One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Nova Scotia was to visit the Bay of Fundy. This area boasts the world’s highest tides. At one point they reach up to 55 feet. That’s akin to a five story building.

So here’s what happens that makes it kind of interesting. The tide comes in from the ocean and gets funneled into the bay and then into the Minas Basin. It then gets funneled further into a narrow river called the Shubenacadie (Shoo bin ack uh dee). When the tide goes out, the river is almost drained dry—lots of sand can be seen and the water that is left is extremely shallow. Then, when the tide comes in, it meets the water that is receding and forms what is called a tidal bore. A wave.

My parents and I arrived at the Tidal Bore Rafting Park and Cottages and sat on the deck of their restaurant overlooking the river. It was dinnertime so we ordered the Lobster rolls and took some photos of the dry river bed. Just a little while later we noticed a very fast moving body of water filling up the river. It was amazing to see. Seriously, the river was filling up before our eyes in less time than it took to have dinner.

The next night we hopped on board the zodiac and took a nice serene trip up the river. We got to see a few bald Eagles way up in the trees and the banks of wet mud on either side. Travis was our guide and he was a nice local kid who I would characterize as someone who lives for today. Travis just bought a house on the river in the flood zone with no flood insurance. During really high tides his basement floods and they fish right off his deck. When he told us the river widens by two feet each year I teased him about how in a few years he’ll just have to open up his refrigerator door to catch fish. Travis was a good guy though. I must attribute some great wisdom to the guy. He said, “You never know what’s going to happen when the tide comes in.”

And with that we hit the fast running water and he proceeded to drench us in the waves. The last bit of dunking managed to throw me and another camper off the side of the boat. I don’t remember much—just that Travis said not to hold on to the boat or we’d get sucked under. That was precisely what was going through my mind when I was under water. That and getting caught in the motor. But my Dad, who was halfway out the boat after I went over, said I “popped” right up. Yeah. Popped. I swam very hard to the surface with a ton of waders and wet shoes on. But all was well. I got into the boat and up the mud banks back to our warm cabin all safe and sound. Funny how the pulled muscle in my back didn’t hurt until much later.

All in all, it was a really fun adventure and I’d recommend it for all. But try to go during the mid cycle of the moon. If you go during a full moon you may end up getting more than dunked into the “Shubie.”

This is a YouTube clip of a rafting trip. It’s not mine but halfway through it you can see what it’s like on the river.

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