Crossing the border is always an interesting experience. It changes depending which way you are going. Into Canada they focus on guns and alcohol. Guns are obvious and being from Florida they are sure we are packing something. Alcohol is crazy expensive up here so they want to make sure that you are not bringing over the limit which is very low. How much do you think we had?
We were excited about our first stop because we had an oceanfront spot on in St. Andrews. Saint Andrews is a town in Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada. It is sometimes referred to in tourism marketing by its unofficial nickname “St. Andrews By-the-Sea”. It is on the Bay of Fundy which is known for it’s drastic tides. Here is a look with the tide out, from our windshield.
You can actually drive or walk out there at low tide. We voted not. It is quite a phenomenon. The bay may act like a giant bathtub, but to the animal species that call this area home it’s a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet. The Bay of Fundy supports one of the world’s richest marine ecosystems, essentially acting like a giant bowl of nutrients mixed together from the ocean floor, the salt marshes, and the mud flats. It provides tasty meals for the seabirds, whales, fish, seals, and other marine life that visit or call Fundy home. There are several (really cool) factors at play. Think of the bay as a giant funnel with geologically distinct features. It’s got a unique shape and size – narrow and elongated – plus a crazy amount of water (160-billion tons to be exact). Around the world the average tidal range is about 3 ft. The tidal difference in the Bay of Fundy, though, sometimes reaches up to a whopping 52 ft. in some places! Nowhere else on earth will you find such extremes.
One day we decided to do some island hopping. First to Deer Island by Ferry.
We drove around the island to see some small fishing villages.
And……..every island needs a lighthouse.
Next island stop was Campobello Island. Fred and the kids had to entertain themselves while we waited for the next ferry.
This was a different type of ferry, with a tug actually pushing a barge.
Along the way we saw the Old Sow, the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere. It occurs 3 hours prior to every high tide. Sorry the picture doesn’t do it justice.
On Campobello Island we went to see Roosevelt’s vacation home.
We also went on a whale watching tour.
And we did see humpback whales.
We also learned about aqua-farms.
The aquaculture industry has grown to giant proportions. Salmon farms in the Bay of Fundy number over 100 sites, most with dozens of cages and millions of fish, and the industry employs around 2 thousand people.
All together it amounts to 200 million dollars worth of Salmon annually, 75% of which is sold to customers in the US. This actually made me feel pretty good about seeing the sign “farm raised” at the grocery store. I had previously pictured large industrial bins with fish when in fact they are in the sea and protected from prey.
The boat tour included touch and feel ocean creatures.
Next Province on the list is Prince Edwards Island.