they use them to ease the paddling. On my trip with them we saw grey seals, harbour seals, bald eagles along with minke and finback whales. Lunch was in a little cove with a desert island feel from where we saw finback whales in the distance.
Of course with a top notch experience on the water a stay at New Brunswick’s top gastronomic delight, Rosemount Inn, was a must. The food cooked by Chris is so good it is probably illegal, immoral or both especially the fish.
I took this trip as a guest of Tourism New Brunswick and Seascape Kayaking Tours. However, as always I maintain full editorial control and write as I see things.