I love exploring world wonders, whether it’s an impressive example of architecture or, even better, one of Mother Nature’s many achievements. That’s why visiting the Bay of Fundy played such a central role for me during my week in Nova Scotia, and throughout those 7 days I experienced this remarkable natural wonder in a variety of ways. With the highest tides in the world, the Bay of Fundy attracts the curious and adventurous from around the world. Those famous tides vary nearly 50 feet every day, the rushing waters dramatically changing the landscape of Nova Scotia every 12 hours or so. There are any number of ways to experience the Bay of Fundy, but for me these extraordinary experiences are amongst the best if you really want to grasp the immensity of what is surely one of the world’s great natural wonders.
Sleeping on the Bay
While I almost always enjoy spending time outdoors, admiring the natural splendor of whatever place I’m visiting, I equally enjoy going back to my comfortable hotel at the end of the day’s adventures. No, I am not what you would call a camper, far from it. I’ve done it, I don’t usually enjoy it and I almost always try to avoid it. That all being said, my two days spent kayaking on the Bay of Fundy and camping along its shores was one of the highlights of my time in Nova Scotia. Joining one of the tours offered by local provider NovaShores Adventures, I arrived in the quiet cove and waited for my adventure to begin. NovaShores Adventures takes folks out everyday for a fun day trip out on the water, but I was there for much more than that. I was taking part in one of their well-known overnight experiences. With a private guide and outdoors expert as my escort for the 2-days, we immediately set out on the water, eager to start the adventure.
And that really is a good word for it, adventure. During the easy day of paddling on the mighty Bay we saw everything from amazing natural formations to bald eagles and more. It was also a great way for me to first experience the incredible tidal changes the Bay sees every day, creating new landscapes every 12 hours. As much as I hate to say it though, spending the night on the beach along Fundy was the best part of those two-days. Watching the sunset without another soul in sight, it was peaceful, it was spiritual and it was fun. It was also the ideal first introduction to the best aspects of the Bay of Fundy.
Screaming on the Bay
As a fairly Type-A traveler, I tried to do as much research about tidal bore rafting as I could before leaving home, but I still didn’t fully understand what it was until I physically experienced it. The uniqueness of the Bay of Fundy allows for an equal number of unique activities in its waters, including this unlikely adrenalin rush known as the tidal bore. Every day the unique convergences of the tidal waters creates swirling eddies and waves in a certain part of the Bay, also creating the opportunity for what is essentially white water rafting. Our guide took the Zodiac boat out to a small sandbar where we spent a few minutes walking around, admiring the calm before the proverbial storm. Within just a few minutes, that sandbar would disappear completely and we would be on our way, engaging in what is a wet thrill ride. The guide rode the newly created waves, happily drenching us in the process and started what was a 45-minute adrenalin rush as we sought out new eddies and rode the waves along the way. It’s an unlikely experience, but an incredibly fun one and while no one walks away dry, it’s well worth sacrificing a set of clothes for the adventure.
Savoring the Bay
Burntcoat Head Park is an unlikely pilgrimage spot in Nova Scotia. Not really located close to anything, the entrance is quietly set amongst rolling farmland and pastoral landscapes. But it’s here where the most extreme tidal difference on the Bay was recorded, it’s here where its entry into the records books was secured and it’s here where those extremes happen every single day. It’s also the location for one of the most extraordinary dining experiences I’ve ever had the great pleasure to enjoy. A few years ago, the creative minds at the Flying Apron Inn came up with an audacious idea, to take advantage of those tidal extremes and to offer a fine-dining experience on the ocean floor.
Arriving in the mid-afternoon, it’s so much more than just a dinner, it’s an experience. With pre-dinner snacks and drinks, guided tours of the Bay and local experts providing an insight into the region, it’s a robust experience with Fundy at its center. Naturally though, the highlight was the incredible meal itself, created by the Flying Apron’s Chef Velden and paired with local wines and beers. The afternoon and evening was fun in every meaning of the word, but it was much more than that. It was an immersive way to learn more about Fundy and to experience it in a very personal way. This is without a doubt one of the most creative meals I’ve ever enjoyed and one that I know I’ll never forget.
The Bay of Fundy is one of the world’s most unique natural phenomena. It’s only fitting then that an equal number of unique experiences have popped up over the years, taking advantage of what makes the Bay so special. While there are many ways to enjoy Fundy, for me these three formed the core of my travel experience in Nova Scotia and, together, provided me the ideal way to learn about and enjoy the incredible Bay of Fundy.