“They call this the little Cabot Trail.”
Anna is narrating our 30 minute drive from the Nova Shores office to our launch site in Cape d’Or. She and her husband own the small kayak adventure company in Cape Chignecto.
“Three years ago the owner here asked if we wanted to take it over. I thought it was a joke. I have always dreamed of running my own kayak company but it isn’t something that has a market in Germany.”
Anna moved from her home in Germany to Vancouver on a whim. She walked into a business and asked, “Do you have a job for me?” They did, so she stayed. Her work as a kayak guide eventually led her to Advocate Harbour, Nova Scotia.
As we chat, my eyes are fixed on the road. Anna’s right, our drive feels reminiscent of trips through the Cabot Trail. We reach our launch point, a beach between the jagged red rocks of Cape d’Or. Anthony is waiting down by the water with three kayaks.
He takes us through a lesson in paddling and safety before launching us into the famous Fundy waters. I’m equal parts ecstatic and terrified to paddle the world’s highest tides. We’ve been observing the power of the tides from afar for the past few days, now we’re about to jump in.
We paddle for over an hour, and as the blades slice through the water, Anna and Anthony tell us stories. We talk about the landscape, and play ‘I spy’ with the towering, jagged red cliffs, and the caves and creatures that hide among them.
Some of the sea stacks have a tale to tell, like the famous Three Sisters, three pillars that look like three women looking out to sea. The tale is connected to Glooscap lore, though I hear two different tales during our trip. The first, that the three rocks were once dogs who, having offended Glooscap, were turned to stone. The second, that the pillars are Glooscap’s sisters who he turned to stone to keep them safe while he travelled between worlds.
I can’t quite describe what it’s like to be at sea level, looking up at the towering columns. As I’ve learned on this trip, this area was once connected to Morocco (before Pangea broke up into the continents we know today). The sights are exotic, otherworldly. And it only gets better.
We stop for lunch on a gravel beach. While our guides prepare lunch, we roam the area, getting up-close to (and even underneath) the sea stacks.
Over the course of our four-hour tour, the tide goes out about 40 ft. As we paddle back, previously submerged structures have emerged from the water, changing the landscape completely.
The transformation extends right to the shore. By the time we beach our boats, the 50 m walk that met us when we arrived is close to a half kilometer trek.
Come October, Anna and her partner will head to his hometown in South Africa where they run a totally different, but no less exotic set of tours. The two run safari tours during Nova Scotia’s off-season.
As for us, it’s back to the mini Cabot Trail, to drive in awe back to our cozy seaside cabins at Driftwood Park Retreat.
May 15 – September 30
This trip is part of our #NSJoyRide series. We went on an epic road trip along Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy thanks to the fine folks at Nova Scotia Tourism. They covered the costs of our week-long road trip. We hope you love following our tidal adventures. Check out more in this series here:
Five Islands Provincial Park
Catch of the Bay (Masstown Market)
Driftwood Park Retreat
Joggins UNESCO World Heritage Site
Irwin Lake Chalets
Tidal Bore Rafting
That Dutchman’s Cheese Farm (and nature paradise)