Oh Canada

Worrying shortens your life.  Not worrying leaves you often unprepared.  It’s the magic middle you are looking for — do your best to prepare, be agile when the moment comes and don’t worry about what you can’t change.  Live.

That’s what we did.  We packed up on the banks of the Housatonic and hauled it Manchester New Hampshire to get a test we weren’t sure was going to be real because the rules said we had to have it.  We had a schedule that would allow us to get into Canada by nightfall on the shores of the Bay of Fundy, all ready for an early morning ferry ride to Nova Scotia. We had done everything we could, so now we just went.

The test was easy and very professional, the results were negative and received in time, we got a gold star from the Canadian Customs Agent who said we were the most prepared folks he’d seen all day, and, we made it into Canada.

There are allot of bodies of water in the world.  Not one single one of them has the tidal range of the Bay of Fundy.  You can look it up (I did) and find out that the average tidal change is something like 3 to 4 feet.  The Bay of Fundy tidal range is about 50 feet or so.  One hundred billion tons of water moves in and out of the bay four times every 24 hours.  I hope to get some pictures tomorrow, but from the drive in, I can tell you it looks like a giant vacuum somewhere out at sea is sucking the water out — at one point a power plant generated power just from the tidal flow it is so strong.

It seems to me, uninformed as I am, that this would make the bay a challenging port but St. John, hard in the center of the bay, where we are spending the night, is the third largest port in Canada by volume.  It is also and old city — it is the second oldest permanent European settlement in North America, bested only by St Augustine Florida, and a few years older than Jamestown.  It’s like the Europeans wanted to tie down the corners and work from there.  In actuality, St. John is a story much like the rest of North America.  Native (North) Americans were here, the Portuguese discovered it but couldn’t hold it, the French and the English fought over it for a long time, and eventually the English took it by treaty.  Colonists loyal to England came here during and after the American Revolution, and now it is a melting pot of cultures.

History, conquest and culture aside, the land is beautiful. The granite edges are sharp, the evergreen and hardwood forests are dense, and the sea is active and violent. And they all come together in various coves and cliffs and tidal marshes in a way that is both calming and exciting.  The ferry across the turbulent bay is, however, down for repairs.  So rather than sailing across it tomorrow, we will drive around it and across a causeway to Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.  I’m actually looking forward to the drive — the scenery should be great, and I want to see the tide came and go from the shore, where the effects of the range are more noticeable. We will make it to Cape Breton tomorrow and, hopefully, camp somewhere on the western shore.  We’ve planned a little, looked at a map or two, and so we will go.  Tonight we ate mussels and fish outside a pub on the bay and realized that, despite all the chaos of changing rules and routes, it’s a great journey.  Especially when you don’t worry, and just live.

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