Home of the largest tidal change of anyplace on the planet, the Bay of Fundy was probably the Number One Must-See location for all of us on our recent visit to Nova Scotia.
There are many places to experience the tidal change, depending on what you want to see. Most people want to see the highest vertical change, there are places where the horizontal change is very large, and there are a few places where you can experience a tidal “bore,” where a river actually reverses direction as the tide comes in and heads into a narrow inlet such as the mouth of a river.
The so-called tidal bore can be pretty exciting in the right place at the right times, but generally requires the right astronomical conditions, such as a full moon, to really experience anything more than a ripple.
We experience pretty large horizontal tidal changes along the east coast at places like Hilton Head, where the beach “disappears” at high tide but is enormously wide at low tide. Been there, done that! We decided that the way we wanted to see the tidal change was to experience the vertical change, since this is what the Bay of Fundy is really known for. In my opinion the tidal bore is more of a tourist thing. Others will undoubtedly have their own opinion, and that’s dandy.
The highest tides on planet Earth occur at a place called Burncoat Head. The water level at high tide can be as much as 52 feet higher than at low tide. We stopped there and spent some time, but we were enroute that day and got there at just about high tide. As a result, there wasn’t a lot to see and we didn’t have time to wait for the tide to recede. Even with the amount of change, it can sometimes take a couple of hours to really notice the difference. So we moved on, and the next day visited our planned destination to watch the tides, Hall’s Harbour.
About an hour’s drive from our lodging in Wolfville, we arrived at Hall’s Harbour around mid-morning – the time on my first photo says 10:27. That was right around low tide, so we had a chance to “walk on the ocean floor” as they say, for an hour or more, looking at the fishing boats that literally sit on the ground while the tide is out. Very fascinating! Hall’s Harbour is an actual fishing village, with a small restaurant that serves lobster. LOTS of lobster! They had lobster dinner, lobster salad and lobster sandwiches, and a great place to sit and enjoy the day. Our day was picture perfect, as far as weather goes. We talked to a couple who had been there the day before who said that it was so foggy that they couldn’t see a thing. So we were just a bit lucky!
Within a few hours, all of the places we had been walking were covered by about 40 feet of water! It was quite an amazing experience, and a wonderful way to spend the day.