Saturday, March 28, 2009

No Limits to educational adventure in Bay of Fundy

Most people have heard of Elderhostel educational adventures (we've hosted many in Bay of Fundy) but now a local university has developed its own successful Fundy-themed programs for the 50+.

The University of New Brunswick's launched NO LIMITS New Brunswick Travel Adventures to great response in 2008. Both programs, Bay of Fundy themed, will be re-offered in 2009:

1. Spirit of the Island takes place on Grand Manan Island and concentrates on marine life, especially the endangered North Atlantic right whale; bird watching (Grand Manan is a bird watchers paradise with hundreds of species); and the unique geological formations and breathtaking views that are found across the island. 2009 adventure dates: Sept. 8 - 12.

2. Bounty of the Bay participants explore Fundy's beaches, tidal zones, waters, marine life and environment accompanied by educators from the Huntsman Marine Science Centre (HMSC). Adventurers comb the beaches with a guide and examine their finds under lab microscopes, learn about sea birds and the process of bird band and experience the bay in the HMSC's research boat, and get up close and personal with whales on a whale and wildlife cruise. (pictured here). This tour runs Oct 5-9, 2009.

And, to make things even better, all three adventures include four nights at comfortable, historic accommodations and meals using fresh, local ingredients. For the over 50 only....heck, I'm starting to think it won't be so bad turning 50 in a couple years!

More info? visit the NO LIMITS website.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Visual art meets Bay of Fundy tides

It recently came to my attention that the famous UK visual artist Andy Goldsworthy visited Bay of Fundy and created some outdoor art here which he featured in his award-winning documentary video: Rivers & Tides. Andy is a brilliant sculptor, photographer and environmentalist, living in Scotland, who produces site-specific sculpture and land art in natural and urban settings. His art involves the use of natural and found objects; for Bay of Fundy this meant driftwood and the incoming tide.

I witness many beautiful sights year round, day and night in our bay but this Bay of Fundy portion of Rivers & Tides (filmed in just down the shore from where I live) absolutely took my breath away.

Review of the whole videos: "The theatrical phenomenon RIVERS AND TIDES depicts the magical relationship between art and nature. Gorgeously shot and masterfully edited."

Must have full DVD from Amazon!

Thursday, March 19, 2009 common as bologna? yikes!

To a large extent, in our part of the country, we're somewhat buffered from world events but now that the global recession is in full swing, we're also feeling the effects of it. Take lobster, for example. Lobster (a mainstay of Bay of Fundy fisheries and a key factor in rural economic survival) has long been considered a luxury food item.

Recently, one of my aunts reminded me that in the 1950s kids who took lobster sandwiches to school were considered not rich enough to afford a 'better meat'. Well, with the current rock-bottom lobster prices, I'm wondering if it's about to switch statuses with bologna. Check out this article ~ yikes!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Introducing the historic Imperial Theatre

While I never doubt the interest of my readers in topics tide-related, it's true that the architecture and art sections of my blog also get plenty of interest. A place, after all, is not only about the landscape and seascape but also about its people, their lives and interests. No where is this reflected more than through the delightful combination of architecture and art in our heritage theatres.

I've previous posted about Ship's Company Theatre on the Kipawo ferry in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, and now I'd like to introduce you to the enchanting Imperial Theatre in Saint John, New Brunswick. The Imperial (still in full operation today) was built in 1913 and billed as the 'finest theatre in Eastern Canada'. In the early days it hosted such entertainment headliners as Harry Houdini and John Philip Sousa. Now the Imperial is likely the busiest playhouse in our region with a year-round roster of performances of all types. Well worth checking out when you visit the Bay of Fundy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ode to Captain Molly

The Bay of Fundy lost a seafaring pioneer recently: Captain Molly Kool, passed away at age 93. I didn't know Molly personally but, as a youth, I remember being captivated by her story in a book of famous Canadian women. You see, at age 23 - 70 years ago!! - Molly became the first registered female sea captain in North America.

Molly grew up in the Bay of Fundy village of Alma, New Brunswick, where she learned a love of the sea and sailing from her father, a Dutch ship captain. At 23, she made history by earning the title of captain, after the Canadian Shipping Act was rewritten to say "he/she" instead of just "he".

Captain Molly certainly blazed a trail in a career then dominated by men. I'm not sure how many women have since chosen the life of sea captain but she certainly made a Fundy-women-can-do-anything impression on one young Bay of Fundy girl: me.

Her ashes will be scattered on our Bay...

Sunday, March 08, 2009

New Right whale video - winter mating & feeding

The Bay of Fundy is probably best known worldwide for having the highest tides on the planet but one of our other claims to fame is as impressive: our Bay is part of the critically important habitat region for the endangered North Atlantic Right whale. There are only about 350 of these whales left on the planet. A USA Today documentary video released this week shows Right whales thriving, mating and feeding in the winter months; suggesting that the population may finally be stabilizing.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Scallop boats await the tides

Another soothing winter sight in Bay of Fundy:

Hi Terri, Trust you are having a good winter! Here's a photo of scallop boats awaiting high tide so they can dock at Alma wharf (New Brunswick). The ice cakes come and go with the rise and fall of our giant Bay of Fundy tides, posing a danger in the navigation routes of the vessels. The low western sun is highlighting the cliffs on the opposite Nova Scotia shore. ~ Donna

And even better: this is Donna's everyday view from her inn: Falcon Ridge Inn, Alma, New Brunswick. Her guests must be very happy to wake up to this view any time of the year!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Ice causeway?

Some winters I wonder if our Bay of Fundy ice cakes are dense enough to create a floating causeway. There's a story told that there was once a man who hopped across the Minas Basin from Parrsboro to Blomidon on the ice cakes to visit his lady love. On a day like today, when I took this photo, I can actually believe this may have been possible!