Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shubie Canal celebrates 150 yrs!

Even my generation of Fundy folk are well aware that, historically, travel in our region was more likely to occur via waterway than land. Many of us will also recall the importance of the Shubenacadie Canal.

Today is the 150th anniversary of the first complete commercial voyage on the completed canal. To celebrate, two local fellows paddled their canoe over the past couple of days through the original 100 km from the Customs Wharf in Halifax to the wharf in Maitland on the Bay of Fundy. Although the first full large boat trip on the canal was by the 60-foot long barge, the MV Avery these two paddlers chose to make this celebratory trip by canoe in honour of the Mi'kmaq who originally traveled this waterway by canoe.

Canals were common transportation routes in North America in the 1800s but this was the only canal ever developed in Atlantic Canada. Although used by First Nations for thousands of years prior, it developed and connected as a commercial shipping route by Sir John Wentworth. It was completed in 1856 but its effectiveness in bringing all manner of industrial goods into Halifax ultimately contributed to its demise as a commercial route. One of the biggest sources of revenue for the canal was the transport of iron for the new Nova Scotia railway. Only 14 years after the canal opened the railway replaced the canal's draw bridges with solid bridges that prevented commercial boats from passing beneath.

The Shubenacadie Canal, although long since lost to commercial transport, is still an extraordinary network of rivers and lakes that are greatly enjoyed by recreational canoeists and kayakers.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wazzup with the glowing blueberry fields?

Late autumn winds may have sent our bright fall leaves aloft then crunching underfoot but there are still two lingering blasts of colour to enjoy here around Bay of Fundy: blueberry fields and Tamarack trees!

I've been out 'in the field' this week with my attention grabbed by these bright red fields and glowing trees.

I'll try to get a photo of the golden Tamaracks to post too but, in the meantime, check out these glow-in-the-dark-days-of-November blueberry fields. No photoshopping, no special lens, no nothing: just plain old extraordinary nature here on the big-tide bay!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rare caviar turns up in Bay of Fundy?

Even if you're not inclined to eat some of the weird culinary offerings from our bay, you've got to admit, if you're a caviar eater, you'd be tempted by this: Breviro Caviar. It's one of the world's rarest caviars, recently revived and sustainably crafted here in the Bay of Fundy. My mouth waters at this description from their website...

Caviar from Acipenser Brevirostrum, one of the rarest of the 26 species of sturgeon left worldwide, isn’t available anywhere else. At last, through smart, sustainable methods and a patient, artisanal approach, our company has developed this delectably unique caviar with its distinctive explosion of flavour.

Our hand-reared, mature sturgeon produce a rich, golden brown roe, which we harvest at the peak of perfection. Preparation involves fresh, icy Canadian water and a hint of natural sea salt from the world famous Bay of Fundy: that’s all. We personally inspect the eggs, and apply stringent standards to grade our caviar on an absolute scale, so only the very finest caviar receives our highest grades.
Our hand-rearing, exclusive stock and attention to detail make the availability of Breviro caviar extremely limited. The natural, rich intensity of our caviar will be unlike anything you have ever tasted.

Friday, November 11, 2011

What a tidal wave we made!

Special message for Bay of Fundy fans:

Four years ago, we began a exciting journey together – a campaign to make the Bay of Fundy one of the New7Wonders of Nature. It has been an amazing adventure competing with some of the world’s most prestigious destinations on the international stage. 

Now that the votes have been counted, we know that the Bay of Fundy has not been selected as one of the official top seven. But our journey is not over. If anything, it is just beginning. By coming together to express our love for this  unique and beautiful place, we have created unprecedented global interest in the Bay of Fundy as a world-class destination.

Frommer’s Travel Guides recently selected the Bay of Fundy as one of the top 10 places in the world to visit for 2012 as a direct result of our campaign. In all, we have generated more than $8 million in media exposure for our region, and we know that the name recognition and awareness that the Bay of Fundy has received from this campaign will bring an increase of visitors to the region. These are significant achievements that we can build on. 

As we begin the next steps on our journey, we’d like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank those who have helped us along the way. We have received tremendous support from people throughout New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and the Atlantic region. By voting, and inventing creative ways to promote the vote, you have energized and inspired us with your boundless enthusiasm. We want to thank all Canadians for embracing the Bay of Fundy and helping us let the world know that it is a true Canadian icon.

A major effort such as this requires government support and we were fortunate to have strong federal and provincial partnerships. We thank New Brunswick Tourism & Parks; Nova Scotia Economic and Rural Development and Tourism; the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency; and the Canadian Tourism Commission. Your guidance and passion helped maximize the scope and impact of our campaign to seize the benefits of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

Now, as we look to the future, let us continue to be champions for the Bay of Fundy. Let us welcome every visitor eager to explore this incredible region as we would a new friend. We have one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders right here in our own backyard. Let us continue to cherish it, and show people around the globe why our beautiful Bay means the world to us.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Final voting boost!

A few photos from our wild voting spree in Saint John on the final day of the campaign. Go Fundy!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Whale of a time in the Fundy city!

We're making an exciting dash to the finish line in the global New7Wonders of Nature campaign that concludes this Friday. Folks in the Fundy city, Saint John, New Brunswick, celebrated the Bay's participation in the campaign by hosting a city-wide voting day today. Several hundred folks dropped by the Marco Polo Cruise terminal on the waterfront to Vote Fundy. 

And we welcomed one special guest: this fabulous North Atlantic Right whale. It's an exact size replica of a baby Right whale...such a cutie! On loan from Irving, who has been instrumental in the re-routing of shipping lanes to protect Right whales in our Bay.

Whales are among my favourite Fundy critters. The members of our Bay of Fundy facebook fan page are having fun adding a caption for this photo...add yours!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Dare to be deep?

Speaking of 7s...as we lead into the final 7 days of the New7Wonders campaign, seven years ago the federal government made a commitment to establish a network of marine protected areas across our country by 2012. Why? Because Canada boasts one of the world's largest ocean territories but only 1% of it is protected through long-term conservation. Yikes!

While there might not be enough time to get a full network of MPAs in place before next year there is a groundswell of support surging across the country. CPAWS (Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society) is engaging Canadians from coast to coast in its Dare to be Deep initiative. Its quest involves getting 12,000 Canadians to endorse a message to the federal government requesting 12 marine protected areas by the end of 2012.

Our Bay of Fundy, due to its 'wonderful' ecological significance, is one of the areas under consideration so I'm pledging, are you?