On our way from Lunenburg to Saint John, New Brunswick we plan on visiting Shelburne. Shelburne's historic waterfront area bobs with sailboats and has 17 homes that were built pre-1800 – it feels like a historical re-creation, but it's real. The wonderfully maintained, low-in-the-earth buildings once housed Loyalists who retreated here from the American Revolution.
With the highest tides in the world, visiting Bay of Fundy ports is always interesting. And keep your eyes out for whales, it's quite common to spot humpback, minke and fin whales. In the past few years, whale watchers have also spotted a North Atlantic right whale and an orca in the Bay of Fundy.
Our next port is Saint John, our only port in the province of New Brunswick. Saint John is the second biggest city in the Maritime provinces and has a history as a centre of shipbuilding. At the confluence of the Kennebecasis River and the Saint John River, which empty into the Bay of Fundy at Saint John, it's not surprising that the city has an active waterfront for commercial vessels of all kinds.
Bay of Fundy
The Tall Ships Festival is celebrated here from 18-20 of August.
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada
Winner of the Communities in Bloom most beautiful small town in Canada, Prettiest Painted Places in Canada, Port City of the Year and Society of American Travel Writers’ awards. Picturesque Lunenburg lies nestled along the scenic shores of southern Nova Scotia one hour from Halifax. Here, you can experience a traditional way of life and work amidst historic architecture, attractions and amenities.
Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, designated because of the grid pattern of the streets and the distinct architecture of the wooden buildings. It's also a hive of maritime knowledge and skills, home port of the Canadian icon schooner Bluenose II, and is becoming a major arts and culture destination.
3 Days at Sea
Sailing without port stops to distract.
Early settlers had small subsistence farms, but most of the inhabitants' income from that time to the present have been derived from the sea. Shelburne lies at the southwest corner of Nova Scotia, at roughly the same latitude as Portland, Maine.
Although a much smaller town today, Shelburne remains the capital of the county which bears its name. It was incorporated as a town on April 4, 1907. The population in 2007 was 2013. Many descendants of the original Loyalists still live in the area today.
Fishing remains a primary industry today. Other economic activities include tourism, ship building and repair, aquaculture, logging, fish processing, and the manufacture of barrels, institutional furniture, granite monuments, and marine suppliers.
Bay of Fundy
The Bay of Fundy extends from the Gulf of Maine northeastward for 200 miles between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and the Nova Scotian peninsula. The bay is famous for one of the highest vertical tidal ranges in the world, as high as 48 feet between low and high tides. The name "Fundy" is believed to have originated from Portuguese fisherman in the 1500's who called the bay "Rio Fundo" (deep river).
The Mi'kmaq native people believed Fundy's tides were caused by a giant whale splashing in the ocean. In reality, the tides are a function of the bay's shape; like a funnel Fundy is wide & deep at its mouth, and narrow & shallow at its head. As the huge volume of water (as much as 125 billion tons) flows up the narrowing bay on an incoming tide, the funnel effect causes huge tides. The six and a half hour cycle of changing tides stirs up plankton, a critical source of nutrition for fish and marine mammals, particularly whales, including humpbacks, Finbacks, and the North Atlantic Right Whale.
St. John,New Brunswick, Canada
Saint John is the economic engine room of the province, a gritty port city with a dynamism that's missing from the demure capital. The setting is impressive – a ring of rocky bluffs, sheer cliffs, coves and peninsulas surrounding a deep natural harbor where the mighty Saint John and Kennebecasis Rivers empty into the Bay of Fundy. It can take a bit of imagination to appreciate this natural beauty, obscured as it is by the smokestacks of a pulp mill, oil refinery and garden-variety urban blight. But those who push their way through all this to the historic core are rewarded with beautifully preserved redbrick and sandstone 19th-century architecture and glimpses of the sea down steep, narrow side streets. Hundreds of years of history are alive in Saint John, as the oldest incorporated city in Canada.