Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Strange Fundy ritual

If you live around Fundy you'll know that our tidal waters are a teensy bit on the cool side - a result, no doubt, of a fresh batch of Atlantic ocean water coming in twice a day with the tides.

But, undaunted, we locals certainly swim or, at least, wade in the tide. When I was growing up, there was an older local gentleman who went to the wharf every day, year round, to soak his legs at high tide 'for arthritis'...em, to get arthritis surely...not to cure it! Little local kids will stay in for hours in the summer especially when the tide rolls in late afternoon over the sun-baked mud flats.

Last week I had a note from Kathleen Gidney down in the Digby Area who said she's made the idea of a dip in Fundy cool tides into a fun challenge for visitors participating in her scenic tours. A level 1 challenge is Fundy water up to the ankles; level 2 is up to the knees; level 3 is, well, not usually recommended for visitors without paramedics on hand!! Kathleen issues an "I survived the Fundy Challenge" certificate to all who get up the nerve to take the Level 1 & 2 challenge like the brave U.K. visitor in this photo. Fun!


Anonymous said...

2 years ago, I was near the Red Rocks on Advocate Beach, almost up to my knees in the Bay of Fundy, I was only in for 2-3 minutes, when I got out, my legs hurt so badly! They were so cold, but it felt like a burning sensation! It took a good 10 minutes or more to get normal feelings back in my legs!
I'd do it again though!!

Poison said...

Hi- I visited the bay of fundy during summer with my family. we are from Iran and we had never ever seen anything like this before. My daughter was scared at the sight of those waves coming dramatucally nearer at every splash. She started crying and was begging for us to get out of there. But my husband swam, and had his belly scratched by sharp rocks...How do the native fundians cope with the rocks???

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Terri said...

that's a good question about the rocks. most ppl I know swim wearing some type of beach shoe or sandal. Also it is customary to swim lengthwise along a beach (parellel to the tide line, not perpendicular). There are quite a few places where the tides cause an undertow (waves below the surface) so generally it's best to check with a local about good places to swim. Many folks who grew up around Fundy actually don't know how to swim -including me!

Unknown said...

Hi Terri,
I live on Passamaquoddybay (St.Andrwes).
When ever I have a wound on my legs,and it starts to be infected,I walk till my knees in the water(like yesterday)!Saltwater helps a lot!!!Ok,it was realy cold (8/9 degrees C)But now everthing is ok!!!
all the best to you