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Help with 7 - 9 days in Maritimes

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My husband and I are young ‘Seniors’ and not Adventurous or Outdoors people, and non-wine drinkers . . . we just want to witness with our own eyes the different views of your Amazing Fundy Tides. My husband gets bored pretty easily; therefore, when we normally visit different cities/areas, we just see what they are really known for and then move on.

We are from Hawaii and live next to the beach and I see the ocean every day from my office window. We have also driven along our Coastal waters and along the California coast: Carmel/Monterey, Pebble Beach, Big Sur, etc.; therefore, deciding to leave Cape Breton out.

From July 13 – July 19 we will be doing 2 nites in Ottawa, 3 nites in Montreal, 2 nites in Quebec City; then on 7/20 we will drive down thru New Brunswick with a stop to see Hartland Covered Bridge, then the Big Axe; and then straight to Alma and stay overnite. I have been studying the Fundy Tide Tables and seem to understand it pretty well as for timing; however, I need help with which Harbour is better for the best ‘Wharf’ Low/High Tide effect and which is best place to see Tidal Bore.

Below is a Tentative Itinerary for NB, PEI, and NS:

7/21 Alma / Hopewell Rocks [NB] – Low Tides, then back to Alma for Lunch for High Tde; then Hopewell for High Tide; overnite in Summerside [PEI]
7/22 PEI Green Gables Shore; overnite PEI
7/23 Golf at Crowbush Cove; quick visit to Charlottetown/Victoria by the Sea; overnite Parrsborro
7/24 Lunch at Cape D’or Lighthouse to watch Rip Tides; visit FORCE; Sunset; overnite Peggy’s Cove
7/25 Peggy’s Cove; Chester; Mahone Bay; Lunenburg; drive Rte 10 to Bear River Tidal Village on Stilts [High Tide]; Sunset Whale Watch in Westport; overnite Brier Island
7/26 Although non-hikers can handle short hike to see Balancing Rock; Boars Head Lighthouse; Digby; Village on Stilts [Low Tide]; Halls Harbour [Low Tide]; Maritime Museum-Halifax; Halls Harbour [High Tide]; Halifax – ferry to/from Dartmouth; overnite Halifax
7/27 Follow Tidal Cycle: High Tide – Walton/Burntcoat; Tidal Bore – Maitland/South Maitland/Truo; overnite Halifax

Besides Accessing the Ocean Floor at Hopewell Rocks, we wanted to experience the Boats at Low/High Tide at the Wharfs in Alma and Halls Harbour; however, don’t know if Parrsborro or Advocate Harbours are better or can skip those.

Also don’t know if Tidal Bore from St. Croix River, West Kennetcook River is better than Maitland, South Maitland, or Truo. Also, is Parker’s Cove and Fox Point is good for seeing Low/High Tide. Bottom line is I’m not sure if places I have chosen to see Low/High Tides and Tidal Bore are good choices. I would appreciate any better recommendations; as well as any other comments on improving my itinerary.

  • Report Abuse

    Wow, I love the vibe of your curiosity about all of this, and you gave pretty good justification for not prioritizing Cape Breton.

    My first concern is when you mesh getting bored pretty easily with Tide-watching... (even of the Fundy variety).

    Good use of the tide tables would help with some of that, in that you can have a handful of spots you intend to view at both high and low, and then zig-zag appropriately so as not to need to kill-off six hours in between extremes.

    I can't say that I know in detail all of the answers you seek, but I do know that I had been in awe of the Bay of Fundy since I saw a "wharf" low-tide photo in what I think was the Guiness Book of World Records as a child.

    And I know that my first-ever encounter with such a thing, at Alma, was enough to convince the young mind in me that such a thing really exists.

    I just watched a 2-minute Youtube video of the Fundy tides at Alma and it reaffirmed my belief that Alma is good enough to have the right impact on you.

    Another bonus to Alma is that between traipsing back and forth between there and Hopewell Cape, AND with the National Park nearby, you can more easily fill 6 hours between tide-viewing appointments.

    As for the tidal bore... unless you want to go river rafting UPstream (in certain, organized spots near Truro) ... I don't know of many differences from one spot to another, provided you're near a river that does indeed flow upstream when the tide comes in.

    My only two efforts at seeing the tidal bore happened at the aptly-named Tidal Bore Park in Moncton, NB. Once was at 11:30pm, illuminated by a full moon on the other side of the river, and the other was on a bright, sunny day 12 hours later.

    And I think that was sufficient enough ... (but others might be able to offer little bits of wisdom about better spots)

    It seems like you're going to have a thorough trip, and while I can't pinpoint little things that could improve it, maybe if you click on my name and view many of my past posts, you might find mention of some little thing which might serve you well.

    Good luck!

  • Report Abuse

    Aloha NorthwestMale,
    Thank you so much for your quick response . . . I was really hoping that you would respond to my post. I have already been reading a lot of the comments and wealth of information you share and I have found them to be most helpful.

    You are what inspired me to post my Tentative Itinerary so that someone like you could let me know if I was doing the best I could do with the Fundy Tides; however, I didn't want to really do an 'overkill' on it but just wanted to see jaw-dropping scenes like you have experienced.

    Thank you for confirming that Alma is a good place to see the Low/High Tide at a wharf; I'm going to also do Halls Harbour because I like how there are boats on both sides of the wharf.

    Per your suggestion in other Posts, I have printed out all of the Tide predictions and Tidal Bore times for all the areas I plan to visit. As for the Tidal Bore, Full Moon is 7/19 and I understand the Bore is rated 'High/Extreme' by some rafting sites for 7/27.

    Plan to visit the Ocean floor at Burntcoat at Low Tide about 1:30pm which will be about 5ft.; then plan to follow Bore to Maitland at 4:30pm, South Maitland at 5:20pm; then Truo at 6:58pm. Then we'll go right back to Burntcoat at High Tide 7:37pm which will be at 45ft.; therefore, we us moving to follow the Bore, I hope my husband won't get bored. I know we won't be as lucky as you to have had the Full Moon at night to see the Bore, but hopefully it will be bright enough.

    I'm going to add 1 more day to my Itinerary just in case the Sunset Whale Watch gets cancelled, then at least I can try to take the tour the next day which would have a slight ripple effect on my Fundy Tide schedule of which Tides will still be High.

    Thanks again for all your wonderful Posts of which I have read quite a few and like all the 'pointers' you bring up about the Tide Table. I really appreciate the comments you made for my Itinerary and letting me know I'm on the right track . . . thanks for your time.

    I had a hard time passing up Cape Breton as everyone keeps saying that it is a 'must do' but for us, I think all this Fundy excitement, Balancing Rock, and Teapot Rock on PEI will be exciting enough for us.

  • Report Abuse

    I... just... think that one's own research FAR outdoes anything that somebody here (typically) adds. (and you have clearly done your research)

    When it comes to travel, IF you convinced yourself that time-traveling back to MY high school graduation (and then just sitting there as if waiting for a tide)...would be FUN... then it's amazing just how much satisfaction you'd get out of it.

    (confession: SOME small part of me hopes I never use that analogy again)

  • Report Abuse

    Aloha NorthwestMale,

    Thanks again for all your great information . . . it did help me decide on certain things. In looking deeper into 'you tube' of Town on Stilts on Beaver River, I might give it a pass; it it is not just on our route, especially since I want to try and make the Sunset Cruise from Westport.

    Keep up your responses to people like me who refer to your comments. We need people like YOU!!

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