Staying in a Canadian Chalet

(note: This blog was updated December 2018)

My daughter and I took a quick jaunt up to the Bay of Fundy for some kayaking and high tide frolicking. She’s 10, and a perfect companion to adventure into mud and tides in the Bay of Fundy in Canada. Home to the highest tides in the world, we had a blast! Here’s how we enjoyed the high tides.

We headed out from OOB Cozy Cottages in Old Orchard Beach, Maine to Fundy National Park, where we are stayed at the Fundy Chalets. But before we got here, we had a heck of a time getting across the border in Calais! My daughter, Kelly, and I have different last names, and the customs/immigration folks didn’t appreciate that at all. So off to secondary we went!

There, the immigration guy looked my kid straight in the eye and asked, “Who’s that?” pointing at me. Immediately she responded, “Mommy!” She didn’t even flinch! They stamped our passports and off we drove. It took us about six hours to get to Alma, New Brunswick.

Do Hansel and Gretel Live Here?

The clerks at the chalet desk are the nicest people. They upgraded our room, gave us free shampoo, and discounted our kayak trip! The chalets are the cutest you’ve ever seen! I felt like Hansel and Gretel should pop up any time. The chalets are comfortable, affordable, warm, and have complete kitchens. But the view! Oh my! We can see right over the tree tops down into Alma and out to the Bay. Gorgeous!

On this morning, the longest day of the year, we woke at 5:00 AM to the sunrise…and rolled right back over to sleep in until 7. For breakfast, we loaded up the car and headed into town. I had the most amazing 7-grain toast and eggs, while Kelly enjoyed a 4-berry muffin at Glass Roots. Don’t bring your credit card, but do enjoy the homemade butter and cheeses. Also enjoy the gorgeous hand-blown glass, jewelry made out of old vinyl records, lovely scarves, and darling ceramic fish.

Kayaking the World’s Highest Tides

The weather looked a bit scary, but by 8:30, kayaking accompanied the perfect weather. We walked across the street to Fresh Air Adventures. Here, we met Abby, our guide, and Chris and Cindy, two sisters-in-law, that joined us on our kayak tour. Abby, a fresh face off Deer Island and charming, taught us everything we needed to know about kayaking in local waters.

Feeling safe and ready to go, Kelly and I jumped into our yellow ‘yak, and Chris and Cindy jumped into theirs. We left with the high tide and enjoyed a spectacular coastline tour of Fundy National Park. Abby offered us a light snack about half-way through the tour, and we arrived back to our landing three hours later. Although we didn’t see much wildlife (except for a bald eagle!), the views were scrumptious.

How High Is High?

At our break, Abby lectured us on the science of tides. Did you know that the water doesn’t move, it’s the earth that moves and creates the tides? It’s the rotating of the earth relative to the water that causes the tides to go in and out. Go figure! Learning and teaching can happen anywhere, even on the beach where the sand is the board and your finger is the chalk.

We left Abby a tip and headed to Kelly’s Bake Shop for lunch. Not only was it appropriately named (Kelly was thrilled), but the handmade cinnamon rolls complimented good ham and cheese sandwiches. With full bellies, we headed north another 25 miles to Hopewell Rocks.

Mudding at Hopewell Rocks

My sister had suggested we bring mud clothes, and thank heavens! At the park, we climbed down 8 flights of stairs to see the low tide, which was 42 feet lower than high tide! At the bottom of the stairs was a ranger alerting us to the clock. We had about 60 minutes to enjoy the bottom of the ocean before the tide would come rolling back in. It frightened us a bit to think of being stranded 8 flights down and having to scurry up quickly. So we kept an eye on the time as we explored the muddy bottom of the ocean full of shells, crabs, and oddities.

My daughter, a Pisces, couldn’t get enough of the ocean’s bottom and all of its mud. It was better than the best mud bath you could buy in a spa. She got covered in mud, as did I. Kelly modeled her new brown “socks” that went up to her hips, shoes caked in mud, and elbow-length “gloves.” We laughed for two hours straight. Fortunately, at the top of the stairs, the park supplied power hoses to rinse off. Need less to say, I think we lost a pair of shoes and one pair of socks in the cleaning! But what joy!

We finished our adventure at Tides for dinner. Kelly wanted lobster, but at $25 a lobster, I thought that was crazy. I do not recommend this place. Overpriced and not that good, the service was minimal as well. Afterwards, we talked to the host at Fundy Highlands, and he recommended going to Alma Lobster. Here, you pick your lobster, they cook it for you, then you take it home. They run about $8-10 a pick…a much better choice. I wish I would have known about this before we dined. Oh well, next time!

What a fun day kayaking the world’s highest tides and mudding on the bottom of the ocean at the Bay of Fundy. Bring your kids to the Bay of Fundy, rent a kayak to ride the tides, and bring a change of clothes. You’ll have a blast playing in the Bay of Fundy high tides at Hopewell Rocks. Let me know if you go!