Sunday, June 20, 2010

Friends and Hopewell Rocks Rock

After the inspection we went through for our two hour visit to Campobello Island we approached the border crossing at Calais, Maine with great trepidation. There was no one in line when we drove up and we figured we were in for a long looking over. The guard asked where we were from, how long we were staying in Canada, did we have any guns, booze or tobacco and then wished us a good day and sent us on our way. The whole thing took less than two minutes. Phew!!!
Our first stop in New Brunswick was Ponderosa Pines Campground on the Bay of Fundy. This is an excellent place to stay to see the affects of the bay's huge tides at Hopewell Rocks. The tide the day we were there was over 42 feet high and the shoreline at low tide was 160 feet from were it was at the high point. The height of the tide depends on the phase of the moon with full and new moons producing the highest. The tide rises at six to eight feet an hour and if you stood a couple of feet from the water looking at the impressive rocks, your feet would soon be wet. Over 100 billion tons of water enters and exits the bay twice a day. This is equal to all the water all the world's rivers discharge into the oceans each day. Seeing the tide is impressive and make sure if you visit that you have several hours so you can walk on the bottom and then see how it changes as the tide comes in.
These pictures show the difference in the tide at the bottom of the stairs. On the right it is already two hours after the lowest tide. The kayak tours are always near high tide so if someone runs aground they will soon be floated off by the rising water. Getting grounded during a receding tide could result in being stuck.
This peregrine falcon chick was up on a ledge of one of the flowerpots waiting for mom to return with a meal.
Here we are standing on the bottom of the ocean. The rock formations are called flowerpots because of the mini forests growing on top of them.
These people will soon be in over their heads if they are not back to the stairs in time. There is an emergency tower at the far end of the park for anyone the rangers may miss on their final sweep. If you are stuck there you have to wait atop the tower for a few hours until the tide recedes so you can walk out.
The arch best illustrates the change during the rising water. In the third shot I made the sacrifice and waded in to show how deep it was just before the kayaks came by. The background shows the color of the water which is always a chocolate brown because the silt never settles.
This is what the stream behind the campground and every other stream flowing into the bay looks like at high and low tides. The water actually flows 'upstream' during the rising tide.Our next stop was at the home of Omer and Sylvia Mathieu in Wentworth, Nova Scotia. We met them at Betty's in the spring and they offered us a place to park overnight on our way to Newfoundland. They have a great place in the forest that is surrounded with Sylvia's beautiful flower gardens and feeders that attract many different birds. After feeding us a great meal, Omer got out his guitar and entertained us while we drank his very good homemade wine. We can't thank them enough for their hospitality and they made us feel like we have known them for years. Meeting people on the road is truly the best thing about this lifestyle.

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