Our favourite beach in Nova Scotia is a VERY, VERY different experience from Siesta Key’s beach.
It is rugged, mostly granite and shale, nothing like the soft powdery sand of Siesta.
Our NS beach is in a little cove, hugged by low cliffs carved out of the landscape by the sheer force of the tides. There is nary a condo complex in sight, just the odd little clapboard house here and there, sturdy and colourful, acres between each. There are no palm trees, cactii or hibiscus; rather, stubby, windswept spruce and pines, an occasional birch, maple or volunteer apple tree. The trees are bordered by wild roses, daisies and other wildflowers (aka weeds).
We pick up fossils and interesting rocks on this beach, not shells.
This beach sits on the Minas Basin in the Bay of Fundy, home of the world’s largest tides. Twice a day, 100 billion tons of water move in and out of the Bay, “more than the flow of all the freshwater rivers in the world combined,” according to http://bayoffundy.com.
At low tide, it seems as if someone pulled the plug. The horizontal tide goes out 3 miles, while the vertical tide is up to 16 meters (again, according to http://bayoffundy.com.) THREE MILES! No kidding. It seems as if you could walk across the Bay to the other side. You can’t, of course. You’d drown when the tide came rushing back in at a speed estimated at 10 meters per minute (American readers – a meter is about 40 inches, a bit more than a yard). The force of the incoming tide is such that it causes a tidal bore in the Shubenacadie River, where you can go rafting, riding the wave from the Bay as the tide travels up the river against the river’s current.
At high tide, our beach disappears, completely under water.
Often, it is possible to walk our beach and see no one else at all. No one.
It is possible to hear nothing except the gulls and the waves, lapping or crashing depending on the day’s weather.
On this beach, we enjoy summer without the artificial comfort of air-conditioning. Summertime temperatures are warm, even hot some days without much humidity. As the sun starts to set, it cools off, making sleeping easy. Before air conditioning, many rich Americans summered in this part of the world, seeking to escape the oppressive heat and humidity of the cities. The Roosevelts made Campobello Island famous located in the Bay of Fundy at the Canadian/US border and Nova Scotia’s south shore is peppered with grand old summer houses built by well-to-do Yankees.
Two beaches, two totally different experiences.
Siesta Beach is wonderful and the perfect antidote to the long, grey, cold winter with its soft sugary sand and endless sunshine.