Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick, Canada

(Holden, ME) Hi 86 Lo 59 – We spent a wonderful two days in New Brunswick, Canada, visiting with Elaine and Rick, and seeing Hopewell Rocks at the Bay of Fundy. It was a 5 1/2 hour drive, and it was overcast with intermittent drizzle most of the way there. The countryside on the other side of the border is wide open rolling hills. The roads were smooth and wide, typical for Canada. (As a side note, why do mid-westerners always blame the “harsh winters” for the horrible condition of their roads? New England and Canada have pretty harsh winters, and their roads are in great shape. But I digress…)

As always, click on the photos to enlarge them.

We arrived at Rick and Elaine’s in Riverview around 2pm. Elaine was still at work, so Rick greeted us and showed us our home for the night, which was their motorhome they have in their back yard. Of course we felt right at home in an RV. Smile

Elaine and Rick

After a short visit with Rick, Dee and I left and followed Canada Hwy 114 along the Petitkodiak River (Petitkodiak means small bear) to Hopewell Rocks, which is on the Bay of Fundy.

Hopewell rocks is one of the most popular spots to see the extreme tides the Bay of Fundy is known for. The tides are so high because the bay is very wide, then narrows down like a funnel. So when all that water is pushed inland by the tides, it rises higher than just about anywhere on earth.

The difference between low and high tide varies from 35 to 48 feet. High tide was at 4:41pm so we wanted to get there in time to see it, then return again tomorrow morning to see the low tide.
We arrived about a half hour before high tide. A shuttle took us from the visitors center to the observation area.

That part of the coastline is very rocky, which adds to the beauty of tide watching.

While we were there a tour group of kayakers were paddling around the rocks.

Four flights of steps lead down to the “beach”, which of course was now covered with water. This is what the bottom of the stairs looked like.

It was very cool and breezy, and the bay had a little chop to it. The coast you can barely see in the distance in this photo is Nova Scotia.

We returned to Rick and Elaine’s, and by now Elaine was home from work. We went to dinner at a local restaurant and had a great meal and even better conversation. After socializing some more at their house, we retired to their motorhome for the night.

The next morning we said goodbye to Rick and Elaine, and returned to Hopewell Rocks to see the low tide, which happened at 11:50am. We had heard from others about what an incredible sight it is at low tide, but we weren’t expecting to be as blown away as we were. To refresh your memories, here’s the view from the observation platform at high tide.

IMG_4049 (Small)

And here’s the same spot at low tide.

Notice there’s now an arch, which wasn’t visible at high tide. The depth of the water from the top of the arch opening to the beach is 18 feet. Of course, the tide difference is much more than that because the water level at low tide offshore is much lower than the beach.
Remember those water-covered bottom steps at high tide? Here they are at low tide.

We couldn’t wait to go down and walk on the “bottom of the sea.” Here’s Dee standing under the arch.

And the view of the arch from the other side.

Here’s some photos we took while walking along the rocky “beach.”

They call these “flower pots” because of their shape. It’s amazing to see the whole formation after seeing just the top part at high tide.

Here's a video from Youtube that will give a full high and low tide.

It was an amazing experience to see this incredible natural phenomenon. We started our trip home by a different route than the one we came on. We took Hwy 115 along the coast, passing through the small town of Alma. Alma is where we were going to stay for the night until Rick and Elaine offered to put us up for the night. Alma has a small harbor, and even though it was a couple of hours past low tide, the water level was still… well, there wasn’t any water level, as you can see.

These boat owners really have to time their departures and arrivals. Smile This is the small inlet that feeds into the harbor from the bay.

I wish we had the time to hang around to watch the tide come all the way in, but we wanted to get home before dark, and we had a 5-hour drive ahead of us. Our route took us through the Fundy National Park, which was a curvy and hilly drive through some thick forest. We had one construction zone slow us down, and while stopped we got to see this fog rolling right in over our heads.

We stopped at a seafood restaurant near home and Dee got her last lobster meal in Maine. (Well, we have one more day here, so you never know I guess.) We got home right at dark, tired but still excited at the wonderful experience we had the last two days. Thanks Rick and Elaine for your hospitality. We’ll see you again this winter in Florida.


Rod Ivers said...

What kind of a pain was US customs when you came back.... It was taking 5 hours to get thru in Sault Ste Marie....

Bill and Nancy said...

Great photos of the extreme tides at Hopewell Rocks!! It is just an amazing site. I believe the coastline you see from there is of Nova Scotia, not Newfoundland;)

A couple of newer paintings 2019 said...

Awesome! Glad you got to visit New Brunswick.

Gypsy said...

The pictures taken at low time are incredible! There is a whole other world there beneath the water!

Tumbleweed Jim said...

Bill and Nancy, you're correct, it is Nova Scotia. I made the correction. Thanks. Jim

Jim and Sandie said...

Hard to imagine the difference between the tides. Just incredible. And so beautiful.

Gail Houle said...

Great post! It would be wonderful to be able to spend the day and experience the transition. Another one for the list!

Bob said...

Neat pictures. Thanks.
I'm ashamed to admit that in spite of the number of times I've driven through New Brunswick, I've never been to Hopewell Rocks. So lame.
One of these days we'll get there.

owensontheroad said...

Brings back fond memories. Toured Nova Scotia and that whole area in another life :) It is pretty amazing!

Bob and Jo said...

Agree on the roads, we just got back from Michigan where they get 20' of snow on average and the roads were great.