Saturday, August 27, 2016

Small towns on Bay of Fundy

From Amherst to Joggins to Advocate Harbor to Parrsboro then to Truro there are many tiny communities along the coast separated by lush forests, some small farms and all bordered by a rocky shore that overlooks that fabulous Bay of Fundy.

Lighthouses are every few miles and vital to the navigation along the coast.  In one museum I saw a long list of names of shipwrecks located right off shore.

I pulled up to this lighthouse and parked for the night.  I was up high enough that the tide wouldn't reach me--I hoped.

It was a great place to watch the sunset--and the returning tide.

I have noticed that very colorful Adirondack chairs are  everywhere and  have seen at least 4 manufacturers of them along the way.  
Those that are made locally are also not very expensive either--in the $30 to $50 range (Canadian $)

The town was named Five Islands--and there were.  Here's three...

...and two more. 

Each town seems to produce its own museum...

...this one is called Age of Sails,  and was especially interesting.

At one time, these communities were famous for ship building.  The construction of this building certainly felt and looked like an upside down ship's hull.

The local seamen were the 'First Responders' to the survivors of the Titanic.

The smaller fishing vessels out of these villages were the closest to the disaster and were able to deliver many of the women and children from the life rafts to Cunard's large vessel, the Carpathian.

The museum had a lot of memorabilia on the disaster.

Under the above distress code: 
Edmund Burke of Joggins, pioneer in wireless transmission and Morse Code, was first to monitor the Titanic distress code April 15, 1912.  

Reading his log was very chilling.

"The Sea carries no tracks.
One disappears
into it
and leaves
no trace.
                  E.L. Beach

The town of Parrsboro is very much an artist's colony...

Clearly,  art is in the eye of the beholder....

...for sure.

'Cool, Man'

Nothing pretentious, just fun to see.


Friday, August 26, 2016

Nova Scotia--Bay of Fundy

Wow!  I made it.  Nova Scotia was my destination from the very start of this journey and here I am, six years later!   Yes, it is six years this month.  It is shocking to me how fast this time has gone, but when I look back it is equally surprising to me, how much I have seen and experienced.  

Visitor Centers are always my first stop for maps and recommendations.

Without hesitation, I knew the initial leg of this trip would be the Bay of Fundy, the place that holds the record for the highest tides on Earth!

I figured it might be a bit hard to show the tide shifts in photographs but maybe you readers will get a feel for the awesomeness of it....starting with this river....or lack of a river.

This river is a mere trickle of water flowing slowly through this mucky riverbed...and I am still miles from the Bay.

It appears that the receding tide actually sucks the water right out of the rivers--twice a day!
BTW, that is mud and not water.

You can see on this retainer wall just how high the water can climb when it returns.  I learned that when the tide returns it will cover the grasses and create what is called 'Salt Marshes'.

And the tide is relentless...pushing inland for miles....

...and into the most improbable areas.

The following is a phenomenon that I did not witness but certainly would have liked to.  If I had more time I would have just camped on the side of one of these rivers and waited.

Tidal Bores occur in the Bay of Fundy where high tides enter the estuary of a tidal river.  This causes the tide to increase in speed and magnitude.
A Tidal Bore is formed when the leading edge of the tide forms a wave, or wall of water that surges upstream.  This wave is created as the river becomes shallower, and the velocity of incoming water is slowed down by frictional drag.  Water flooding from behind overtakes and surges over the top of the leading edge, creating the impression of a large wave moving upstream.

Bores range in speed and height depending on where one is observing this phenomenon.  They can be over 3 ft in height and can have speeds ranging from 4 to 8 miles an hour.  Tidal bores can travel for many miles, pushed along by the swell of the tide. Behind the Bore, the river reverses direction, flowing upstream until the tide begins to subside again.

Tidal Bores occur twice a day, once every 12.5 hours.  Each day the Bore is roughly 1 hour later than on the previous day. 

A local inhabitant told me,  "...some of the teenagers around here like to surf the Tidal Bores." (That did not surprise me.)

As I approached the Bay I saw boats, sitting high and dry, waiting for the tides.

Tides are caused by the periodic rising and falling of the Earth's oceans in response to the gravitational attraction exerted on the Earth by the moon and the sun.  The Funnel effect of the Bay of Fundy then increases the magnitude of the tide.

At one time this area was a thriving industrial community.  During the peak of industrial development, dozens of seagoing ships, loaded with coal, timber and grindstones, sailed the waters.  Those industries have disappeared and the region is now reliant on some farming as well as fossil collecting  provided by the low tides.  At Joggins, fossil collecting attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Joggins is a park and community located on the Bay of Fundy.  The Joggins Fossil Cliffs are Canada's 15th UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I had missed extreme low tide by an hour but it was impressive anyway.
When I read the tide chart in the visitor center it said the tide would be 12.6--no big deal, I thought.  That is, until I learned the chart was in meters and when converted to feet it was 41 ft, 4 inches!

This is an hour past low tide and the water is returning.  If you look in the middle of that photo and slightly to the right you can see two figures...

...and if you can't see them then here they are.


Beware of incoming tide if you go on mudflats.  
Do not attempt to walk to the islands. 
Channels fill first, and quickly. 
You may be cut off on a Sandbar 
and trapped by tide.

(Enough said)

I opted to stay closer to shore,

There was enough to see and I think I could still make it to the stairs if the tides tried to overtake me.


There were others with the same idea.

But it was easy to lose track of time and place when you wander along with your head pointed downward.

The rocks and fossils in the cliffs and on the ocean floor date back to the period of Earth history that geologists call the Carboniferous--the Age of Coal. 

I could have explored all day...


Fossilized tree root.

Sea Fan?



Dinosaur poop?  (I think my imagination was working overtime at this point.)

The oldest known reptile was found at the Joggins Fossil Cliffs.

More tree roots...

And teeny tiny shells.

Maybe it's best I NOT photograph every rock on the beach.

There were signs of sea life not yet fossilized...

Brave souls digging for clams

What will future archeologists think when they find fossilized sneaker tracks?

Dinosaurs began to dominate the planet about 230 million years ago--a long time after the fossils found at Joggins had formed.

Hmm, was the tide getting closer?

The Bay of Fundy is known for its high tidal range.  The quest for the world tidal record has led to a rivalry between the Bay of Fundy and Ungava Bay (north of Ontario) over which body of water has the highest tides in the world.

 The highest 'regular' tide recorded is in the Bay of Fundy at 56 feet.  The highest water level ever recorded in the Bay occurred at the head of the Basin on October 4-5, 1869 during a tropical cyclone named the Saxby Gale.  The water level reached 71 feet and was a result of the combination of high winds, abnormally low atmospheric pressure and a spring tide.

Wow! Wish I could have seen that one! 

Items in Italics are from the literature in the Joggins Fossil Center.

(Not pertaining to anything in particular---Ninety six years ago today, the 19th Amendment finally granted women the right to vote!  I hope we all appreciate and use it.)