"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

September 7, 2019

St. Martins Sea Caves & the Bay of Fundy

“I believe in the ocean...curing all bad moods. I believe in the waves...wiping away worries. I believe in the seashells...bringing good luck. I believe in toes in the sand...grounding my soul.” —Unknown

Our Nova Scotia adventure has turned into a New Brunswick adventure. Hurricane Dorian has Halifax in her sights...high winds and rain are predicted for this weekend, so we're going up the Acadian Coastal. This path will take us inland and up towards the Gulf of St. Lawerence. It's a road trip and we have no set plans, so anywhere new is exciting to us.

One of the places we explored yesterday was the St. Martins Sea Caves. They're natural caves carved into 250 million year old rocks by the powerful Fundy tide. The sea caves can be accessed for eight hours each day, two hours before and two hours after each low tide. We spent the morning wandering along the cliffs and walking on the ocean floor that is under 35+ feet of water at high tide.

Bay of Fundy Info: Between the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia lie the highest tides on earth. The area is known as the Bay of Fundy and it's one of the 7 wonders of North America. The other natural wonders include the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Niagara Falls, Yosemite National Park, The Everglades and Mount McKinley. Each day there are 2 extraordinary high and 2 low tides, with each daily tide cycle, 175 billion tons of seawater flow in and out of the Bay of Fundy, more than the combined flow of all the world’s freshwater rivers. Fundy’s astonishing 50-foot tidal range is five times higher than typical tides on the Atlantic coast. 

The most notable factors that affect the tide heights in the Bay of Fundy are the length and shape of the bay and the natural rocking motion or resonance of the water known as the seiche effect. The bay is funnel-shaped, being wide and deep at the mouth, narrow and shallow at the upper reaches, so as the tide moves up along the narrowing bay, the water simply has nowhere else to go but up. But the most significant effect is the timing (the seiche effect), the receding high tide reaches the mouth of the bay at the same time as the next high water is arriving from the Atlantic, the water level is accentuated and pushed up the bay, rising higher as the bay gets shallower and narrower.

Low tide in St. Martins provides a whole new beach to explore. The tides are amazing to witness here.
Looking out to the beach from one of the caves.
Stan is standing in front of a rock formation that is completely under water at high tide.
Looking back at the beach, restaurants and parking lot from the last cliff.
 
We walked around the further point of land and found this beach and cave.
Looking at the caves as the tide came in. This is where we were walking in the morning.

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