When I saw the tidal bore come rushing towards us I knew we were in for a fantastic ride. I knew in that instant I was finally experiencing the true power of the Bay of Fundy. I grew up in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia and spent many afternoons watching the Bay and playing on the ocean rocks. The Bay of Fundy is well known for having the highest tides in the world, and this was reinforced throughout my childhood as I watched the Bay rise and fall many feet in only a few short hours from the steps of my grandmother's cottage. The Bay was there for many of my childhood memories but I had never actually been out on the water experiencing its power firsthand. I decided it was time to feel this phenomenon and I arranged a full day of tidal bore rafting for myself, my sister, and our husbands.
We arrived at South Maitland and the Shubenacadie River and were quickly fitted with life jackets and escorted to the zodiac and our guide. He explained when the tides rise in the Bay of Fundy it causes a large tidal bore to flow into the Shubenacadie River, creating rapids and waves as the river's flow essentially changes directions. I was a bit skeptical as the river was very calm and quite tranquil as we boarded the zodiac. We headed up the river while the guide explained more details about the Bay of Fundy, the tidal bore and the Shubenacadie River, stopping briefly to observe wildlife on the shore. We hovered out in the river for a short time, just waiting for the bore to make its appearance.
All of a sudden this big wave of white capped water came shooting up the river, you could see it rushing towards us and it was quite the sight. You could feel the excitement on the zodiac as we froze with anticipation, and my grip on the handle intensified. I was a bit intimidated and knew things were about to be very interesting and very bumpy and rocky. Our zodiac bounced and crashed while riding the waves and we all cheered as the water flew up and over the side soaking every inch of our bodies. It was the most exhilarating thing I have ever experienced! The guide stalled the zodiac for a few minutes so we could catch our breath and then off we were again to ride another wave. This continued over and over again until the tidal bore calmed down and returned the river back to its normal flow.
The fun wasn't over yet. After the tidal bore rafting we moved on to the very slippery muddy banks of the river for some mud sliding. The turbulence of the tidal bore created nature's own slides and we were given the opportunity to climb the muddy banks and slide back down into the water. The slippery mud catapulted us into the river, yet another thrill ride. I paused for a moment to look around, we were all very dirty and wet, but everyone had a big smile on their face.
By the end of the day we were covered in mud from head to toe, our clothes were stained from the red clay dirt, and we were soaked through to the bone, but loving every single minute of our unique Nova Scotia adventure. We returned to the dock and head up to the lodge where we showered and changed and settled in on the deck to enjoy a wonderful steak barbeque that was included with the tidal bore rafting experience.
I will always look back on this day with such fond memories. It was a great way to spend time with my loved ones, a way to experience one of the best adrenaline rushes nature has to offer, and a way to truly understand the power of the Bay of Fundy and the unique experiences Nova Scotia offers.