Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Looking for a Tidal Bore

I had heard about this natural thing called a Tidal Bore so I decided I must see it for myself before leaving Nova Scotia.
The Bay's incoming tide is so extreme that it temporarily reverses the flow of the rivers that empty into the Bay.  When the tide and rivers collide, twice a day, a notable wave called a Tidal Bore can be viewed moving upriver.  
Really?  Well I found a chart that gave me the exact time this Bore would appear, near the town of Truro at the mouth of the Minas Basin--so that's where I headed.

I opted for some country roads through lovely farm country...

...but Betsy, my GPS, decided to lead me astray.  I ended up on this very remote, very sketchy road that went downhill--fast!  And someone was following me!

Now people ask me all the time, "Aren't you ever afraid?" and usually I can answer in all honesty, "No, never."  
Well, I was in a very remote place with no one around for miles and I was starting to worry--a little.  The road bottomed out at the beach just as this guy pulled up behind me and jumped out...

"I think you're  lost.  When you passed my farm I figured you were on the wrong road so I hurried to follow you.  I'll help you turn around and I'll follow you back up the hill to make sure you get out of here okay."  
Wow, these Nova Scotians are still rescuing people.

And at the top of the hill I thanked my rescuer then found another example of rescuing--in 1756.

A colony of Acadians had come to this same area to hide from the deportation and the winter was so severe they were about to die from starvation and the elements.

Tradition has it that on this site Acadians from Belle Isle wintered in 1755-56.  In the Spring of 1756 Pierre Melanson, with an Indian boy crossed the bay to provide aid.  On the return trip he died.

I continued on toward the town of Truro... 

...and along the way spent the night in this lovely couple's driveway.  I belong to an organization (Boondocker'swelcome.com--$45  per year) of people who are RVers and they allow fellow travelers to overnight on their property.   I have used the service three times now and have made some great new acquaintances.  

Next stop.
Burntcoat Head Park is the site of the world's highest recorded tides.  Here you can experience the most extreme tides on earth.  The tidal range reaches 53.5 feet at its greatest from low tide to high tide.

In 1795, according to legend, residents Thomas and Robert Faulkner were burning the marsh and hung a coat too close to the fire with expected results.  Another story tells of the crew of a ship landing to spend the night.  One of the men got too close to the fire and set his coat ablaze.  

As colorful as these stories are, it's more likely that 'Burnt Coat' is an English pronunciation of 'Pointe Cloche,' French for 'Bell Point'.  Many place names in Nova Scotia have evolved in this way.

It was low tide when I arrived at Burnt Coat and I climbed to the top of the lighthouse to get this picture.

 The view was pretty spectacular from the top but the tide was not even close to their record.

I was informed that I should come back in the Spring months for the extreme tides--in April or May.
(note the human walking on the Bay floor)

 Finally, I was in Truro.  There is an observation area just before entering the town and it turned out to be a good over-night parking spot as well. 

 The tide was coming in and the Tidal Bore for the day had already passed so I decided to settle in for the night.


The schedule said that the Bore would come through at this spot at 10:41 in the morning.  10:41 (?) Exactly (?)  Right here (?)  I was a bit skeptical.

 The crowds started gathering about 10:15...

It was a good spot to meet friends.

At 10:30 the birds started accumulating.

At 10:40 I actually heard the rustle of water before I saw it... 

Then--at exactly 10:41 this little wave passed right in front of me.   

Every 12.5 hours daily,  160 billion tons of water move through the Bay of Fundy.  That is more than the combined flow of all the world's freshwater rivers.

This wave was pretty small but I was impressed all the same.  

I parked for my last night in Nova Scotia at the Amherst Walmart just as a storm gathered.  Checking the Weather Channel on my computer to see what was coming it informed that rain would be there at 6:00 pm.

The first drops fell at 6 pm.  I truly appreciate it when nature is punctual.

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