Category: New Brunswick

Whale Watching with Fundy Tide Runners

fundy3

The morning that we were supposed to go whale watching, with the Fundy Tide Runners, it was cold and skies were gray. Captain David Welch deliberated if our small group should go or not. He eventually decided that we should. The Captain has 45 years of water experience, so I trusted his judgement! I was really glad we went, as it was my last day in St. Andrews.

Bright orange suits were rolled out, and I then got my first shock of the day. We were going in a zodiac boat. I had been whale watching before but always in a boat. So this was new. The suit was actually a Mustang© life preservation suit, and it covered us from head to toe.

fundy8
Like this! My awesome guide agreed to pose for this pic.

IMG_3315

Before we headed out, the Captain told us what to expect. “The whales we would see today would most likely be Minke whales and Finback whales.” It hadn’t been a good summer for Humpback whales, so we probably wouldn’t see those.

IMG_3323

Finally it was time to load into the custom made Zodiac to check out some whales!

We traveled for about eighteen minutes in the incredibly choppy waters. The waves were only 3 feet tall, but they felt like 6 feet! We did get splashed by the salty Atlantic water occasionally, and I was really grateful for my warm orange suit.

When we arrived there were other whale watching boats cheerfully radioing out boat to tell us where they’d seen whales that morning. I was really impressed with the comradeship among the tour operators and the easy way that they were sharing information.

fundy4

We were taught how to spot when a whale blows. The blow is when the whale sends out a jet of water through it’s blowhole- a sure sign that whales are near.
The afternoon was a lot of fun! Everyone went into a flurry of activity and snapping cameras when a whale would surface and then vanish below.

Although we didn’t see a whale leap over our boat or anything like that, it was majestic to see the Minke whales and to know that they were sharing the water with us. Minke whales can be up to 30 feet long!

IMG_3341

It was pretty hard to take photos, so this is my best one! Do you see him? Whales weren’t the only creatures in the water. We also saw tiny dolphin like Harbour Porpoises. They were so cute!

If you ever go to St. Andrews, I would absolutely recommend Fundy Tide Runners. You’ll have a whale of a time. 😉

My only suggestion would be to go in the warmer summer months. That way, you’ll be able to see Harbour SealsAtlantic Puffins, Bald Eagles, Razorbill Auks, Black Guillemots and other pelagic sea birds.

 

Fundy Tide Runners at 16 King Street, St. Andrews, NB.

Tours are 2 hours long. Adults $58.00, children between the ages of 5 and 12 $40.00.

Kingsbrae Gardens in New Brunswick

September 20139

 

kingsbrae7

I spent some time visiting the beautiful Kingsbrae Horticultural Garden in St. Andrews. This 72 acre garden has over 50,000 different plants growing within it. There’s a maze, a zoo (with alpacas, peacocks and and ducks!) Whatever garden you’re looking for, you can bet that you’ll find it here. They have a sculpture garden, a Celtic knot garden, an edible garden, a herb garden and even a secret garden!

kingsbrae6

I started off my visit with some lunch, and just outside of the cafe I spotted free roaming alpcas, dining on grass! This was seriously the highlight of my visit. They let me get really close to them!

They were actually there with their keepers, eating their own lunch. They eat tons of grass, so they graze on different grass fields in the garden.

September 20137The Kingsbrae Garden Cafe in housed in a beautiful building built in 1910 and designed as a summer home by Edward Maxwell.

My meal was exceptionally good. I had the sun-dried tomato pasta with chicken and Parmesan with lemonade. On the way out, I picked up a jar of Kingsbrae honey. The bees feast on the gardens to produce the honey!

After lunch we had a lovely guided tour of the gardens. Here were my favourite parts.

kingbrae   kingsbrae4

The Children’s Garden (above photos) had so many charming things inside of it. There were about 4 child sized houses for kids to play in, a large friendly bunny and my personal favourite- the teapot tree.

kingsbrae5
This adorable tiny kiwi from the Edible Garden. You are actually allowed to eat everything growing in that garden, so things don’t stick around for long!

kingsbrae3

This beautiful hedge is very old….take a look at it inside!

kingbrae2

These crazy root systems remind me of a the branches outside of Sleeping Beauty’s castle.

September 20138Last but not least, my favourite part of the garden was the sculpture garden. Each year the Canadian Sculpture Competition at Kingsbrae Garden is held. The winner gets $20,000, and the second-place winner will receive $15,000!

The sculptures of the first and second winners remain in the garden. There are some awesome sculptures there. My favourite is the one with the girl and the umbrella above, and this horse one below. Isn’t it great?

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/PnsStyFDt2w” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

 The Kingsbrae Gardens are open until Thanksgiving Weekend, in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

The Treadwell Inn in St. Andrews, New Brunswick

andrews6

I was lucky enough to stay in the gorgeous historic Treadwell Inn during my stay in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea in New Brunswick.

andrews1

The rooms were beautiful. My spacious room had a comfortable double bed, clean washroom and lots of natural light. Of course, WiFi was readily available. My favouite part of my room was….

andrews3

….the balcony with Muskoka chairs and a view of the ocean! I curled up and watched the sunset.

andrews7
The view from my balcony!

In the morning, breakfast was served downstairs in a charming room. Some guests get really comfortable. A guest came down in (we’re pretty sure) bare feet and only his bathrobe. It truly feels like home!

andrews2

andrews5

The Treadwell Inn is right in the historic district of St.Andrews-by-the-Sea with lots of shops and tiny cafes to keep you occupied. Speaking of shops, foodies will be pleased to see that there is an gourmet olive oil store attached to the inn!

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay. The owners were very friendly, the Inn the beautiful and the location was convenient.

The Treadwell Inn is at 129 Water Street, St. Andrews New Brunswick, E5B 1A7  Canada

Watching the tide come in at Hopewell Rocks

IMG_20130920_112627

hopewell3

At Hopewell Rocks, in the Bay of Fundy, you can literally walk on the ocean floor at low tide.
Tides here can reach up to 50 feet high two times a day! 100 billion tonnes of sea water rushes into the the Bay of Fundy daily. It’s about 6 hours between low and high tide, so you can experience both in one day.

It took about 350 million years for these flowerpot rocks to be eroded by the waves into their current unique shapes. They are still unstable and large chunks occasionally tumble to the ground.

IMG_3057

We started off in the Interpretation Center. Here you can find life-sized sculptures of the rocks, and the science and legends behind the rocks. You’ll also learn about the Bay of Fundy geology, tides and see some videos. My favourite part was learning about the legends and lore of the rocks.

There’s also a gift shop and a cafe that serves hot meals and drinks. I got a cute pair of earrings in the gift shop!

hopewell4

Next, head down to check out some of the viewing platforms and take a walk down to the rocks. If you don’t want to walk, you can buy a ticket for a shuttle.

hopewell1

The rocks are huge! And beautiful. Unfortunately, we came by on a cloudy day. It was still amazing, though, and lots of people were visiting as well.

The tide comes in fast and it can actually be quite dangerous if you are on the beach when the tide comes in. The staff work very hard to ensure everyone is off the beach when it’s time for high tide. Just while I was on the beach for about 15 minutes, I could see the water slowly but steadily rising.

Hopewellrockskevinsnair
Image by Kevin Snair via Hopewell Rocks

When the tide is up, if you are feeling adventurous you can go on a guided kayak adventure. If you come during the summer, you can see hundreds of nesting shorebirds, and there are lots of trails to walk down.

hopewell2

The Hopewell Rocks are at 131 Discovery Rd. Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...