Thursday, May 27, 2010

Odysseus & the Bay of Fundy connection?

As you can tell from the "art" tab here on my blog, the Bay of Fundy inspires a great deal of creativity. However, even I was surprised to learn recently that there has been a relatively credible connection made between the Bay and the writings of Homer....

George Fowler (retired Engineer with the Bedford Institute of Oceanography and classics buff) speculates that the seafaring Odysseus, hero of Homer's Odyssey, included the Bay of Fundy in his epic journey!

It's an interesting theory which Fowler describes using Fundy's tides and currents, as well as star patterns at the time. Odysseus (Ulysses in Latin) was sailing around modern Greece from the Aegean Sea to the Ionian Sea and got blown off course. Some think there was a chance that he was swept south to the Caribbean then up the Gulf stream to the Bay of Fundy on the Atlantic coast.

Read more in this feature article in the Toronto Star.

Friday, May 21, 2010


When we 'talk tides' here on the world's biggest tide bay that conversation can veer in several directions. Depending on where you live in the Bay of Fundy the tides reveal their effects in different ways: whirlpools, sideways currents, bores, tidal rapids, vast expanses of exposed beach, etc.

One of my all time favourite tidal effects is the drained-looks-like-the-plug-has-been-pulled-from-the-sink effect evident in several communities around the Bay in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

This particular photo is of the Parrsboro, NS, harbour about 2 hrs after high tide. At this point in the tide cycle the tide is already over 1 mile from the downtown and has just dropped away from the wharf. By the time it gets to low tide in 4 more hours, it will end up another mile or so behind that lighthouse. And to think, this happens 2x day, every day of the year!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Beluga whale "guest" spotted again in Bay of Fundy

It seems that the beluga whale that found its way mysteriously into the Bay of Fundy two years ago is still hanging around.

Regular readers of my blog in 2008 may remember my post about "Q", a juvenile beluga who was 'in love' with a bell buoy and living off the coast of Cape Chignecto on the Nova Scotia side of the bay.

Although about 15 species of whales live in the Bay of Fundy from April through November, this sighting was unusual because: a) it was in the upper bay (our whales all live at the mouth of the bay), b) it was a beluga - a whale that normally lives in the Gulf of St Lawrence, several hundred miles from Fundy, c) it was traveling solo (without its normal pod).

It appears that "Q" has re-surfaced off the coast of St Martins, New Brunswick, about 30 km across the from its 2008 location at Cape Chignecto. Don't get too excited about thoughts of going whale watching though: it's well out into the bay and won't be able to be seen from shore. Besides, this whale is more likely to return to its original habitat the less it has contact with people.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Virtual whale watching

The whale watching season in Bay of Fundy will soon begin and continues through October.

While visiting the Saltscapes Expo this weekend visitors to the Nova Scotia exhibit got a preview of the season to come. I got really lucky and picked this one up by its tail!

P.S. no whales were harmed during the making of this blog post....

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Zip-lining in Moncton?

Alright it may be a bit early to go zip-lining here in the Bay of Fundy but I got a kick out of trying a demo-line at the annual Saltscapes Expo this weekend in Halifax. Tourism New Brunswick partnered with the folks at TreeGo in Moncton to create a bit of fun for this event.

Here i am enjoying a taste of what's to come this summer. Check out videos of all TreeGo adventures on their website.