We planned our trip to the famous Bay of Fundy’s Hopewell Rocks with one specific goal in mind – to walk on the ocean floor during low tide and a few hours later at high tide to kayak around the same area. However, Mother Nature had different plans for us.
The map below shows the Bay of Fundy in Canada’s Maritimes between Nova Scotia to the south and New Brunswick to the north. Hopewell Rocks is situated toward Fundy’s most eastern point.
Let’s take a look at Hopewell Rocks to appreciate why it draws upwards of 250,000 visitors annually. The tidal range – the vertical difference between low tide and high tide – is the largest in the Bay of Fundy compared to anywhere else in the world. Twice each day 160 tonnes of Atlantic Ocean seawater flow in and out of the Bay, sometimes raising the ocean’s elevation as high as 16 meters (50 feet).
As the tidal waters filter through cracks in the cliffs above the water, most of the cliff wall eventually erodes and crumbles, while other parts of the wall are left standing but separated from the main cliff wall, forming unusually-shaped tall rocks. Advancing and retreating tides have eroded the base of the rocks at a faster rate than the tops, resulting in their top-heavy flowerpot shapes. In one of the images notice the sea salt on the ocean floor that remained after the tide receded.
Dear Mother Nature referred to earlier brought us heavy cloud, high winds, and a thunderstorm prediction as the day wore on. We were sad to forego our kayaking adventure.