Have you ever wondered how the ocean’s floor looked like? Could you imagine that you had the chance to walk on the oceans’ floor and see it emptied and refilled with water several times on the same day? The Bay of Fundy in Canada is one of the greatest natural wonders that has the highest tidal range of the world that gives you the opportunity to do all mentioned and more.
The Bay of Fundy is located between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The bay sees 160 billion tons of seawater flow in and out of it twice a day to create the highest tides that reach in some of its areas the height of a five-story building (15 meters). The tides changes shorelines and exposes ocean’s floor as waters flood into the bay and its harbors and estuaries. The resulting energy from the force of tides beings in nutrients from the ocean bottom that attract a wide range of animal life to the bay. The energy also left behind a beautiful landscape of steep cliffs and sea stacks and revealed a spectrum of fossils and signs of life from millions of years ago.
Have you imagined yourself drowning as water rush in while you are wondering inside the bay? Ditch the idea. The tide doesn’t come in with splashing, the water level increases gradually and the filling and emptying process happens in hours giving you the chance to do activities or observe the natural wonder in action.
How to enjoy the tides?
Within 24 hours, you can enjoy approximately two high tides and two low tides.The time between the highs and the lows is nearly 6 hours,so you can comfortably expectto see at least one high and one low tide during daylight.
The best spot to experience the tides in the Bay of Fundy is within the World’s Highest Tides Eco zone which is located around the two upper basins of the Bay. The tides in this area reach a peak of 16 meters which is higher than typical tides on the rest of the Atlantic coast. In each August, tidal flats help feeding shorebirds that the area was designated as a shorebird reserve.
Note that tide times move ahead nearly one hour daily and that tide times vary for different locations around the Bay. It is advised to visit the same spot during the low tide and return about six hours later at the high tides or vice versa in order to have a full impression of the process.
Wharves along the Fundy coast in New Brunswick (St. Andrews, Alma, and St. Martins) and Nova Scotia (Advocate, Parrsboro, Walton on the Noel Shore, and Halls Harbour) are good locations for viewing extreme vertical tides.
What can I do at the Bay of Fundy?
There are abundant activities to do during your visit to the Bay of Fundy. One major is visiting the Fossil sites and museum that gather the fossils, geological artifacts and dinosaur bones that were uncovered by the tides to tell the story of early life. The Saint John Museum, Hopewell Rocks, Joggins Fossil Centre (UNESCO world heritage site), and the Fundy Geological Museum are examples of places where you see and learn more about the geological story.
You can enjoy Kayaking and boat tours as they are a great way to explore the cast of the Bay of Fundy.
Some companies organize whale watching sea trips while following a strict code of ethics to ensure a safe experience for humans and sea creatures.
One not-to-miss activity is to wander around the tidal zone when the tide is low. The ocean floor is accessible at low tide in many locations along the Bay where the tide retreats, in some spots, as much as 5 km at low tides and vast areas of ocean floor is exposed.