Last summer, I went Tidal Bore rafting for the first time in Maitland. I had heard how much fun it was but, myself not being the strongest swimmer in the world, I was a little hesitant. The waiver didn't help my fears any which is strange because I have been skydiving before and most people would consider Tidal Bore rafting a little less extreme than skydiving. I think it was just the water factor that was freaking me out.
Anyways, my fears were somewhat calmed as everyone was kitted with life jackets before we walked down to our 8-person zodiac. We spent about 15 minutes bobbing around waiting for the tide to come in while the tour guides joked back and forth between each other: "Good luck on your first tour", one guide said to ours from another zodiac. We all laughed...slightly uneasily.
After the tide began to come in, our guide got us landed on this huge sand bar in the middle of the Shubenacadie River. As I began to walk around on it, I started to think, 'Ok, why are we here? Get to the rafting!' But soon enough, I knew why. Within a matter of about 45 seconds, the huge desert of a sandbar was covered in inches of water. I knew that the Tidal Bore was a powerful phenomena but this blew my mind! If I remember correctly, our guide told us that the amount of water that comes in is equivalent to filling an Olympic-sized swimming pool every 1.3 seconds! Wow!
We quickly got back into the zodiac as our time here was obviously limited and we were off to find some waves. We didn't have to look too hard as the rushing water created swells that seemed to be between 6 and 10 feet tall. We were told that on a full moon in the spring and fall, the waves can get much higher. Our guide was not shy about giving us our money's worth as he launched the zodiac off the tip of one swell and into the wall of another totally drenching us with salty sandy water. Adrenaline soon replaced any fears I had had and I found myself looking for the next big waves for us to conquer. After about an hour of bouncing around from one wave to the next, I could tell that the waves were getting smaller and the window for Tidal Bore rafting was closing. After the water calmed down, our guide encouraged us to jump out and experience the powerful undertow. I did so and before I knew it, the undertow had carried me quite a piece down the river without me even knowing it. I got back into the boat and as we crossed under the Gausse Bridge, I knew that my rafting adventure was coming to a close.
Back at the lodge, we were all smiles as we talked about who almost went overboard and who had the most sand in their hair. Although we all agreed that our bodies were a little sore from riding the waves, the fact that our faces were sore from continuously laughing so hard made up for it.
Tidal Bore rafting: quite possibly the most action-packed adventure that the Bay of Fundy has to offer. But don't take my word for it, go try it yourself!