Tag Archives: Bay of Fundy

Along the shore

Sunday morning I headed out for a trip along the shore – the shore of the Kennebecasis River and the shore of the Bay of Fundy.

Kennebecasis River at Hampton, NB

I was determined to avoid the boring 4-lane, tree-lined highways as much as possible. I wanted to see fall colours and water – lots and lots of water. My first stop as at the top of the hill on the old road between Hampton and Nauwigewaak, opposite the High-Low farm, overlooking the edge of the town  and the Pickwauket hills. There was a time when I saw this view every day of life as I traveled back and forth between home on the Kingston Peninsula and work in Saint John. That was prior to the construction of the ‘new’ highway that bypassed all possible scenic outlooks.

Once I passed Saint John I again got off the highway and traveled the shore roads as much as possible. Even there, it was hard to get close to the water except at spots where the road kissed the shore and you could actually see the bay.

On the shore of the Bay of Fundy, low tide

I passed through (among others) Chance Harbour where, at low tide with a cold wind blowing, I wondered how people living in dilapidated houses with shingles missing from their roofs kept warm. Dipper Harbour , with its piles of lobster traps neatly displayed on the shore, was so much more tidy with more apparently prosperous homes.

Dipper Harbour, NB

On through Maces Bay where the cliffs on the far shore were more obvious and seagulls hunkered down in the low tide mud flats and sea grass to keep warm while watching for lunch.

Maces Bay, NB

Meanwhile a lone fishing boat headed out into the bay.

Charlotte Co. NB

I was hoping that Lepreau Falls would provide a photographic opportunity, but with the months-long drought we’ve been experiencing, the river had all but dried up and the falls were nought but a trickle over the rocks. In St. George. though, some water was still flowing through the gorge and made for a pretty autumn image.

St. George, NB

Then it was on to St. Andrews. Since I was far too early to check in to the inn, I went exploring through the town.

One of three canons defending the town of St. Andrews, NB, outside the Blockhouse.

 

Blockhouse (fort) at St. Andrews, NB

 

Mouth of a canon in St. Andrews, NB

With the threat of invasion from the south somewhat reduced from when these installations were created, today’s visitors find more peaceful ways to view the Bay of Fundy and the shores of the state of Maine in the background.

Breakwater at St. Andrews, NB

At the other end of town there’s a rocky beach. At low tide more seagulls line up there, in the sun, to take off and keep a wary eye out for a fish or two that might become today’s meal.

Seagulls on the beach in St. Andrews, NB

Their calls are raucous and loud but totally appropriate for the moment, of course.

My exploring done, I headed off to check in to the #RossmountInn in Chamcook, just outside the town limits of #StAndrews. The main goal of my trip was to spend the night there and have dinner with a lively group of writers with whom I’d shared my trip to Ireland last spring.

Rossmount Inn, NB

It was a little too cool to take a dip in the pool, but it certainly looked inviting.

Swimming pool at the Rossmount

Others followed the winding trail to the mountain top. I didn’t make it up there, but they told me the view was spectacular and that, at one point, it had been the primary lookout for invaders approaching from the USA.

Apparently there are informative plaques along the way and the walk was well worth it, making me wish I’d gone along. The colourful foliage was still hanging on to many of the huge trees around the property, revelling in the warmth and sunshine of the late autumn day.

On a clear day like that from the front porch of the Inn you could see the Bay.

View of the Bay

Little details around the property make all the difference. The newel post on the front stairs could serve as a hitching ring for those arriving by carriage or on horseback. Unless it’s changed recently, there was a law on the books requiring hoteliers to provide stabling and hay for their guests’ horses – one I’ve always wanted to test.

All in all, my trip along the shores of rivers, streams and the famous Bay of Fundy was a good one, ending with a divine meal, good wine, good friends and much laughter.

After downing a couple of cups of coffee while huddled on the front porch of the Inn, a group of us watched the sun peek over the horizon as another week began. I packed my car and headed for home while others stayed behind to participate in another Go and Write retreat with #GerardCollins. If you like to write and want to be challenged to improve your skills, these retreat workshops are well worth the investment of both time and money.

Charlotte Co. NB

Posted in BLOG, Canada, New Brunswick, photography Also tagged , , , , |

By the bay

When you live in southeastern New Brunswick you get to spend a lot of time by the bay – the Bay of Fundy that is. Home to the highest tides in the world, the changing scenery is always intriguing.

Sitting on the bottom of the bay

Sitting on the bottom of the bay at low tide in Alma, NB

These fishing boats are stranded – low and dry -waiting for the tide to come in and float them high enough to sail out through the gap and into the bay to fish.

 

 

Shells anyone?

A touch of whimsy

Who’d have thought that serious fisherfolk would have a sense of humour? These ones did, naming their boat “Dead Men Tell No Tales” and providing a decorative pirate theme to the bow and flags.

Moving up the bay you can glance across any field and glimpse the shores of Nova Scotia in the distance.

Albert Co. fields facing the shores of NS

My day ended in Hopewell Hill overlooking the Shepody marshes, where the goose-tongue greens grow, across the Bay of Fundy to the far shores of Nova Scotia.

Hopewell Hill and the Shepody Marsh

Posted in BLOG, New Brunswick, photography Also tagged , , |

Victoria Day

Long Beach, Fundy Trail

Long Beach, Fundy Trail

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The weather forecast for Victoria Day indicated warmth and sunshine; perfect weather for a family trip on a long week-end. It was wrong. But, the cool breeze and overcast skies actually made for pleasant travelling, especially with a big black dog for company.

If you haven’t visited the Fundy Trail just outside St. Martins, New Brunswick, you’ve missed an amazing experience! Many years in the making, it currently extends 19km into the wilderness and will, in a couple of years, connect with Fundy National Park. There’s a roadway and numerous walking and hiking trails of varying difficulty. For those stout of heart and fleet of foot, the 42 km Fundy Footpath (for experienced outdoors people/hikers only) takes you well past where the driving parkway currently ends.

Part of the UNESCO world biosphere/ Stonehammer Geopark, it is part of one of only two geoparks in North America. Carved along the shore of the world famous Bay of Fundy, home to the highest tides in the world, the trail passes through 251 million year old rock.

We  set out early and were waiting at the gates for the 9:a.m. opening. Once inside, we drove straight to the end of the trail to visit the newly accessible Long Beach – 2.5 km of sandy beach that, at low tide, extends 500 metres onto the ocean floor of the Bay of Fundy.  Harley has never seen a beach or salt water or sea weed so this was quite an adventure for a young dog.

Joel and Harley exploring Long Beach

Joel and Harley exploring Long Beach

It’s a magnificent addition to the whole park – a great place to stop for a rest, a picnic or to explore. For me, it was a great spot to experiment with various photographs.

Long Beach at low tide

Driftwood left by the tides of the Bay of Fundy

Driftwood left by the tides of the Bay of Fundy

Picnic and parking area at Long Beach

Picnic and parking area at Long Beach

 

Looking down onto Long Beach

Looking down onto Long Beach

We stopped at some of the lookout spots along the way and spent several hours enjoying the experience. We will, without doubt, be back!

One pooped puppy at the end of our explorations!

One pooped puppy at the end of our explorations!

Our Victoria Day outing at the Fundy Trail was definitely a success.

Posted in BLOG, Canada, family, New Brunswick, photography Also tagged , |

Highest tides in 18 years

According to ‘those who know such things’, today the east coast of Canada, and more specifically the Bay of Fundy, will experience the highest tides in more than 18 years. Not one to miss such an opportunity, I headed off to the fishing village of St. Martins, NB, to document the event. I was not disappointed.

Sitting on the bottom of the bay!

Sitting on the bottom of the bay!

When I set up my camera in the memorial park overlooking the fishing boats, although the tide had been coming in for almost four hours (the cycle takes six), and these two boats were still sitting on the floor of the bay.

Well below dock level

Well below dock level

Similarly, although these two boats were afloat, they were no where near the top of the dock.

So, I wandered over to the beach to see what the incoming waves looked like through the dense fog on the coast.

Waves crashing on the shore with the incoming tide - a most soothing sound.

Waves crashing on the shore with the incoming tide – a most soothing sound.

Over by the caves, the waves splashed against the rocks.

Over by the caves, the waves splashed against the rocks.

And on the beach, a lone fisherman.

And on the beach, a lone fisherman.

Since the high tide wouldn’t be arriving for another two hours I went back to the park and enjoyed shooting some lobster traps, stored buoys and sea weed while keeping an eye on the rising tide across the inlet.

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Lobster traps ready to go with their weights on the bottom

Lobster traps ready to go with their weights on the bottom

Lobsters enter here. Once inside they can't get back out.

Lobsters enter here. Once inside they can’t get back out.

Buoys and ropes stored inside adjacent traps ready to be loaded on the boats.

Buoys and ropes stored inside adjacent traps ready to be loaded on the boats.

Inevitably seaweed sticks to parts of the traps.

Inevitably seaweed sticks to parts of the traps.

Half an hour later the tide began to rise rapidly. The two boats that had been resting on the floor of the bay were now afloat and the others were rising beside the dock.

She's afloat now!

She’s afloat now!

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Rising up beside the dock.

Rising up beside the dock.

I wandered down the jetty and shot across the rocks that would, within an hour, be totally submerged.

_L2H8058 - Version 2You could still see under the covered bridge but the rapidly rising water would soon be kissing the floor boards inches below.

I decided to play with some photos while waiting for the peak of the action to occur.

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And finally it happened. The incoming tide peaked just below the floor of the bridge and lifting the boats high aside the wharves. Over by the road the water lapped against the rail posts and many people heaved a sign of relief that for today, at least, the winds were light and there no storm to drive the tides higher and across the road, effectively isolating the village and homes beyond. Tomorrow may be another day.

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Edging toward the road.

Edging toward the road.

Kissing the edge of the rail.

Kissing the edge of the rail.

Just below the floor boards

Just below the floor boards

Today’s adventure came to a pleasant end in a village well worth visiting.

 

 

Posted in BLOG, Canada, New Brunswick, photography, seasons Also tagged , |

The humidex said WHAT??????????

When you live in Maritime Canada extreme heat is a rarity and we poor souls, so ready to survive sub-zero winter temperatures, are ill-equipped to handle a combination of heat and humidity (the humidex) that equates to 40C or 104F. There’s only one solution – head for the shore. So, that’s what hubby and I did. We drove to St. Martins.

It seems like a lot of other people had the same idea. First stop? A little ice cream stand on the roadside as your turn into the little town. I could barely slurp fast enough to keep my cone from melting all over my hands and clothes.

Then, a short drive through the town to the beach area by the caves. We parked on the roadside and sat in a gazebo enjoying the remarkably warm breeze blowing in across the Bay of Fundy. A hardy group of kayakers were paddling in toward the harbour against the falling tide. That must have been quite a herculean effort.

Kayakers paddling for shore in St. Martins - a long way to go against the falling tide.

Kayakers paddling for shore in St. Martins – a long way to go against the falling tide.

The next time I looked, they’d managed to get noticeably closer to shore, the harbour and safety.

Getting there.

Getting there.

Along the rocky beach abutting the chilly waters of the bay, small groups of visitors and families explored the shore and tempted fate by testing the water temperature with one or two toes.

I grew up in Saint John and learned to swim in the Bay of Fundy. I can tell you, it’s COLD. An offshoot of the North Atlantic ocean, the water in the Bay of Fundy rarely exceeds 8C (46F) even at the height of summer. So, if you plan to swim there, plan on running in quickly before you change your mind! Once in, you’ll be so numb it won’t matter any more. This is not recommended for anyone with a heart condition!

The bay’s cool water does, however, have a mitigating effect on the very hot temperatures we experience living just 40km inland. The sky was gray and misty, and the wind was still warm coming in from the Bay even though the water itself was more than a little chilly – a testament to the extreme temperatures were are experiencing at the moment.

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Taking a photo of someone taking a photo – a souvenir of their visit to the beach at St. Martins – while the kayakers keep stroking for home.

 

Walking on the rocky beach can be challenging.

Walking on the rocky beach can be challenging.

 

From the beach you can see the town and church spire in the background - around the curve of the shore.

From the beach you can see the town and church spire in the background – around the curve of the shore.

 

Meanwhile others are waiting for the tide to recede so they can explore the caves before the tides return cutting off all access.

Meanwhile others are waiting for the tide to recede so they can explore the caves before the tides return cutting off all access.

All in all, a lovely way to spend our ‘day off’ – cooling off by the Bay of Fundy.

 

 

 

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