The Enchanted Land

Living by Tides

With the Atlantic on one side and the Bay of Fundy on the other, time is measured by the rhythm of the tides. It's a powerful rhythm indeed. The tide in the Bay of Fundy rises and falls as much as 50 feet, the greatest tidal change in the world.

Think what that means to skippers as they tie their boats to a pier at high tide.

A Struggle for Survival

Unfortunately, Nova Scotians are in the grip of an economic tide as well, one from which no lighthouse can protect them. When lobster, cod, salmon, haddock, and herring were plentiful, people enjoyed prosperity. Now that marine life is struggling to recover from overfishing, the people are struggling as well.

Given a future far less predictable than the tide, all they can do is make the very best of the present. And that they do! One good way to begin a visit to Nova Scotia is to board a ferry leaving from Bar Harbor, Maine. After crossing the Bay of Fundy, we enter a tiny harbor visited by Vikings a thousand years ago. That's right, long before Columbus "discovered" America.

After the Vikings left, another 750 years passed before merchants from Massachusetts sailed into that harbor and founded the town of Yarmouth.

Published: 3 Apr 2003 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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