Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sea kayaking at Hopewell Rocks, NB

Here's the last in my series of notes about sea kayaking businesses located in the Bay of Fundy in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Normally, I don't do 6 posts in a row on the same theme, but, truly, I couldn't possibly pick a favorite section of coast or a best kayak company - there is just so much out here to explore!

Baymount Outdoor Adventures is located at the well-known Hopewell Rocks, just along the coast from Moncton, New Brunswick.

At low tide, Hopewell Rocks provides excellent, staffed, interpreted and safe coastal access to a fun series of huge 'flower pot' rock formations (sometimes called sea stacks) via the exposed ocean floor.

At high tide, the best way to explore Hopewell Rocks is by sea kayak. Baymount's sea kayak excursions are about 2 hours long and are easy to moderate to participate in. This is a super 'first kayak', if you've never sea kayaked before! (If you'd rather not kayak, then try hiking the clifftop trails and watching the kayakers below).

By the way, owners, Richard & Kathy also offer guided caving expeditions in this part of the Bay of Fundy (and, in the winter, lead tours in Latin America!).

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sea Kayaking at Cape Enrage, NB

Cape Enrage, New Brunswick, is not only home to a classic lighthouse but it's become a nifty destination for Bay of Fundy coastal adventure. I previously posted about their rappelling but I don't think I ever mentioned the sea kayaking and zip line options.

The Cape juts out into the Bay which makes for some wild conditions - sea kayaking along this section of the Bay can be a bit of an extreme sporting event! Still, if you're into adventure as a group or individually, this is a 'must stop' attraction on the Bay of Fundy.

Site managers, Dennison and Ann, host and train an extraordinary group of students to professionally operate the site each season. This kayaking photo was taken during recent staff 'spring training'. Cape Enrage was recently named #1 View in Canada by Frommer's Travel Guide. When you visit be sure to try "Cake Enrage" in the Lightkeeper's lunchroom on site - it's awesome!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sea kayaking in Alma, NB

FreshAir Adventure, in Alma, NB, is another super sea kayaking company here in our region. It seems like all my recommendations about sea kayaking in the Bay of Fundy have a theme: sea kayaking opens up new opportunities to explore the Fundy coast and tidal experiences. This is certainly true in FreshAir's region - along the coast of Fundy National Park and within the newly declared Bay of Fundy UNESCO Biosphere zone.

This photo shows FreshAir kayakers coming in on the rising tide at the Alma wharf... there is, of course, no water below them when the tide is low. Even the larger fishing boats would be on the ground!

One of FreshAir's owners, Joe, is also a teacher in the NB Community College Adventure Tourism program; and the other owner, Alan, is a high school science textbook writer and international kayaker.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sea kayaking at Advocate Hbr/Cape Chignecto Park, NS

You'll want to pay attention to this kayaking recommendation because this is the only kayaking company based on the Nova Scotia side of the Bay of Fundy.

Nova Shores Adventures operates out of the beautiful village of Advocate Harbour, with tours focusing on the coast surrounding Cape Chignecto Provincial Park. There are definitely some secluded beaches, rock formations, cliff arches and coves that you can only explore in this part of Fundy by kayak. Nova Shores does half-day, day and multi-day tours.

Owners Else Marie and Werner have a vast amount of experience offering kayak tours. Nova Shores orginally offered excursions along the coast near Peggy's Cove (outside Halifax - about 2.5 hrs from Fundy!) but when Else Marie and Werner started personally kayaking this part of the Fundy coast they liked it so much that they packed up and moved there!

(BTW tours are still offered by their great staff at the Dover location for Peggy's Cove area).

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sea kayaking - St Martins/Fundy Trail, NB

If you're yearning to explore the Bay of Fundy tidal waters off the coast of St Martins, New Brunswick, then take a look at kayaking with River Valley Adventures. These folks are located right on the wharf in the pretty village of St Martins.

St Martins has great sea caves that you can walk out to at low tide, then kayak to at high tide (see photo). St Martins is also home to the Fundy Trail - 10 km coastal hiking & biking trail (with great access points from a parellel low speed roadway). Mike's River Valley sea kayaking tours take you along the coast of the Fundy Trail to beaches that are only accessible by kayak - very cool!

If you are wondering where River Valley Adventures got its name (considering it's on the bay), you may be interested to know that, in spring and fall when he's not otherwise in Fundy, Mike offers lots of outdoor education programs for youth in the St John River Valley.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sea kayaking in Deer Island/St Andrews, NB

Sea kayaking is one of the best ways to explore the Bay of Fundy coast. I'm not a big swimmer but I've always felt comfortable in these stable made-for-ocean kayaks. I'm personally familiar with several kayak companies around the Bay so I thought I'd use the next few posts to profile each.

Seascape Kayak Tours' home base is Deer Island but they offer tours from both Deer Island and St Andrews by the Sea, NB. The owners, Bruce and Malena, are great folks who really know the bay and islands. Seascape offers both day and multi-day tours for all ability levels. By the way, if you happen to winter holiday in Costa Rica, you can also find Seascape there offering tours during Fundy's off season!! Hey, it's a rough life!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Red Rose Tea - A Fundy favourite!

The Bay of Fundy seemed to be following me in one particular way during my travels to the western part of our country last week ~ here's a photo of the tea I was served at my hotel: Red Rose Tea. Red Rose Tea was established in Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1894. Its orange pekoe tea was said to be made from only the top two leaves of each tea plant sprig this ensuring its superior quality. Initially the tea was only sold in our region but later went on to become one of the world's best known teas. Red Rose Tea still contains high grown leaves from Sri Lanka, Kenya, India and Indonesia.

Any of you who are my age or older may remember the Marquis Chimpanzees starring in three Red Rose Tea commercials in the 19060s. The most popular of these showed plaid-suited chimps playing a swinging jazz tune in praise of Red Rose. Now, thanks to YouTube, you can take a trip down nostalgia lane.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fundy tidal power SEA complete

My blog readers from the Bay of Fundy region, and other readers from across the country, may be interested to know that the long-awaited Strategic Environmental Assessment of in-stream tidal power for our bay is now available.

Apparently there's enough potential in the tides to power 120,000 homes but this 'green energy' opportunity needs to weighed mindfully against potential changes and threats to the bay's sensitive ecology, traditional rural fishery, migratory bird feeding grounds, etc. The fact is: a tidal power project of the magnitude proposed for Fundy has never been tried anywhere else .... it would be a delicate experiment with the eyes of the region and the world upon it.

The Fundy SEA Report is a broad-ranging as it can be but there are still many unknowns. To download the report & other related documents, visit:

Photo: Cape d'Or tidal rips (at the mouth of the Minas Channel)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rare Right whale birth captivates researchers

It's not often that a Right whale gives birth and it's rarer still that whales researchers happen to show up at the 'right' moment to witness the happy event. By pure luck, New England Aquarium scientists were able to photograph this tumultuous and hopeful moment for a species so threatened by extinction that every birth counts. It was the first time anyone is known to have captured images of a right whale giving birth (click thru to photo gallery).

Here in the Bay of Fundy (the summer feeding grounds of many species of whales), we feel quite connected to Right whales. Much whale research takes place in our region throughout the summer and fall - contributing greatly to worldwide scientific research on whales. In the winter, whales venture about 1000 km south to the coasts of Georgia and Florida (where this Right whale was born in January).

A few weeks after the birth, the mother whale (known to researchers by the nickname, Cat's Paw) and her calf were seen swimming side by side as seen in this photo. Later, the aquarium team ponder what to name the baby. Then it came to them: Resolution, in part to honor it's New Year's Day birth, but also the species' unending will to survive. Awww....

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A world first ~ 800 km unicyle race thru Fundy!

In your idle moments, do you ever imagine someone creating a Tour de France-style race for unicyclists? Well, imagine no longer - here is a world first!

From June 16 to 20, unicycle teams from around the world will "Ride the Lobster" - racing 800 km along the Bay of Fundy coast and up to Cape Breton.

The race will feature over 25 teams, with over 100 competitors from 19 countries. Teams will be tracked by satellite with their positions streamed live to the Ride the Lobster blog.

P.S. I don't think the racers are required to wear lobster red, but, if you plan to be a spectator, do consider sporting a classic red foam lobster hat - you know you've got one buried in the back of your closet!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

New Bay of Fundy video tour

I just came across this great new Bay of Fundy promo video on YouTube. It’s an excellent virtual tour of the New Brunswick side of the Bay…cool time lapse high-low video too. Take a look!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Fiddlehead soup recipe

During the next few weeks (while I'm scouring the woods for fiddleheads) I thought I'd post a few of my favourite fiddlehead recipes.

My fiddlehead soup recipe is a blend of traditional French vichyssoise and good old-fashioned Bay of Fundy fiddlehead soup.

Fiddlehead Soup
1/4 c butter
1 c white ends of leeks, seperated, rinsed, chopped
1/4 c flour
5 c chicken or veg stock
1 lb fiddleheads, cleaned
1 c parnsips, peeled & chopped
1 c celery, leaves & all, chopped
2 c milk
1/4 t (or more) grated nutmeg
salt & fresh pepper to taste

Melt butter in large soup pot. Add leeks, cook at low heat 'til softened but not brown. Blend in flour to make a roux; cooking for 2 minutes at low hear. Whisk in stock in batches. Add fiddleheads, parnsips and celery to pot. Bring to boil, stir, over med. heat. Lower heat, cover, simmer 20 minutes.

Puree soup in blender then return to pot. Heat through when ready to serve. Stir in milk and seasonings. Plain soy milk is an alternate to cow's milk. Not quite as smooth but still good. You may want to pump up the nutmeg & pepper to counteract the slightly nutty taste of soy milk.

(By the way, if you're not really into beating the forest for ferns, fiddleheads are available in produce sections of most Fundy grocery stores).