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Published: July 12th 2013
"Everything I do
I do it for you"
With Bryan Adams starting us off on our journey, we headed out from St. John to Hopewell ROcks, one of the most common places from which to view the famous tides of the Bay of Fundy. Since childhood, I have wanted to see this natural phenomenon, so my bucket list just got a little smaller.
THe Bay of Fundy is a long, narrow bay situated between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The tides here are traditionally considered the highest in the world, with the highest die ever recorded being 70.1 feet during a gale which occurred during a spring tide. More commonly, the tides average about 45 feet vertical range at the Minas Basin in the extreme northeast of the bay. Twice a day, tidal forces move over 100 billion tons of water in and out of the bay. The tidal range is due to two geographic happenstances: the bay is a long, narrow bay with a large opening but narrow tipped endings, and also the time that it takes a wave to move from the entrance of the bay to the tip is just about exactly equal
to the time it takes to go from low tide to high tide, thus setting up a resonance effect.
Hopewell Rocks is on the western side of the bay in New Brunswick. This area was a large mountain range which eroded, and the detritus was eventually compressed into conglomerate and sandstone. The Bay of Fundy started as a a rift valley which eventually failed, but expanded enough to allow the ocean access to the cliffs at Hopewell Rocks. The relatively soft rock cliffs are vulnerable to erosion from freezing and tidal forces, and these forces have carved the soft cliffs into pillars and arches and buttresses, with sea caves under the cliffs. Tides here average about 10-15 meters, and it is one of the more popular sites to watch the phenomenon since you can easily walk on the floor of the ocean at low tide then watch it be covered by the onrushing water. The official time lapse photography video of this can be found at
Along the trail to the Rocks we found numerous examples of a somewhat rare plant called ghost plant or Indian pipe or (my favorite) corpse plant. It does not produce
chlorophyll, but lives in a complex relationship in which it attaches to a fungus which then taps into the roots of trees and thereby provides nutrition to the ghost plant. The fungus is not known to receive any benefit from this relationship. I will avoid any social commentary here.
For the evening we stopped inAmherst NS. We had dinner at a pub on open mike night, with the expected variable quality of entertainment, but some which was quite good. Across the street was a Baptist church with tree trunks carved into two statues. The man needed attention, since he was growing mushrooms.
Tomorrow: Halifax NS, site of the Titanic graveyard and museum
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