There are approximately two high tides and two low tides within a 24-hour period in the Bay of Fundy. The time between a low tide and a high tide is about 6 hours and 13 minutes. Therefore visitors to the Fundy coast can realistically expect to see at least one high and one low tide during daylight hours. The tide does not come in with a roar or wild splash, or rushing wall of water. The Bay gurgles and flows across the beach, rising until the vast expanse of mud and gravel in the intertidal zone is once again under the sea.
Tide times also move ahead approximately one hour each day, and tide times vary for different locations around the Bay. One of the best ways to experience the full impression of the Bay of Fundy’s tides is to visit the same coastal location at high tide, then return about six hours later at low tide (or vice versa).
What is a tidal bore?
A tidal bore is a tidal phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave (or waves) of water that travel up a river or against the direction of the current. Fundy’s tidal bore is interesting but it’s not the only way to see the tides: plan to view the vertical and horizontal tide range too, for the full tidal experience.
Bores occur in relatively few locations worldwide, usually in areas with a large tidal range such as the Bay of Fundy, and where incoming tides are funneled into a shallow, narrowing river via a broad bay. The funnel-like shape not only increases the height of the tide, but it can also decrease the duration of the flood tide down to a point where the flood appears as a sudden increase in the water level.
The word bore derives through Old English from the Old Norse word bara, meaning a wave or swell.
In the Bay of Fundy region there are several excellent places both to watch a tidal bore from the shore or to ride its waves with an adventure tour company!