I must admit – I experienced very little of Fundy National Park, but the campsite (we stayed at Headquarters, right down the road from Alma, New Brunswick) was a great location for exploring the tides of the Bay of Fundy and the tiny town of Alma. The sites were close together, but many had electric hookups and wifi access. Clean showers and bathrooms, and nice kitchen areas if you wanted to cook indoors. There was even a wood burning stove, which I would have had no clue how to use it, but could see the benefit of during cold camping season.
About a five-minute walk or drive from the campground was the tiny town of Alma, population 213 (or so). It’s a small fishing village that seems to rely on tourism and lobster fishing for it’s survival. There were a couple of tiny motels, B&Bs, a few small lobster shops, and my favorite place,
the Buddha Bear Coffee Shop which featured 12 taps of local craft beer (primarily from New Brunswick and PEI), and a food truck style pop up with smoked oysters and chowder. Needless to say, when we discovered craft beer, we visited both days we were in Alma! The Buddha Bear is housed in an old church and is soon to be a brewery – any day now Holy Whale Brewing will begin their foray into the craft beer scene.
Some of my favorites at Buddha Bear included a Pumphouse radler of grapefruit AND tangerine juice, a Trailways IPA, and a couple of session IPAs from breweries I can’t remember (seriously, the beer was that good…. ).
On my first morning in Alma, I woke up at 5:20am to venture down to the harbor for some sunrise photos of the lobster boats I’d already fallen in love with. It was high-ish tide, going out, so the boats were still fully submerged in the water.
The Bay of Fundy tides are the most dramatic in the world – high tide had the boats floating at a normal dock height, but at low tide, there was no water under or around them, and they rested on the ocean floor. It was truly a sight to behold.
Though sunrise wasn’t the most colorful I’ve seen, the moment when the sun lit up the sides of the lobster boats was pretty awesome. Just like I did last summer at Mormon Roy waiting for the sun to envelop the front of the barn, seeing the sun hit the boats took the breath out of me. Man, I love light. I love the magic of it. I guess it’s a good think I work with light for a living!
And then there was low tide – not amazing light, not amazing photography, but holy cow – the drastic change! It was amazing. The Bay of Fundy is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.