As we rounded the point at the far end of the island we were excited to see a curious seal pop up to greet us. Then we saw another...and then another... and another. They seemed surprised to see us, but I suppose it's not that often that they would have visitors there.
The beach was lined with an incredible fortress of driftwood that protected our private oasis. It was covered by smooth rocks tumbled by the extreme tides, with a strip of black sand that was perfect for walking. Sara and I enjoyed our surroundings while the kids decided to brave the chilly water. They were splashing about and having a blast!
Being that it was November (with no leaves left on the trees) we had an extraordinary view of the water most of our way and we even saw a partridge! The funny thing is that it wasn't until two days later that I realized the connection... we saw a partridge... on "Partridge Island" - how cool!
I am typically not a big fan of salads but this was culinary magic with cubes of cheddar, and dried cranberries, fresh picked lettuce from Else Marie's garden and a maple vinaigrette dressing that was to die for!
The Shubenacadie tidal bore is one of the many unique features in Nova Scotia, and one that you definitely don't want to miss. Starting in "Maitland Nova Scotia":http://www.maitlandns.com, it travels up the Shubenacadie river system about three hours after low tide at "Burncoat head":http://www.waterlevels.gc.ca/eng/station?sid=270. The incoming water interacts with the various mud banks on the river bottom creating standing waves which can be in excess of 18ft high.
Samuel de Champlain visited the Bay of Fundy in 1604 and legend has it that he named this area Cape d'Or because the copper minerals reflecting from the cliffs reminded him of gold. However, the copper was known to the local Mi'kmaq far before that time. Champlain found copper on the west side of the point.
We inched down the driveway as Ben's little dog "Max" darted in and out of view in front of our car. I was scared to death that I was going to run over the little thing! Max is a fluffy little Japanese Chen who quickly won us over with his tricks and adorable charm.
Until I moved to Nova Scotia just two and a half years ago I had never even heard of a Tidal Bore. Caused by the large tidal change in the Bay of Fundy twice a day the lower 30km of the Shubenacadie river changes direction and flows upstream. This reversing flow can create standing waves of almost 5 meters. For the sane you can ride the waves in high-horse power zodiacs through the local tour operators. For the brave, and experienced you can paddle it in a sea kayak.
I entered into a meeting room one day and started to look at the Nova Scotia Geological Map and the other person in the room told me a story about how early European traders used to throw out their ballast to make room for all of treasures they would bring back to Europe from the fur trade with the local Mi'kmaw. The ballast would include non-native stones such as flint which was found & used afterwards.
No doubt about it: our Bay of Fundy beaches are well-loved and oft-visited by locals year round. Lovely in the 'fair weather' months, that's for sure, but in winter the snow and tides make for some curious experiences...
I couldn't resist popping this post in the middle of my winter series...Today is Australia Day, a perfect opportunity to announce the formation of a 'world beating team' that we hope will propel the Bay of Fundy to one of the winning New7Wonders of Nature.