Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tidal power enviro research

Good news this week on the tidal energy front:

The Nova Scotia government is investing $250,000 to research tidal power. The funds will be given to the Offshore Energy and Environmental Research Association to do a Bay of Fundy tidal power environmental impact assessment.

Am I crazy or has anyone else noticed that 'green is keen' all of a sudden?

See previous Bay of Fundy tidal energy posts: in-stream turbine photo #1, photo #2, map of Minas Channel.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Winter at 'The Rocks'

It's easy to love the Bay of Fundy in spring, summer and fall with all the sea-sky blues & greens and cliffscape cobalts & terra cottas. But in winter the tone of everything changes...really rather enchanting once you get used to walking around inside sepia photos! Here is a rare image of the 'famous' Hopewell Rocks in winter: strong, dramatic yet somehow peaceful. Thanks to Rocks staff Francine LeBlanc for sending along this stunning image.
Links to some of my earlier Fundy winter pics: Icecakes & Oatcakes, Winter Arrives on the Bay of Fundy

Friday, February 23, 2007

New York Muscat icewine too

If you confess to buying wine by the label (as I shamefully admit I do) you will also be enticed by the Grand Pre Winery's gorgeous wine bottle works of art (many available poster-size in the wine shops). Here is their New York Muscat icewine label and description.

New York Muscat Icewine

This Icewine has been left to ferment in cask, producing a complex and layered wine. It displays rich notes of papaya, preserved peach, dried apricot and Bartlett pear, in perfect balance with a crisp lively acidity that lingers on the palette. Enjoy these great flavours on their own or to compliment dessert and cheese.

This wine has won gold as well as bronze at Canadian and International Wine Competitions, as well as platinum provincially.

The Grand Pre Winery Estate is open yearround in Grand Pre, near Wolfville, on the Nova Scotia side of the Bay of Fundy.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sample Vidal icewine

No, I am not offering free Grand Pre Winery samples here on my blog but rather a free view of their sample Vidal Icewine label, as well as its description:

This Vidal Icewine was hand picked at the end of the old and the beginning of the new millennium. It displays notes of apricots, lemon, blood orange and marmalade. It is balanced with crisp acidity and a long, lingering, sweet finish. Sip this rare treat by itself or as a sweet compliment to a dessert.
(Bronze medal winner at 2001 All-Canadian Wine Championships. Bronze medal winner at 2001 Canadian Wine Awards).

The Winery is open year round and offers wine tastings in the wine shop as well as fine Northern European cuisine in their restaurant, Le Cave.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ice wine anyone?

Did you know that some of Canada's best ice wines come from Domaine de Grand Pre Winery here on the Bay of Fundy? Although originally invented in Germany (eiswein), Canada is now known to have the most famous (and expensive!) ice wines.

Icewine is a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does, so the result is a concentrated, often very sweet but refreshing wine.

Because of high sugar levels it may take months to complete the fermentation (compared to days or weeks for regular wines). This, combined with lower yield and difficulty of processing, results in ice wines being more expensive than other wines.

So, not only can you enjoy the viewscapes around the Bay of Fundy, but you can enjoy such interesting tastes of our region as well - year round!

Monday, February 19, 2007

The art itself

Whoops, how rude of me, I forgot to include a sample of Mary's fine work in that post earlier today. With permission, here is Parrsboro Lobster Boat.

Says Mary: I sat on the sand at low tide and painted this lobster boat waiting for the tide to come in. The landscape is a stunning contrast of reds and purples in the mud and rocks and deep blues to Carribean-like teal greens in the water. Enormous craggy cliffs rise hundreds of feet along the shore conjuring dramatic paintings every where the eye looks. The light is shimmery, like island light and the mornings are frequently foggy, even as the sun tries to break through.

I can't think of a better way to enjoy a few hours here on the Bay of Fundy with eyes wide open! Terri

More Bay of Fundy-inspired art

Just received this interesting note from painter, Mary Sheehan Winn, who lives in New England but has an interesting Bay of Fundy connection:

Hi Terri, small world...I was cruising the blogosphere and came to your blog through the artist Nita Leger Casey. I was sure I recognized the Parrsboro Lighthouse in your photo. My husband's family was from the area and each summer we vacation in a cottage on the Bay there. I have hundreds of photos of your area which I feel is the best place my husband has ever shared with me. I also adore Parrsboro's Main St. gallery: The Destination Gallery, probably the most beautiful gallery I've ever seen. I'm sure I'll be back to read your blog many times before coming to Parrsboro in person in June. ~ Mary

Yes, Mary, I do actually live in Parrsboro but I love the whole big beautiful Bay of Fundy! I have the dream job of working with the tourism industry to share it more meaningfully with the world ~ lucky me! See you around town. Terri

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Fundy sardine boat plans promo trip

Historic sardine vessel, the Bernadine will take on a new life this summer as floating Bay of Fundy promoter.

She'll be plying the waters of the St Lawrence River, summering in ports from Quebec City to the shores of the Great Lakes. The Bernadine (built orginally in Black's Harbour, New Brunswick in 1942) measures 85 ft stem to stern and is one of the oldest working wooden boats still sailing North American waters.

Skipper Charles Creaser describes some of the vessel's restoration work leading up to the trip:

Up on deck, the front of the wheelhouse was removed, and a new extension built on. The whole wheelhouse interior has been lined with N.B. cedar. Necessary repairs and painting of the deck, and new navigational equipment makes the boat a real show piece, both aesthetically to the casual observer, and to the knowledgable boatman. It has a custom made, user-friendly gang plank, built by the craftmen at Comeau Marine Railway on the other side of the Bay of Fundy in Meteghan, N.S. where all of the repairs were completed.

For more info on the Bernadine's awesome adventure (or to find out how to promote your Fundy business on board) email Charles: Imagine this delightful floating Bay of Fundy ambassador cruising various Ontario and Quebec ports...what a great idea, Charles!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Blue Cheese Mussels

It's been awhile since I posted a favourite Bay of Fundy mussel recipe. This one is a bit unusual but excellent - if you like blue cheese that is!

Blue Cheese Mussels

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 stick celery, sliced
½ stick of leek, sliced
1kg mussels, cleaned
100ml white wine
30gr butter
60gr blue cheese, broken into small pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
1 handful of fresh spinach leaves
1 tbsp. chopped parsley

  • Place oil, onion, celery and leek in a pot and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

  • Add mussels, white wine, blue cheese, spinach, lemon juice and cook until mussels have opened.

  • Add butter and parsley, stir and serve.

  • Serves 3-4.

Previous mussel recipes links on my blog: Green Thai Curry Mussels, Spiced Beer Mussels, and Mussels Panagea.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ice crusted vessel on the Bay

Just received these photos from one of our Bay of Fundy whale watch operators: Brier Island Whale & Seabird Cruises. There is certainly no whale watching at this time of year (starts in the spring!) but it's nice to see that Shelley is keeping a pretty close eye on activities down at the wharf.

Hi Terri – thought you’d enjoy seeing an interesting winter sight here on Brier Island at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. While we don’t usually get much snow, we DO get some interesting ice formations during the winter fishing season. Here’s a photo of a vessel docked just below my house. The Mega Nova Ice 2 shows how ice formed on a slant as they were steaming into the wind. As a lobster boat it’s out on the ‘high seas’ - well, as much as 20 nautical miles off shore - every day and thus has many opportunities to get ‘decorated’ with ice. Keep warm! Shelley

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Salty business

I just heard about a small Maine Company, Quoddy Mist Sea Salt, that is using the briny seawater that surges up the Bay of Fundy to harvest an unusual product: salt.

As a bit of a foodie myself, I've noticed a trend toward gourmet salts - now widely available in fine restaurants and health food stores.

The processing of common table salt typically removes the minerals, including iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and iodine. But gourmet salt companies have figured out a way to purify the salt water but leave in higher percentages of the healthy minerals.

This is how the brine-to-salt process works: draw in seawater, filter it, heat it, evaporate it, grind it and package it.
A byproduct of the process, which is strikingly similar to that used by maple syrup producers (we'll talk about that next month!), is distilled water. Currently Quoddy Mist discards the water back into the bay but the company is looking for a market for the pure water.

The end product can look like giant icicles, tiny snowflakes or little squares - lovely to see and taste!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Time & tide

I've noticed that the tide is frequently used as a metaphor in literature as something unstoppable or unharnessable by humans. Consider the famous tide quote: "Time and tide wait for no man" by Chaucer. Even still in common English when our circumstances change the tide is said to be 'turning' and we often speak of moving 'with' or 'against' the tide. Because most coastal locations around the world have some sort of tide (though admittedly not as big as ours here in the Bay of Fundy), it's just too tempting to create these handy tide metaphors.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Bay of Fundy wins 2nd Green Award

Just got back from Halifax where the Bay of Fundy Tourism project that I manage won a 2nd award for its green business program!

Received at the annual Gulf of Maine reception, this Department of Environment award recognizes the success of our non-profit association in developing and implementing environmentally responsible tourism principles.

Our eco-business program works directly with tourism operators to identify and reduce environmental impacts of their businesses.

Here's a photo of our team accepting the award. I am joined by staff from the Eco-efficiency Centre (who delivers the eco-biz program for us) as well as folks from NS Tourism, Culture & Heritage and the Tourism Industry Association of NS.

In October, 2006, we received national recognition for our program when we were awarded the Parks Canada/Globe & Mail Sustainable Tourism Award at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada conference in Alberta.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A whale on my lawn?

Great snow around the Bay of Fundy today. Had a bit of fun in my back yard sculpting this whale out of snow.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Taking action against LNG

I've had several emails from Bay of Fundy folks wondering what they can do to voice their concerns about the LNG proposal. One of the best things we can do is sign the new petition that urges the Canadian government to declare the effected area an "Emergency Marine Protected Area".

A vital Canadian resource can be protected with an Emergency MPA. Existing social assets such as traditional fishing, tourism, aquaculture, etc. are maintained by this process. New industrial developments , however, would be forestalled until it is shown that they will not negatively impact the existing natural and social environments. This could be just the way to end LNG's move up the coast!

If you'd like more info on other citizen initiatives regarding this project, check out the website Or if you'd like to know more about possible effects on Fundy whales, see my November whale post or visit my colleague Art's Bay of Fundy whale blog.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Cold days = warm spa treatments ~ Fundy style!

The colder it gets this winter around the Bay of Fundy, the more enticing a Fundy-themed spa becomes. Many accommodations around the Bay offer spa experiences. These photos from Inn on the Cove in Saint John, New Brunswick, show a full body Phytomer mud wrap using marine nutrient rich mud and a Bay of Fundy hot stone massage overlooking the bay. Sounds good to me!