NEW BRUNSWICK'S GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE SHORE

330 miles (530 km) solo by sea-canoe

August 2001

By Reinhard Zollitsch

On Diurnal and semi-diurnal tides

New Brunswick, one of Canada’s maritime provinces to the northeast of Maine, has two distinctly different coastlines with equally different tidal patterns. There is the steep, jagged rocky shoreline from Quoddy Head, ME down Fundy Bay into Cumberland Bay to the Tantramar River near Sackville, New Brunswick, stretching for about 190 miles.

And then there is the much gentler, mostly sandy shoreline along the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 330 miles from Dalhousie at the mouth of the Restigouche River and the border with Quebec, to Port Elgin at the border with Nova Scotia. While the tide gushes into Fundy Bay at a speed of up to 5 knots, creating the biggest tides in the world of up to 55 feet, the tides on the Gulf of St. Lawrence coastline rise and fall not more than 8 feet (often only 4-5 feet along this New Brunswick shore). But the most stunning difference is the tidal pattern itself.

Being a Mainer, I am used to the tide flooding and then ebbing for about 6 hours each, i.e. I count on two high and two low tides during each 24-hour cycle. Technically this is called a semi-diurnal pattern. And it worked fine for me all my life and also last year when I ventured into Fundy Bay to St. John (See MAIB, April 1, 15, May 1, 2001). But the tides in the Gulf of St. Lawrence left me truly baffled and were “totally unpredictable and weird”, like nothing I had ever experienced along our Atlantic Coast or even in European waters.

I found the answer in G. Dohler’s charts “Tides in Canadian Waters” in the Sailing Directions, Nova Scotia (Atlantic Coast) and Bay of Fundy. Almost the entire New Brunswick Gulf coast has a diurnal or mainly diurnal tidal pattern, that means, there is only one high and one low tide per day, a rare phenomenon. As a matter of fact, there are only two relatively small areas in all of Canada that have such a pattern: the waters between Prince Edward Island and NB, and around the Magdaleine Islands to the northeast of PEI (see Dohler’s chart).

How does it affect your trip? Not much really, if you are a prudent chart reader and plan your take-outs carefully so you will not be stranded a mile or more from the water when you want to leave the next morning. Till you figure out this strange tidal pattern (and you might not!), only pull out where the deep water comes relatively close to shore, within portage distance.

Dalhousie to Port Elgin

But enough of abstract discussion. I’ll fill you in more on my way down the coast from Dalhousie to Port Elgin.

The reason for starting at the mouth of the Restigouche was simple: that’s where my 1999 trip around the Gaspé from Lake Champlain, VT/NY ended. I was again paddling my 17’ Verlen Kruger sea canoe, which really looks like a sea kayak with rudder and spray skirt; the only visible difference is that I use an 11-ounce carbon fiber bent-shaft Zaveral canoe paddle. As usual, I am fully self-contained and can avoid harbors, campgrounds and people in general to make it a truly unassisted solo trip. All I had to do again was top off my two 3 gallon water tanks.   

Morning
Start of a new day and another trip
         
After nothing but steep cliffs along the Gaspé shore, it was quite a surprise to find long swooping sandy shores and sand spit barrier islands almost all the way to the PEI bridge and Port Elgin. It’s a veritable family vacation paradise: over 300 miles of beaches, dunes, sand and shoaling water. Only very few bigger towns and harbors stand out: Bathurst, Shippagan, Miramichi and Shediac.

But I was absolutely fascinated with the place names of the smaller towns like Caraquet, Pokemouche, Tracadie, Tabusintac, Kouchibouguac, Kouchibouguacis, Richibucto, Bouctouche, Aboujagane, Shemogue and Shebogue, just to name a few.

On my Gaspé trip, I had averaged 27 statute miles (25 nautical miles) per day, but on this trip I wanted to take it a bit easier and opted for 25 statute miles (22.5 nautical miles) instead and I stayed right on target for the entire trip.
Put-in was at the Dalhousie lighthouse which had a convenient ramp near by. And thank you Nancy for dropping me off here and driving home alone, a long 9-hour trek.

It always takes some time to get into the swing of things and feel the trip has started. First four overnight stops were at the mouth of the Jacquet River; outside of Bathurst; Grande-Anse; and Goulet Harbor near Shippagan.

Windy afternoon in Goulet Harbor/Shippagan
Windy afternoon in Goulet Harbor/Shippagan

The big surprise there was that the flood tide streamed out (SE) into the Gulf at a considerable clip between the narrow breakwaters. There is no way of reversing direction for a man-powered boat. If you aim out, you go out, and there may be considerable standing waves waiting for you where the water releases its energy, like big haystacks in whitewater after a restriction in the water’s flow. (The Sailing Directions speak of 5 knots, with only a 10-minute slack period.)

The stretch to Tracadie Sheila is a string of thin barrier islands, low dunes with beach grass and an occasional tree. I was very cautious crossing the three gullies and gulches, as they are called around here, through which big tidal estuaries and bays empty into the Gulf, at ebb tide with considerable force. Watch out! I could barely make it into Tracadie Sheila through the breakwaters, but when I read the scary warning sign about the violent tides at this opening, I opted to get out again while I could and pitched my little Timberline tent on the beach just outside of the breakwater.

Next day was more of the same: seemingly endless sand spit islands (18 miles of them to be exact) with a few breaks which wake you up and keep you on your tippy toes. At the Old Tabusintac Gully I heard and then saw my first herd of about 65 gray seals, those big husky fellows weighing up to 700 pounds, singing their gurgly, throaty, coyote-like, howling song, while hauled out on a low ledge off the mouth of that tidal outlet where the fishing must be good. Then on to the last thin sand spit island, around its utterly shallow one mile sand, mud and rock outcroppings, across the wide Neguac Bay towards the church steeple of Neguac and on to a small crescent beach near Burnt Church.

It was time to call home, and since I noticed that more and more public phones are taken down because people have gotten so attached to their cell phones, I finally gave in to modern convenience and got a phone that would work even on “the other side of the mountain”, a satellite phone, and it worked fine, after I learned to tighten the bayonet fitting for the antenna.

Miramichi Bay

For a small boater, Miramichi Bay is big, real big, like Penobscot Bay in Maine. On the chart it looks awfully tempting in both cases to island-hop across its mouth, here from Neguac to Escuminac Point via Portage and Fox Islands, 16 miles, but paddling alone I opted for the more prudent route around this huge bay. I finally crossed over at Sheldrake Island, but it still took me two full days from Burnt Church to Herring Cove near Escuminac Point. But going around I enjoyed a delightful and very protected overnight with great swimming at the very mouth of the Black River.

And it was here that I became aware of the “crazy” tides. It was ebbing at 7:15 AM when I left Burnt Church, and it was still ebbing at suppertime at 5:15 PM, 10 hours so far. Then the tide would barrel in in a mere 6 hours, crest around midnight and run out ever so slowly - it seemed for 18 hours. But since I am always on the move, I would not stake my house on the exact figures, but it came close.

Next morning the water started shallow and got shallower with each hour. Gardiner Spit almost touched Vin Island, leaving only a narrow channel with a 4.5 knot tidal flow. In this sheltered area I noticed some aquaculture and lobstering going on, the first area so far on this trip, but nothing like in the Passamaquoddy Bay area just northeast of Maine. Sainte-Anne Bay was large but extremely shallow. Fox Island seemed almost attached to the mainland. I had to get out of this bay through Huckleberry Gully, but grounded out twice, mistaking a string of silently fishing herons for channel markers. I had to laugh about that, before hustling back into deeper water.

I finally got to a real harbor, Escuminac, which was bustling with activity. I topped off my water containers for the first time, phoned home, the cheap way, from a fixed phone, and wondered whether I should call it quits for the day. A fisherman even offered me his boat to sleep on, when we got talking about fishing, tides and the weather, but I wanted to continue my solo unassisted experience and pushed off again to find a spot somewhere on the beach before the formidable Escuminac Point, like in Herring Cove, which I eventually did.       
     
The south shore of Miramichi Bay often consists of a 5-10 foot high peat moss shore, sculpted by the waves and the wind. It provided great shelter for my tent. It reminded me of the red sandstone shores and flowerpots along the PEI coast, only geologically much younger.

Escuminac Point to Kouchibouguac and Richibucto

Next day was to be a significant paddle, rounding Escuminac Point in the early, hopefully calmer, weather, then around the extensive Kouchibouguac National Park area. I was aware that most of the long dune islands (North Kouchibouguac , South Kouchibouguac, North Richibucto and especially South Richibucto Beach), a total of 18 miles, were off limits for camping. I vividly remember being literally thrown out of the National Park at Forillon on the Gaspé, because I could not possibly get to my assigned camping spot without a car, and I was unmistakably forbidden to camp on a small piece of grass near the water. So I decided to go on and had a real hard time rounding Gaspé Point so late in the day.

This was a windy day also. I made it fine around Escuminac Point with its prominent lighthouse, but did my first wave dance around the breakwater of Pointe Sapin Harbor, where a strong tidal flow had whipped up a mess of cross- waves. I appreciated a fishing boat not darting in front of me into the harbor but giving me ample room to get through this confused stretch of water. I must have looked very small and vulnerable out there all by myself because I felt that all afternoon, fishing boats were watching me, even coming over asking whether I was OK. I am quite sure they had put out the word about this lone paddler along their shore, all in French of course.

I got slapped in the face many times by waves breaking in the shoaling waters off the barrier islands. It sometimes seemed to me as if a new barrier island was forming about half a mile to a mile outside of the regular beach. The question was, do you go outside of everything, or do you stay between outer and shore break.  Any way you do it, it was a wet slugfest to the mouth of the Kouchibouguac River and 5 miles later into the Goulet de Saint-Louis, the mouth of the Kouchibouguacis River.

The Kouchibouguac got my fullest attention; it was ebbing hard into the SE while an ESE 20+ wind was running against it. A big train of energy waves had to be crossed, and I was working hard and aggressively. Then one mile later, off the only really populated beach, I saw a young couple in an all-open canoe with two little kids sitting side by side in the middle, bounding in the waves towards the inlet. I tried to make them aware of what was ahead, but they shrugged it off or did not understand and went on. I sincerely hope they made it in or onto the beach.

It was quite a trick to get across the bar into the Goulet de Saint-Louis, but I landed fine on the first little island inside. I had not had a chance to stop for water, a granola bar or even lunch for that matter. I was in need of feed, and turned my back to the KEEP OFF signs higher up on the dunes. But a flock of terns made it perfectly clear to me that I was trespassing on their turf. So I wolfed down my PB&J sandwich, gnawed down my carrot like a giant rabbit and inhaled my dish of applesauce, then washed it all down with lots of water, and got back in my boat, only to be escorted out of there by a screaming, dive-bombing flock of terns.

I had initially thought of camping on that island, but that option was definitely gone. So, since I hate to backtrack, I went forward, straight into the wind again, now blowing about 30 knots. The surface of the water looked black, sprinkled with whitecaps. I was not going outside in that, I decided, but slowly and steadily hauled my way towards the northwest tip of North Richibucto Dune. I had noticed two small powerboats there, with their bows pulled out on the beach. That looked promising - even deep water right up to the beach.

It was perfect: smooth white sand behind a tall dune which would break the wind, a real deep water channel right up to the island, and no signs. I hoped it was the public access place around here. So I pitched my tent, had my usual afternoon coffee, wrote in my trip log, did some reading, and went swimming, when a lobster boat with about 12 guests on board beached its bow close to my place for a shore picnic. But they turned out to be a nice quiet group of people, going swimming, exploring the island, stopping by my tent, curious what I was up to.

At suppertime, one of them came over to my tent with a plate full of perfectly cooked mackerel, which they had caught earlier. A bit later, the skipper himself came by with a beer, yellow plums for dessert and a bag of potato chips for the trip tomorrow. I really appreciated their kindness and quiet way of going about things. A perfect sunset over the dunes capped a great, though challenging day. Tide observations for the day were as follows: it was high at 1:30 AM and low 6 hours later at 7:30 AM. Then it seemed to stay low till 7:30 PM and rushed in in the next 6 hours for a new high at around 2:00 AM.

It was a windy night, and the fine sand of the dunes was everywhere. Images of Lawrence of Arabia went through my mind as I tried to take down my tent. But it wasn’t all that bad on the water, at least no stinging sand. The stretch along South Richibucto Beach, around Cap Luminiere and Gros Cap, past Chockpish Harbor and Saint-Edouard-de-Kent Harbor and the 7-mile long Bouctouche Dune seemed endless. Most everybody, at least in Maine, has seen the New Brunswick TV ad, which shows this mile-long winding boardwalk through the dunes right along the water’s edge - a very unique and at the same time environmentally friendly structure.

Camp
Typical set-up for the night: boat, tent and gear

Every so often there were steps down to the beach, or pagodas with bathrooms and change-up rooms for swimmers. But I was glad to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the dune that is. I was getting tired, and had to make an extra huge detour around the shoaling tip. Then it began to rain, and I knew the harbor across the bay, Saint-Thomas-de-Kent, was it for the day.

I had just enough energy to lug my gear up the ramp and pitch my tent right there on a tiny spot of grass, and start my cook-stove in my tent for coffee and later real food. My food rotation, by the way, went like this: beef, beans, chicken, chili, spag (canned beef stew, baked beans, chicken stew, chili with beans, canned spaghetti with meatballs, always topped off with a delicious canned fruit dessert - no complaints here, and oh so easy and fast to whip up when you are tired).

Shediac to Murray Beach and the PEI Bridge

This overnight was serviceable at best, easy out and easy in on the ramp. Next day turned out to be an even longer day on the water, in an almost straight line to the southeast with a strong SW wind, which made crossing Cocagne Harbor and getting into Shediac hard work. I had decided to follow that needle-sharp Grande-Dique Point and go to the west of Shediac Island because of the extensive shallows on the other side. It was rough and often wet going. But once in Shediac Harbor, topping off my water containers, phoning home and stretching my legs for a bit, I was eager to put a few more miles under my keel so that I could make Murray Beach the next day.

Cap Bimet sounded good, but it was all built up, and the dock belonged to a big factory. So I went on, finding myself further and further off shore because of the shoaling water. The SW wind took the water even further out, and I swear I was much farther out than the chart suggested. At Robichaud, I was a good mile off shore, but found a tiny deeper stream leading up to a man-made harbor, which looked like a huge wooden box out of water, surrounded by extensive deep oozing mud.

I distinctly disliked this scene and decided to follow the stick markers further up the little Aboujagane River. I madly paddled, poled and slithered against the strong ebbing current towards the first bridge, when suddenly on my right a beautiful white duny sand spit invited me to stay. Deep water and a steep bank to a level spot on the beach - perfect, I’ll take it. 8:15 hours for 28 miles, plus 45 minutes for lunch and my service stop in Shediac - a very long day, in very shallow windy conditions.

The next day was going to be better, shorter and easier, I promised myself, and it was: only 22 miles to Murray Beach in an easy 5.5 hours, without major stress or excitement, just hopping across Shemogue and Shebogue Harbor to the western end of Murray Beach State Park. This is a very familiar place for me, since my family has stopped here many times on our way to Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, mostly in the old ferry days, pre-bridge that is. It was just far enough to drive in one day from Orono, Maine and a perfect spot to get mentally ready for the island experience. Now it is a great spot from which to view the new (1997) 9-mile-long bridge.

PEI Bridge
PEI Bridge

Life was easy that afternoon, and I was already planning going under the bridge, around the last point (Cape Tormentine) and into Baie Verte, “Green Bay”, towards Port Elgin. Swimming was great before the tide went out, which left plenty of time for rinsing the salt out of my paddle pants and shirt, and reading Chris Duff’s “On Celtic Tides”, describing his solo circumnavigation of Ireland in 1996.
Surf greeted me the next morning with the incoming tide - what a surprise.

Every day so far it had been ebbing from morning to suppertime, but now it was coming in, slowly over the last sand bank towards my shore. It made it somewhat easier for me, but I still had to punch my way through the surf, or better find a hole in the surf and speed out before the next wave train would break there. A north wind was sweeping lots of breaking waves across Northumberland Strait towards me, while the tide was running basically east to west. So occasionally the waves created by one force would jump on the back of the waves created by the other force, creating a wave of almost double the dimension, i.e. it would certainly break with a mighty rush or roar under your stern. You want to keep a close eye on the waves at all times and outsprint the breaking part so you do not get slapped or whomped in the chest - not a pretty picture.

But a rising tide made it easier for me to negotiate the major flats all the way to Jourimain Island and the bridge and even beyond it. I had to try to get some pictures of the bridge while bounding off Gunning Point, but with paddle in hand, ready for a quick brace. I was amazed again about this tremendous feat of engineering, so simple and graceful in design, very pleasing to the eye.

The old ferry dock on Cape Tormentine, where many happy family memories started, was a sad juxtaposition to the strong proud new bridge. The dock looked abandoned, totally dismantled; only the breakwaters were reminders of its former glory days when the mighty Abegweit, Holiday Island or Vacationland ferries docked or left every hour.

Bay Verte – Green Bay

Cape Tormentine was also a turning point on my trip. I would be going in a westerly, not easterly direction, for 20 miles to be exact. Upper Cape happened to be 25 miles away from Murray Beach, and Ephraim Island at its tip was just the ticket for me. The wild and woolly crescent causeway to the island offered just enough space for my little tent, so I accepted its hospitality, despite the extensive mudflats all around. With the incoming tide, like this morning, leaving tomorrow should not be a problem, right? Just to be sure, I checked the tides: it was finally coming in at 8:00 PM. Would that be high at 2:00 AM and ebbing already for 5 hours at 7:00 AM, my departure time? I hoped not, but since this was going to be my last day to Port Elgin, and I did not have any other options, I did not really worry much. It’s only 10 miles - I could portage that (like fun).

My fears were unfortunately confirmed. When I first stuck my head out of my tent around 6:00 AM, the tide was already too far out for me to float or even drag the boat to open water. I was stuck on shore for an entire tide cycle, which meant I would not be able to get off from here till afternoon or later. Well, since that could not be changed, I enjoyed my leisurely breakfast of granola mix and powdered milk and did some pre-packing, when suddenly at 8:30 AM, at its half point, the tide turned and came in again, as if it did that just to pick me up. I am not hallucinating, this was no miracle, no incantation on my part, but just a fact of the truly “weird” diurnal tide pattern in these waters.

On second thought, however, the tide in Green Bay must have changed back to a mainly semi-diurnal pattern. It had ebbed for six hours, from 2:00 AM to about 8:30 AM, but only to its half point, and was now coming in again. “Weirdorama”, my kids would say, but whatever the tide was doing, it was time to pack up as fast as possible, in case this tide changed its mind again.

I jumped into my boat when the tide had swept over the muddy part of the tidal flats, to the outer edge of the shore rise. I smiled and often shook my head in disbelief all the way to Port Elgin, where I took out at the first bridge across the Gaspereau River at high noon at almost high tide. PORT ELGIN greeted me with a huge sign on the bridge, but also with a torrential rainstorm. 330 miles in 13 and a half days - very respectable for a fellow approaching retirement age, I thought to myself, standing all alone in my rain suit munching my PB&J sandwich, carrot and applesauce in the pouring rain.

It was a cold and lonely moment, a letdown after a successful trip. So I cranked right up again, activating Plan B. I had read that way back in time the ocean used to flow from Fundy to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, more or less where the state/province line and route #2 now run, i.e. roughly from Sackville to Port Elgin.

So why not go on, I thought, get a car shuttle to the route #2 bridge over the Tantramar River near Sackville, from where I could paddle down the river into Cumberland Basin and into the Bay of Fundy and end up in St. John, where I had started out from last year on my way back to Maine. That would kind of close the entire loop from Lake Champlain, the St. Lawrence, the Gaspé and this year’s trip; connecting with last year’s trip and that of previous years, which together would bring me all the way to Boston. The pick-up for Nancy would also be much easier from St. John than Port Elgin, I thought dreamily, and left her a message saying that I had activated Plan B.

Down Cumberland Basin into the Bay of Fundy

In minutes I managed to persuade a pick-up driver at a nearby house to car-shuttle me the 20 miles to the Tantramar River near Sackville, which empties into the Cumberland Basin and the Bay of Fundy. $20 American helped make up his mind to help me out. And I was lucky again to hit high tide at the put-in, so I could flush down the Basin with the ebbing tide of 4 knots. Two hours after my arrival in Port Elgin I was already on Fundy waters. But with each minute down the basin, I also noticed the water running out, like in a bathtub, pushing you more and more into the middle of the bay, threatening to leave you stranded in a sea of mud and dirt.

After only 10 miles down the bay, not more than 2 hours after high tide, I became concerned about my shore landing and opted to hole up in Allen Creek, where one lobster boat was moored. I had barely unpacked my gear onto the floating dock, when the water went out for good, leaving everything in a reddish-brown oozing muck, reminding me of pottery slip (liquid clay) or slurry. A few hours later the mud from this side of the bay was practically joining the mud from the other side of the bay. Great for shore birds, I thought, but a paddler’s nightmare.

The tide roared in like a night express train and was gone in the morning. It looked dead low again at 9:00 AM. Not very promising for long-distance tripping. After 4 hours of flooding, the tide finally was kind enough to pick me up at my little one-boat harbor, and I paddled hard from 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM, when it was time to get ashore again. 10 miles over “suck-water” (shallows that suck down your boat) to stay out of the strong flood tide and against a headwind, all the way down the bay to Slacks Cove at Cape Maringouin.

The tide turned without the usual slack tide of about one hour. Even Reversing Falls in St. John is more or less calm for half an hour and allows you to pass through the narrow gut in a small boat, as I found out last year (see MAIB, April 1-May 1). The Fundy tides way up here blow in at 4-5 knots one moment and out at the same speed the next, forming noisy intimidating 5 foot high wave-trains around every point like Peeks Pt. and Ward Pt. 

The shore towards the point of the Cape Maringouin peninsula also suddenly changed to rugged cliffs, and the wind was picking up and veered to the SW, running straight against the current. I had the distinct notion that I should not be out here much longer. But there was no way to get out or go back. I had to hang in there for at least two more miles of steep cliffs on my right and rip currents and wave-trains on my left and hope I would be able to somehow get out in Slacks Cove, the last cove before the very point, which I definitely did not want to see today.

I was truly thankful to reach Slacks Cove and find a rocky beach on which I could make a safe surf landing. I breathed a sigh of relief, as the boat load of Baptists from Swansea, Massachusetts must have done when they landed here in 1763, as I learned a bit later from a plaque on a stone memorial on a rise overlooking this beach.

I felt humbled by the mighty forces of the sea, as my reading companion Chris Duff did on his way around Ireland. But supper felt great, and the view from my tent near the stone memorial was stunning in an awesome, powerful, misty way. After dessert I even strained to see across Shepody Bay to Grindstone Island and Marys Point on the other shore leading to St. John, 3 or 6 miles respectively, but all I could see was the mouth of my little bay. The rest of the world was shrouded in fog, and the water had vanished completely. Was I going to head across there tomorrow? I did not want to think about that now and zipped myself into my tent and tried to get warm and fall asleep.

End of trip

The weather-report next morning did not sound very promising for the next couple of days, which a look out my tent door confirmed. Solid fog - I could barely make out the mouth of Slacks Cove - and wind, and the tide was again way out and would not come in till mid-afternoon. That was no time to get started, I thought, especially on an open-water crossing, in the worst possible corner of Fundy Bay. You add the fog, the wind, the 5-mile-long rips drawn on my chart near Grindstone Island, the shoals, the mud flats - and being solo.

It just did not feel right. I also noticed that my strep throat and ear infection (diagnosed before the trip) were returning, and I definitely did not feel my best. I had the distinct notion my trip was grinding to a halt. And since the next couple of days would not be much better, and since I did not want to crawl up Shepody Bay to Moncton and then down again on the other side of the bay, I decided to call it quits and consider these last 20 miles of my trip from Sackville to here an “exploratory” trip, a piece of hard-earned frosting on the already great and wonderful cake, my 330-mile trip down the New Brunswick Gulf of St. Lawrence coast from the Quebec to the Nova Scotia border.

It helps to have an understanding and supportive spouse in a situation like this. When I phoned Nancy on my new satellite phone, inquiring about the possibility of ending the trip here, and asking whether she could pick me up here, maybe tomorrow or whenever possible, her instant response was: “No ... How about today!!” What a sweetheart! I told her there was a dirt road leading right up to the monument and my tent, at the tip of Cape Maringouin. “You think you can find it?” (All this in one 3:53 minute phone call!)

The dirt road turned out to be 10 miles long, but she was there before supper time, just as a bagpiper, properly attired in kilt, sporran (leather pouch) and Glengarry (hat) stopped by to strut his stuff from the monument bluff, his wistful music blending beautifully with the harsh unforgiving landscape around us. He turned out to be a retired college professor from Mount Allison University in Sackville who then told us where we could eat out and spend the night in town before the long drive home the next day. --- So, all’s well that ends well.  --

Info sources:

Canadian Charts: 4486, 4906, 4912, 4911, 4905, 4406, 4130
Sailing Directions, Gulf of St. Lawrence, (Fisheries and Oceans, Canada)
Sailing Directions, Nova Scotia and Bay of Fundy (Fisheries and Oceans, Canada)                
Canadian Tides and Current Tables, Gulf of St. Lawrence, (Fisheries and Oceans, Canada)
G. Dohler: Tides in Canadian Waters, (Fisheries and Oceans, Canada)
Boat and gear info:
Verlen Kruger 17’ 2” Kevlar Sea Wind (sea-canoe with rudder, deck and sprayskirt)
11-ounce carbon fiber bent-shaft Zaveral canoe paddle and deck-mounted wooden bent-shaft Mitchell
VHF marine radio-telephone
Iridium satellite phone
Airguide deck mounted compass and stopwatch
Reading: Chris Duff: On Celtic Tides. St. Martin’s Press, NY, 1999.
Distances given in statute miles

PS - My tidal observations in all instances were confirmed by the Sailing Directions and the Canadian Tide and Current Tables for the Gulf of St. Lawrence, both of which I purchased after the trip (out of curiosity). Fascinating reading, especially the tidal graphs for the Escuminac and Shediac area.

© Reinhard Zollitsch

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