The Bay of Fundy Off Season
My good friend Sybil is gradually showing me round the Province of Nova Scotia. She phones up and gives me the itinerary for a day she has carefully planned for us, and off we go. There are maps and information sheets for me to study on the way, and I usually get to take some home. I really think Sybil must have been a tour guide in another life.
So, for our latest trip, we headed across Nova Scotia on the Highway 101 towards Windsor where we took a right which would take us all the way to Burntcoat Head, our final destination. The dogs Wendy and Trey were with us as usual, looking forward to the promise of some serious beach walking. Soon we got our first view of water, or rather, ice.
I have never seen a landscape quite like this. Although there was no wind, it was cold, so we stopped the car and snatched photo-moments and then back into the doggy warm fug of Sybil’s car!
Our first proper stop was on a beach near Cheverie. In summer this area is full of people sunbathing with picnics and swimming gear. Today: not a living soul but us!
Actually that’s not entirely accurate, there was a little flock of ducks we disturbed into flight. A lovely sight.
We were able to walk on top of this sugar-coated beach without mishap. It was quite an experience.
Trey quickly located this biggest log on the beach which he lugged around in his chops for the duration of our visit.
Sybil headed towards that rock formation in the distance. She had been here before, and knew what it was made of.
No, we weren’t alone. Not at all. We also saw some coyote scat (not photographed).
So there we were with all this silent wildlife. It was cold. Very cold. In case I hadn’t mentioned it.
And there it was. Gypsum rocks. Gypsum caves. Gypsum everything. I had not seen this rock before, but I had used its chalky byproduct many, many times in my career as a nurse. Plaster of Paris is what I’m talking about. Who would have thought it! All those sore broken legs and arms I tended to in my early career, which were immobilized by a product made out of this rock. Well, I was impressed!
Lovely colours and shapes covered in snowy frosting.
Meanwhile, Trey wanted us to get on with the walk!
With frozen fingers and toes, we headed off towards Walton Lighthouse
And after one or two photo-stops…..
….we found it. This charming, and now disused lighthouse had guided ships into the once busy mining community of port of Walton. A popular tourist attraction in summer. But not so today.
There will be attractive gardens here later in the year, but for now, we just saw little snippets of what is to come. Still lovely.
The coastal views showed off the red sand and pastel colours of Five Islands Park across the Minas basin.
I was grateful to have worn my new Icers on this slippery day.
Dogs don’t need special footwear. Paws are enough to prevent slipping, as well as having a leg on each corner.
So, we pressed on towards our final destination. Burntcoat Head. Just by the car park we found this red bush. What is it we wondered? I think it’s Red Stemmed Dogwood……….anyone?
Sybil warned me that my senses were in for a serious treat. So we slid down the steps, and there it was……
…..this is what the Guinness Book of Records described as “The Natural World, Greatest Tides: The greatest tides in the world occur in the Bay of Fundy…. Burntcoat Head in the Minas Basin, Nova Scotia, has the greatest mean spring range with 14.5 metres (47.5 feet) and an extreme range of 16.3 metres (53.5 feet).” In addition to this, my brochure provided by Sybil says “Twice every day the Bay of Fundy fills and empties its 100 billion tons of water creating the highest tides in the world. Joseph Howe, a Politician said ” ….when I’m abroad I brag of everything that Nova Scotia is, has, or can produce; and when they beat me at everything else, I say, ‘How high do your tides rise?’. I must remember that.
The landscape was like a cross between the Grand Canyon and the North Pole. Amazing! And COLD!
Sybil timed our visit so the tide was out. In summer, we would be able to walk around and explore the caves that form. Today we slithered around on the ice, but no more.
We were so lucky to have the sun.
Little ‘icebergs’ littered the beach
But now we were all seriously cold, so it was back into the car and home to our cozy warm houses while we waited for the Big Storm, which is doing its thing as I write this. Thank you Sybil for a smashing day!