Sunday, August 8, 2010

 

DUDE! YOU CAN'T "HANG TEN" ON THE TIDAL BORE

As a university student in the mid-sixties, I worked several summers at the New Brunswick Tourist Information kiosk on the Trans-Canada Highway near Edmundston: Gateway to our fabled Maritime Provinces.

Jeepers! I just realized most among you weren't then born. I am old and given to digressions - Picture this: It was as America's west coast surfing craze was launching riding on a wave of Orange County, California music from the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean and The Surfaris.

I did not experience the event; but even in the absence of today's instant social media; a prominent story making the round of tourist counsellors was of the tourist(s) arriving toting surf-boards ready to ride the Peticodiac River's 'Tidal Bore.' A tidal bore, essentially a curly wave flowing against the river's current, forms on the Peticodiac as it is forced each day to reverse flow by the massive tides of the Bay of Fundy which can top 15 meters. (50 feet) - Human progress in the form of the building of a causeway in 1968 across the river reduced the "Bore" to a pitiful trickle. Lest I digress once more: My fellow Maritimers will know that four months ago the causeway's gates were re-opened for the first time in 42 years and that the Tidal Bore is making a remarkable come back. Last month's peak Fundy tide on July 15th brought-out a record crowd of camera buffs to watch it roll-in. (Still no word on surfers though!)

Every day, the equivalent of the outflow of every river on the planet passes in and out of the Bay of Fundy. The Tidal Bore is just one of the recurring phenomenon of the Bay's high tidal range...In the quest for world tidal dominance; they are the strongest and the highest, period!





Fundy's extreme tidal range, in addition to the Tidal Bore, cause the St. John River to reverse flow through a series of rapids, the famous Reversing Falls, through a gorge in the middle of the City of Saint John. And, eroded rock formations at Hopewell Cape allow stunned visitors to walk on the bottom of the ocean at low tide.

The Bay of Fundy and its ecological wonders have been designated finalists in a current world-wide search for "The New 7 Wonders of Nature." - The Seven Wonders Foundation, based in Switzerland, started with 440 sites in a competition launched now a few years back. The initial list has whittled-down to just 28 finalists. The Bay of Fundy is the only Canadian of two North American competitors to make the finals. The other finalist from the continent is The Grand Canyon. And, Fundy and the U.S. Canyon are amongst a group of impressive, worthy competitors: The Amazon Rain Forest; Ayers Rock (Australia) and Mount Vesuvius just to name-drop a few.

In a rare show of national unity last week at the annual conference of Canadian Premiers, the Premiers of New Brunswick, Shawn Graham, and Nova Scotia, Darrell Dexter, received even rarer unanimous and uncontentious support for our natural wonder..."today we're calling upon Canadians from coast to coast to vote for the Bay of Fundy in this international competition as one of the natural seven wonders of the world." - Reads the unanimous motion. The heads of the provincial and territorial governments have also agreed to post a video on-line; make statements in their Legislative Assemblies and encourage residents to take part in the voting.

The choice of the "New Seven Wonders" will be finalized and announced on November 11, 2011 (11/11/11)! Fundy's got my vote.

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