Maine was to be my turnaround
point, seeing how that's where I run out of USA. Eastport changed that. Located
on the southern edge of the Bay of Fundy, Eastport introduced me to extreme
tides like I've never seen.
According to Wikipedia, the open
ocean tidal range is 2 feet, and the average coastal tides vary 3 feet. With
6-foot tides, I thought home base in San Clemente had good sized tides. That
was until I saw 30-foot tides in Eastport.
I scoped out a picture shoot,
grabbed lunch in the RV, and when I came out to take the shot, the bay was
gone. Another time, I crept over to the edge of a dock and looked down to see a
small boat far below. My celebrated vertigo ambushed me, I grabbed a piling,
and backed away.
The sea seemed this huge living,
breathing creature. Walking on the sea floor, poking into holes recently the
home of eels and lobsters, looking up at cliffs with seaweed hanging down at
me, I felt the ocean was revealing secret tabernacles to my heathen
My fascination grew until I went
out with a clammer to dig clams on the mud flats. He spoke of clammers taking
those extra few minutes and getting caught by the tide. "When it rounds the
headland and pours into the bay," he said, "a horse couldn't outrun it. And it
doesn't just push you ashore. It comes angry, with whirlpools and waves. No
Seeing how I was so taken by
something that was as regular to him as a Californian's commute, he pointed
out, "If you like 30-foot tides, you should go to Nova Scotia where the tides
pass 50 feet."
My itinerary was instantly
Pictures to come will show Canadian
harbors with fishing boats flopped out in the mud, waiting for the tide. With
tides so extreme, it makes no sense to build docks 60-feet tall. If they did
and someone walked off the edge at low tide, the fall to the water could kill
More fun was to pay outfitters to
take us out in Zodiacs to catch the incoming tidal bore, and frolic in the
10-foot waves behind them.
New Brunswick has a Reversing Falls
where the tide to fill a bay has to pass a narrow inlet. Kayakers are forbidden
from trying their luck with the powerful, churning water in either
An Arcadian I met at low tide was
collecting small snails, thick by the thousands on the rocks. He called them
periwinkles, and I bagged my share. They were tasty boiled, and scooped out of
their shells with toothpicks. We had so many that I even shared with
As an avid mud runner, I was
disappointed to learn that I would be missing the mother of all mud runs at the
end of August. That's when the lowest tides of the year empty a section of the
Bay of Fundy, and the Canadians have their Not Since Moses Run. I was told that
a peek over your shoulder at the incoming tidal bore insures your best time.
Whereas some marathons have a chase car to pick up stragglers, they have a
Watch for more tidal pictures from
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.