The Fundy Coast — My Town Mondays*


The singles’ bar is crowded, the males on the prowl.

Amid a romantic mist and saltwater perfume, tails are thrashing and torsos spinning. All the frothing water and raging hormones can only mean one thing: The northern Atlantic right whales will soon mate. Their dance of life continues.

This is the Bay of Fundy at its best, a place where most adjectives seem pale and weak. Shared by New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the bay is a crucible for humility and awe.

People will talk about the tides, the world’s highest. When moon and sun exert their most profound influence, 14 metres mark the difference between ebb and apogee. Fishing boats tied to a four-storey wharf will be resting on the sea bottom mere hours later. At Hopewell Rocks, people can walk among towering sandstone sculptures carved by rushing waters. At high tide, only coniferous tonsures remain.

Yes, incredible tides color life here, but so does the natural splendor. People living along the Fundy coast welcome tourists in hushed tones. In the charming village of St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, more than one local admonished me to preserve their little secret, so dramatic and unspoiled.

But how could I? How could anyone? Visitors kayaking along coastal nooks and crannies feel lost for words. Backpackers hike New Brunswick’s contribution to the Trans-Canada Trail, discovering that every dip and turn begs for a photograph. Contemplative tourists ride horses along the Shepody Marshlands with religious solemnity.

Most leave as Fundy coast evangelists.

“It is beautiful,” says whale watcher David Welch, co-owner of St. Andrews’ Fundy Tide Runners. “Even if I tried, I couldn’t take the bay for granted.”

Welch knows the tides and the gorgeous coastline intimately. But he also knows that the Bay of Fundy is magical because it is teeming. Because it lives and breathes. Lazy seals catch a few rays on rocky islands. Dolphins play and frolic like rambunctious schoolkids. Bald eagles soar in graceful arcs that delight the eye and feed the soul.

And whales. When whales breech the bay’s surface, the spectacle is as profound and as spiritual as any on Earth.


* Writer Travis Erwin started My Town Mondays some time ago to give writers a chance to tell others about places in our lives that matter. This is my first submission.

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8 Responses to The Fundy Coast — My Town Mondays*

  1. Colleen says:

    This is so beautiful, Richard. Just lovely. Thank you.

  2. Lyn says:

    Your town must be breathtaking, and I would love to see it. Thank you for giving us this peek. Love your voice.

  3. Travis Erwin says:

    Welcome aboard Richard. Great post. Hope you find the time and inspiration to join us every now again as I’d love to learn more about your slice of the globe.

  4. Richard says:

    Travis and Lyn… Welcome, and thanks for the kind words!

    I’m sure I have a few more in me, as long as writing about the surrounding area is cool, and not just the city of my birth.


  5. Excellent post on Atlantic Canada, Richard; and a first for me about the Right Whale, as I had never heard of them. I suspect I would have learned about them eventually as I am interested in endangered and threatened species in Canada.

    It looks like I will have to return to My Town Monday and continue my history posts on western Canada.

    Please do post more about your neck of the woods, Richard. Your writing is divine to read.

  6. a wonderful post, Richard … I’m mesmerized and would love to live on Bay of Fundy…er wait, I already do! haha

  7. Barrie Summy says:

    Richard, this is a terrific post! I’ve always wanted to visit the Bay of Fundy. Thank you so much for joining in My Town Monday. And, yes, writing about the surround area is very definitely fine.

  8. Richard says:

    And thank you for visiting, Barrie, and for the kind words! We have many blogging friends in common, and I’m only now starting to visit them.

    Terri: Thank you. I thought you might like it. :-)

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