back to the tidal bore

Note: This is a continuation of the account of our recent trip to Nova Scotia.

Some of you may remember a post which I wrote about the tidal bore, as seen from Maccan Tidal View Wetlands Park last year. We returned this spot again on August 31st. A visit to the park to watch the bore has become another of our traditions when traveling in Nova Scotia. Even without the bore, it’s an interesting site. There are wetlands with several ponds where waterfowl may be observed. A path leads along the surrounding dyke and through a small woodland area. It’s a great place to see dragon and damselflies, spiders, bees, and a host of other creatures. On this visit, I photographed quite a few spiders, but I’ll save them for a future post.

A tidal bore schedule is posted on a display board near the best viewing point (see above – click on it for a larger view). It is compiled and posted by a local resident, Gordon Boss, who has been observing the bore at this site for most of his life. We’ve met him on several occasions and have enjoyed his explanations of what we’ll see, how the tidal bore has been behaving recently, and his other interesting observations of the tides, weather and natural history of the area.

On this visit, Gordon said that we should see an excellent bore due to the proximity to the full moon. We weren’t to be disappointed. We’re quite sure that this was the best bore we had seen at this site. Above and below are photos looking upstream on the Maccan River from the tidal bore viewing area. It’s hard to get a feel for scale, but the height of the grass covered banks would be approximately 6 meters (20 feet) above the river bed. The river is actually wider than you might guess from the photos. I shot the above photo at about 1:30 p.m., just a minute or so before the tidal bore rounded the bend in the river further downstream. I shot the photo below at about 2:22 p.m., and the river was still filling. Gordon mentioned that the water level would be quite high that afternoon if we were to stay around. He said it was right to the top of the bank during one of the most recent high tides. As in the case last year, I shot a little .mp4 movie of the bore as it passed the observation point.

Again, it’s hard to get a feel for the scale, but there is *a lot* of water rushing past. You can see the ferocity of the waves as they occasionally slosh against the shoreline. After the bore passed by, we continued to watch the river for some time. There are occasion bursts of wildly undulating wave activity when the water will suddenly seem to boil up in some part of the river for a few long seconds. Also, wood and other debris often passes by, flowing upstream at quite an awesome speed. It’s really quite an exciting thing to see.

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No Responses to “back to the tidal bore”

  1. Rick MacPherson Says:

    i’m so jealous…
    i did the nova scotia trip only once while living in northern maine many years ago… despite best intentions, i never got to see a tidal bore… i was however quite fortunate to experience the pt barnum-esque magnetic hill…

  2. robin andrea Says:

    That is spectacular, bev. Love the video. It really captures the intensity of the wave. A great phenomenon.

  3. Dave Says:

    Does anyone ever surf the bore?

  4. bev Says:

    Rick – I don’t remember if I was ever at the magnetic hill, but we’ve seen tidal bores several times at a couple of locations around the Bay of Fundy. They’re always quite fun to watch.

    robin – That was a particularly nice tidal bore wave. I liked how the two outside parts of the wave were so strong and seemed like they were dragging the center along with them.

    Dave – I’ve never heard of anyone surfing the bore around the Bay of Fundy, but no doubt it’s done. I just took a quick look online and I guess tidal bore surfing is a popular sport with a certain group of surfers. Here’s one website that I came across. One thing that is quite popular at Fundy is rafting the tidal bore at the Shubenacadie River. Here’s a story about it. When we were passing over the bridge at Maitland on this trip, a couple of rafts were just returning from a tour.

  5. Wayne Says:

    Wow. Glad you made the pilgrimage again!

    Tidal bores just fascinate me, and that particular one is certainly stupendous. Doesn’t surprise me a bit that there is a contingent of borers!

  6. bev Says:

    Wayne – It’s always enjoyable to make that particular pilgimage. You would most definitely enjoy watching the bore at this location as there’s such an excellent view as it rounds the bend in the Maccan River.

  7. Dave Says:

    I’ve met some crushing bores…lol….

  8. bev Says:

    Dave – I’m told these would be rather crushing bores if one were to get in the way!

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