Bay of Fundy?

-- Last Updated: Sep-08-16 9:03 PM EST --

On a wimp, I'm head up to Nova Scotia, to tour the colorful cliffs and sculpted rocks so vividly splashed on all the travel brochures!

First question, WHERE? Where would be the best area to get a good glimpse of the best rock formation?

My own short research turns up the following:

- Fundy National Park (I would think a national park should be worth visiting?)
- Hopewell Rock Park (is that a private park? A tourist trap? I can't tell)
- Cape Chignecto Provincial Park
- Blomidon Provincial Park

Anybody knows the area and can offer opinion on any or all of them? Which should I focus on? Which to skip (or see them all!)?

Which of those location would be good for paddling and to see the rock formations from both land and water?

Second, but no less important. If I were to see them from the water, I need some information on tide and current.

I easily found the tide table for the area. But I didn't find any information on current associated with the tide. I'd like to know how much time lack there is between high tide and slack current. And how fast the current flows at max flood/ebb for the various locations one may go paddle.

So, anyone who's familiar with the area, I'd appreciate any help you can offer. Many thanks in advance.

One of the problems with Fundy
is that aside from about a two hour window on each side of high tide the clam flats extend about a mile. There is lots of slopping and dragging at lower tide. You will see when you view boats on their side at low tide and no water around

The Rocks and Chignecto are pretty far up and there tide is crucial but there is really little current

The mouth of Fundy is a different dog but not on your list. Down there the tides are a little less but the currents sizeable

However Cobscook Bay State Park( Its in Maine on Passamaquoddy Bay) is one of my favorite places. Its not bad for tidal current, range 24 feet. there is an all tide ramp. The reversing falls move about 15 mph with huge eddy lines and souse holes…worth a look and perhaps a judicious scamper…We studied it for a couple of days to figure out our safe window.

Upper Fundy is interesting… but frankly 2/3 of the time a lot of mud.

A little knowledge…

I only know a little but happy to share. I stopped at Cape Chignecto for about a day in August 2016. I did some hiking and I launched a kayak trip from w Spicers Cove, where the Apple River Road hugs the beach. I paddled 10k south and then returned. I timed my trip, leaving about two hours before high tide. The tide wasn’t that big a deal, although the volume of moving water seemed freaky when I was back at Spicers Cove.

The shoreline features lots of scenic red cliffs. I paddled through the Three Sisters rock formations, which is kind of an area highlight. There were, interspersed among the cliffs, some nice pebble beaches. Could be they are not there at the highest tides, but I think you can find places to land, even at high tide.

I ran into a fellow from Montreal that was kayaking out of a launch further south. He pointed out to me that there were no other boats out. Weird, 10km is a long way to go without seeing at least one powerboat. This fellow had come around Cape Chignecto and said there were strong currents and waves at the Cape. Having already come through these waters, he was not deterred, and when we parted he was heading back around the Cape.

There is a guide service in Advocate Harbor that runs kayak trips out of Spicer Cove. I ended up disliking them but their clients seem happy.

I made a couple hikes there, too. Nice. If I had the time I would have liked to tackle some of the overnight trails, but I had other places I needed to be. Wild Caraway restaurant in Advocate Harbor is supposed to be great–fully booked the night I was there, consider reservations.

And that’s all I know about the Bay of Fundy. Perhaps there is cooler stuff at the Bay of Fundy than Cape Chignecto, but certainly worth going to Chignecto.

I called around and tried to find a guide to take me on the tidal bore of the Shubenacadie, but couldn’t find one and was too scairt to go it on my own.

You might be passing through Saint John, NB on the way north. If you do and can catch the tide, stop and check out the reversing falls of the St. John River. Very impressive. I want to boat there. What could go wrong?


St. Margaret’s Bay

– Last Updated: Sep-09-16 8:34 AM EST –

My wife and I own some land up by Hall's Harbour and we've been out to Blomidon quite a few times. I've never even thought of trying to get a kayak in there though. We're only intermediate paddlers and those tides are huge with current that get up to 10 knots.

For the last two weeks we've been kayaking out of a rented house on a little cove off the east side of St. Margaret's Bay and it's been really beautiful. We stay away from the really big surf down by the Peggy's Cove light but the upper bay is really nice with quite a few uninhabited islands to explore.

Here the tide height is only 7' rather than the 47' at Hall's Harbour and with the tide out it's pretty much all mud there.

Great info!

– Last Updated: Sep-09-16 10:43 AM EST –

Thanks for the first hand account.

That was also what my little quick research found: 2 hr each side of high tide.

Would love to go around the cape had I had company to go with. The outfitter had a 3 day camping trip that does that. What is it that you dislike about that outfitter? (I thought of going with them. But my friend pulled out. They need two to do a trip)

Yes, will be passing St John and will stop to watch the reversing fall

we just paddled
Hopewell rocks in august. we went with the outfitter for about a 2 hour mid tide tour, they also do a high tide tour. you can do it on your own, just sign a waiver with the park (provincial?). the tide range is 42 feet but the currents were not an issue at all.

we also visited Advocate Harbor but did not paddle, the fog was so thick you could not see across the street. I don’t know how frequently that can be an issue. the trip there is worth it just to dine at Wild Caraway. do make a reservation, you can also stay there in the 2 room B&B. Sarah and Andrew are gracious hosts.

I assume they only do high tide tour. I didn’t know they do mid-tide tours also.

here is the outfitter

The park admission was about $10can good for 2 days

there are stairs to allow beach access at low tide

there is a small floating dock usable at high tide and as the tide falls the gravel beaches (not mudflats) suitable for launching the kayaks shift toward the east. If you DIY your float there I’m sure the outfitter would advise you on where you can and can’t launch

Canadian VHF channels?
Another dumb question, which channel for hailing and/or emergency in Canada? Is it the same as in US or they use a different one?

It’s basically the same, although there are some differences.

The Standard Horizon handheld that I use can be set to USA, Canada or International to accommodate differences.

If you don’t have the manual for the model you have you can typically find one on the net and it will/should have a complete chart of frequencies for various countries.

Or, see…

Hopewell Rock and St Martins
As a way of thanking all who shared their first hand information, I thought I report back on what I did.

I paddled Hopewell Rock area by myself.

The park service actually keep track of the weather and tide. They only allow paddlers to go out on particular time (2 hrs each side of high tide) and only when weather is reasonable. While they insist paddlers to be self-sufficient, they do keep an eye on the DIY paddlers. (it’s kind of easy, everyone is on the cliff watching anyway)

The paddling is definitely worth it! It’s beautiful beyond words. (I took picture, but pictures don’t do justice to the real thing). There’re arches and caves to duck in and out of. Great fun!

Paddling into the “Ball Room”, you’re on display as the tourists watch. Around high tide, the water is almost as high as the spectator’s platform. Very cool to wave to them on the same level.

The next day, I stayed in the park to watch the water to go from low to high and back to low. It’s an incredible experience!

Instead of going over the Nova Scotia, I ended up double back to St John to visit St Martins area. There’re a lot of sea caves on the coast that can be reached at high tide. On the day I arrived, I saw a group of 3 DIY paddlers finishing up their paddle. They report the water reasonably manageable (2 feet swell). Since I missed the favorable tide of the day, I biked the parkway instead which is also spectacular. But I ran out of weather favorable days to paddle it (2 days lost to rain and high wind).

I’ll be going back. Both the St Martins area and the Hopewell Rocks are well worth seeing from kayak. The key being getting the timings right, I believe.

I’ll get to Nova Scotia some day.

And again, thanks to all who offered helpful info

We’ll be going back to Nova Scotia next year. I must check those places out.

You just provided more reasons to go back. It’s a great paddling area.

Glad you had a good trip.