Fabulous Fundy

When we initially started planning for our trek into Canada, on the top of my Must See list was the Bay of Fundy. This basin between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is known for having the highest tides in the world. Admittedly, the numbers don’t quite match up to the visual reality – a 12 meter tide (over 48 feet) is not like standing on the edge of a pool that is empty then 48 feet deep six hours later. Yet, it’s striking. Here are the commercial docks in Alma at low tide. And again, a bit later as the tide creeps in…

We watched them all sail at high tide a day later.

At low tide, we could walk out on the shoreline for about a quarter-mile.At high tide, the water extended all the way to the distant wall in the photo.

Low tide. High tide.

None of these photos were taken at the moment of highest or lowest tide, but it’s amazing to see. We were so lucky to be at Fundy on October 14, which was the start of the fall lobstering season. (Oct-Dec. The other season is April-July) That meant that at 2am (the first high tide of the day) the commercial fleet leaves the wharf. Fireworks! A bagpiper, dressed in a lobster suit and kilt! All the Alma townsfolk, some dressed in pajamas and blankets. We were happy to drag ourselves out late on a cold night to witness this event, the lifeline of the local economy.

The dock had been busy the day before, with boats being loaded with dozens of traps, each filled with fish guts, heads, and other assorted goodies that lobsters love. Some were strung together, as many as 20 to a single buoy. Smaller craft have traps/buoys on a 1/1 basis. It’s big business on any scale. Lobsters collected here supply not only the local market, but everywhere North Atlantic lobsters are available.

At 2am, the sleepy crews joined their ships, carrying backpacks with their personal stuff for a few days. A few obviously looked like they came directly from a warm bed to the dock. I inquired, and was told that the first run would last about three days. Ships would then return to port, empty traps, reload, and head back out. In and out as long as he season lasts. It must be extremely hard work in raw weather.

The stark beauty of the Fundy shoreline is special. We wandered from point to point (breaking our no-driving-in-the-truck rule) and found terrific views at every turn.

As you can tell. These were shot on different days. We did have one sunny day while we were there and it fortunately coincided with our visit to Hopewell Rocks. This would be a great sight anywhere, but being able to walk around the base of these spectacular formations at low tide was unworldly.

i can’t tell you how happy we were to have a sunny day for this excursion. We had thought about hanging out here for the six-hour, low-to-high tide experience, but just couldn’t swing it with Jezzy. By the time we included out travel time to the site, it would just have been too long of a day for our girl. So we elected to wander the base at low(ish) tide. I think we made the right decision.


They warn you about the mud there. I made a few mis-steps, and will probably be cleaning this out of my boots forever.


I’ll w up now. I took a hundred photos, and would still be sitting on the shore somewhere along this amazing coast if I could figure out how to do that. It is beautiful. Stark and rugged.

But one last note. Quietsolopursuits, this is for you. We wandered through some of the other campgrounds (we were at Headquarters Campground, the only one still open at this time). In the Point Wolfe Campground, we found this fabulous thing – I don’t know the name. Kind of like the oTENTiks we found in other Parks, but designed for one or two. I want one! Just another reason to return. Inside it had a sleeping platform, and kind of a gear trampoline suspended above. Or, perhaps you sleep on the trampoline and stow your stuff below??

We’re headed on to our last few days before plowing home. It’s hard to find open campgrounds, and we’ve developed another serious leak which is drowning our new floor somewhere from below. Time to shut off all water and head home. ☹️☹️☹️

13 thoughts on “Fabulous Fundy

    • Hi Irene. I can’t tell you how much we loved camping in Canada. Fundy National Park is a gem. We stayed at the Headquarters Campground, and I think I would stay at that one again when we return. The big reason is that you can walk into Alma to wander the town, dock, and beach. From any of the other camps, you would have to drive. For us, that’s a huge plus. FYI, we stayed in the elec/water section. The campsites are huge.

      There’s so much to see and do there – we barely scratched the surface.

      You will have a great trip.

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  1. I’ve seen time-lapses of the tides coming in or going out at the Bay of Fundy, and it’s an impressive thing to see. I also liked your description of the first day (night?) of the season, it has to be a miserable job some days, and a hard way to make a life. But, a piper in a lobster suit probably makes it all worthwhile. ;)

    I’m glad that you visited the Hopewell Rocks at low tide, I don’t think that they’d be as impressive at high tide with most of them submerged. I’ll remember the mud if I go though, thanks for the tip.

    They sure know how to build cool camping shelters up there, this one reminds me of a clove of garlic for some reason. But, being warm and dry, I don’t care what it looks like. Maybe some day, I’ll get a chance to try it out.

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    • Jerry, I hope it helps lobster fleet sails at a 6am high tide in the year you visit. The 2am outing was brutal! We had walked into town, and by the time we got back to camp, we were too wired to sleep. The parade of people there was a treat in itself. What a great time to wander into town!

      That little sleeping pod was a gem. It was so inviting. Being inside would be about the only thing that would make me wish for rain. I think the one in the photo is the o

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      • My tablet has a voodoo thing going on. That comment was whisked away before it was finished.

        I think that blue pod is the only one in the Canada National Park system. I’ll bet they have people lined up to rent it in the season. Plus, it was on a really, really nice site. Wish Michigan would try some cool shelters like these.

        Not sure how high the water comes up on the Hopewell Rocks at high tide, but it was a great time wandering around, and having the vantage point of looking in and up to on them. Can you imagine how cool it would be if Lake Superior had a tide like this?

        As always, I appreciate your comments. When we are in such fantastically beautiful scenic spots, I never fail to wish that I had your photographic talents.

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  2. We just got home tonight. Closed campgrounds and a soul-sucking leak in our camper have destroyed our spirit. I’ll try to look for Scott. Tell him to jog past the house for hot chocolate, coffee, or a snack after the run if I don’t see him.

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    • I’m going to go down with Scotty hopefully and cheer him on. (I’m having some knee problems right now. Seeing the doctor on Tuesday.) If all goes well, we’ll stop by afterward.

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  3. Wow! thank you for sharing! I have been joined your trip into Canada very much my husband and I have a trip planned into the same area doing main Nova Scotia New Brunswick , Cape Breton, so Your information has been helpful as well as fun to read about. We are going in July to see the puffins on Puffin Island. The annual lobster Event makes me want to rethink our dates however! ( Just kidding I’m kind of a puffin fanatic). Glad you had a great trip! be careful going home

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    • Thanks for your note. I’ll admit to having to look up Puffin Island on Google maps. Wow! That looks like quite a trip. Do you drive up there, or fly in? If you’re a puffin fanatic, you must have done this before. I’ve never seen a puffin in real life. Must be a wonderful experience.

      For now, I’ll have to settle for the lobster season opener (which was a great, late night).

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