Last summer, my boyfriend K and I embarked on a 2 week road trip to visit Canada’s eastern most provinces. We were 3 days into our trip and had been exploring our first maritime province of New Brunswick. Before we left on this adventure I made a bucket list of places to see and activities to do. Sea kayaking around the Hopewell Rocks was at the top of my list and I couldn’t wait to see this natural phenomenon in person.
The Hopewell Rocks
The Hopewell Rocks, also known as the Flowerpots, are natural rock formations in the Bay of Fundy created by tidal erosion. The Bay of Fundy is one of North America’s 7 wonders. It has the world’s greatest tides, ranging in height from 14.5 meters to 16.3 meters.
Due to the strong tidal currents, the sandstone and dark sedimentary rock that make up the shoreline become eroded over time. This allows for the creation of towering rock pinnacles ranging in heights from 40 to 70 feet. The Hopewell Rocks are constantly changing over time, slowly being eroded until the topple into the ocean. At the same time new rock towers are gradually born out of the coastline.
Walking The Rocks
K and I arrived at the Bay of Fundy first thing in the morning when the tide was scheduled to be at its lowest. We wanted to walk on foot around the base of the Flowerpots which can only be done at low tide. We also had plans to kayak around them during mid-day, when the tide was at its peak.
Walking down the metal staircase to the exposed ocean floor, we stepped onto the muddy red earth to wander under the towers and archways. The ground was soft, muddy and slippery, quickly covering my sandal clad feet in a thick coating of mud.
We wandered along the coast admiring mother natures creations as we walked through, under and between the rock spires. Dark green seaweed lay draped over the rocks, drying in the sunshine.
After an hour or so it became evident that the tide was on the rise and coming in quickly. We retreated to higher ground and headed over to Baymount Outdoor Adventures little office in preparation for our kayaking tour.
After being fitted with a life jacket, paddle and spray skirt*, we followed our group down to the beach and selected one of the bright yellow tandem kayaks.
Pushing off into the ocean we followed our guide along the coastline. It wasn’t long until we came to our first towering islands. Paddling between the rock towers and the mainland, we weaved our way through an obstacle course of sorts in one long line of yellow kayaks.
We continued on, dipping our paddles in and out of the reddish brown water as we glided towards our first rock archway. We pulled our paddles in and held onto them sideways so that we would fit though the narrow opening. It was just wide enough for our sea kayak but halfway through the tunnel our momentum slowed. Unable to actually paddle, we had to grab onto the rock walls and pull ourselves the rest of the way through.
Throughout our 2 hr paddle we slipped though and under many of the rock archways and towers that we had been walking under only a few hours before. It was incredible to see the difference in the height of the tide!
The Bay of Fundy is truly a special place, not only in Canada but also the world. These natural rock formations are definitely one-of-a-kind. Having the opportunity to explore them by kayak allowed for an up close view and exploration in a unique way.
*Spray Skirt: A covering that fits around a persons waist and secures around the edges of the kayak cockpit to prevent water from entering the boat.