As the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage that launched from Hawaii in 2014 continues, crew members of Hokulea found themselves this week at one of the most amazing natural sites in North America – the Bay of Fundy.
Nestled between the Canadian maritime provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fundy is approximately 170 miles of rugged cliffs, booming ocean waves, and other awe-inspiring ecological elements. In 2014, an international panel of experts named the Bay of Fundy one of the natural wonders of the world due to the location having the highest tides on earth, attracting the rarest species of whales in the world, and housing semi-precious minerals and dinosaur fossils.
The Hokulea crew visited the area during a new moon cycle, a time when the tidal shifts are more spectacular. Kalepa Baybayan, pwo (master navigator) and captain of Hokulea’s current leg of the voyage, described their location. “It’s the geography of the bay that really accentuates the tidal currents here. It’s very wide at the mouth and very narrow at the end. There’s also this thing called tidal resonance, where the water flows in from the mouth of the bay to the inland shore, matching the tidal period and that accentuates the tide.”
Greg Turner, a tour guide and expert for the Bay of Fundy, further explained the natural activities in the area. “I think one of the most spectacular parts of that (natural) formation and many others around the Bay of Fundy is the fact that if you are standing on the ocean floor, you can imagine six hours from now being completely covered in water and all of (the area) being totally underwater.”
Hokulea crew members were in the Nova Scotia area for about a week, engaging with the area’s First Nations, learning about Canada’s natural resources and conservation efforts and offering canoe tours to the community. The legendary voyaging canoe departed Yarmouth, Nova Scotia on Thursday, Aug. 4, and has returned to Mt. Desert, Maine. The crew plans to continue engagements in the US New England states as she sails back down to New York.