made an early start today on our short 125 mile trip to Hopewell Cape. Much to everyone's surprise, Judy and Van
Douglass were first out. They had a
perfect record before today of leaving last out, only minutes before our
Tailgunner was scheduled to leave.
Multiple shouts came over our radio of, "take a picture" for
the Blog. Unfortunately, though we were
only two rigs behind them, Magnus (my Irish Wolfhound) has steadfastly refused
to learn how to operate the camera, so we have no documentation of this
phenomenon. We unanimously decided they
should be given the "most improved departure time" award along with a
arrived at Hopewell Cape prior to noon to witness low tide.
We met our guide Megan, a local college
student, at the Whale's tail at 1:00.
Hopewell Cape on the Bay of Fundy experiences the highest tides in the
world, varying from 39 feet to 46 feet, dependent on the lunar cycle. We were to see a 41 foot tide today. These amazing tides are the result of the
size, shape and depth of the Bay of Fundy.
High and low tides alternate every 6 hours and 13 minutes.
We walked the beach at low tide and returned
5 hours later to view high tide from the platform above the beach. It was hard to believe we had walked a beach,
now under 41 feet of water. The
landmarks we had stood next to, Lover's Arch, Bear Rock and Tyrannosaurus, had
only their tops visible and the beach was gone!
These interesting sandstone rock formations have been formed by tide
erosion, tree root penetration, freezing and thawing and minor earth
tremors. The rocks are eroding at a rate
of up to 2 feet per year.
there we headed back toward the gate and watched the congregated Sandpipers
take flight by the thousands, in unison to a rhythm only they knew.
Cape is host to around 75 percent of the Northern Hemisphere's Semipalmated
Sandpiper population from early to mid August.
The birds arrive with impeccable timing to feast on mud shrimp. These
tiny crustaceans travel to the surface only once yearly to mate; for the rest
of the year they remain burrowed deep in the mud. During the two weeks the Sandpipers are here
they double their weight, preparing for their long flight to Northern Brazil and
Venezuela. They will fly nonstop for
three days and four nights to reach their winter home in South America.
All in all, it was one of the most interesting ecological days we spent, in a totally unique habitat.
Submitted by: Jodie Smith and Magnus