A Walk on the Ocean Floor

Hopewell Rocks
            “How would you like to walk on the ocean floor and not get wet,” my husband asked the children one day when he returned from work. 
            “Oh cool,” our son piped up.
            “Yes, yes, Daddy,” the girls chorused. 
            The children were hopping up and down in the hallway, while I stood in stupor. 
            “Um.” I looked at my husband.  “Are we playing a game,” I asked.
            He shook his head.
            “Where are we going, Daddy,” our oldest asked.
            “To the Bay of Fundy,” he answered.
            “Is that an island,” our son asked.
            I‘m usually not this dense, I thought, but I’m lost.
            “It’s in New Brunswick, Canada,” he informed us.
            “Ah, next to Maine,” I said.
            “It has the highest tides in the world,” he told the children
            I exhaled.  No air tanks or wet suits required, I thought.  I’m safe. 
            Always remember to factor in time zone changes when planning a camping trip.  For New Brunswick, Canada, we lost an hour simply going through the customs booth.  The children didn’t care.  They pressed their noses against the van glass, watching the coast as we drove northward.      
            “Where’s the water, Dad,” the children asked in unison.
            “It will come back in,” he assured them.
            “But the boats are on the ground,” a twin said.
            “So are the docks,” the oldest said. 
            “Where do the fish go,” our fisherman worried.
            “They stay with the water,” I assured him.
            “Do the fishermen walk out on dry land to their boats and wait for the water to come back,” he asked.
            “Probably not,” his father said.
            When we next saw the sea at Hopewell Rocks, or the “flower pots” according to the locals, it had a brick red tint to it.  We puzzled over this phenomenon until we noticed the ocean swirling around the lopsided clay “pots.”  The conglomerate mud rock was red.  These “pots” seemed more like tiny islands forested with trees and shrubs to us.
            After lunch, we climbed down to traverse the ruddy seabed.  The pungent smell of brine filled our nostrils as the towering, shaggy, green-topped sculptures we saw from above loomed overhead.  The children clambered over the rubbery seaweed base to inspect the bits and pieces of shell and rock stuck to the spindles of the pots like mosaic works of art. 
            “Mom, look at this!” rang out from every direction as I tried to investigate the sea floor myself. 
            Crustaceous arches, layered, craggy seawalls and red cliffs attracted our attention for more than an hour.  We trekked farther down the coast to find slabs of bleached rock littering the beaches.  The red cliffs dressed in thick forested caps, appeared like regiments of buzzed hair cut soldiers from a distance.
            As soon as we rounded the bend in the coast, I spotted them.
            “Oh no,” I told my husband.
            Then he looked up.  But before we could turn around the children had found them too.
            “Boulders,” they cheered and ran toward them. 
“I don’t know what the fascination is,” my husband said as he pulled up a nice, comfortable sun-baked slab of rock for us to sit on.
“At least it tires them out,” I said, sitting on the slab.  “It’s their vacation too.”    
For the next hour, we watched our beloved children scamper all over the scattered boulders on the beach in front of us, thankful for the rest. 

12 thoughts on “A Walk on the Ocean Floor”

  1. Hi Victoria Marie

    Fascinating post, having sailed around the UK and Greece I knew that the Channel Islands, lying between England and France, had tides of 12 metres because I have experienced them.

    I had never heard of Fundy Island before today. I Googled it and Burntcoat Head has an extreme spring tidal range of 16.3 metres/53.5 ft.

    Here's a link to a short YouTube video of the speeded up tidal range in action http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiHP8EG_Wq4


  2. You're an excellent writer, both with dialogue and description. I enjoyed following you and your family on this "walk on the ocean floor." Family vacations, ah yes. Creating memories the children will take with them through life.

    You said on Feb 5th you are new to my blog. Thanks for stopping by. And yes, I'm delinquent in responding to my blogger friends this month, due to my caregiving duties and having to get a new aide for my daughter, and me.

    But I'm here now to say hello and let you know I'm now a follower. I hope to read more "stories" from you!

  3. Hello Bill, thanks for stopping by my Camping with Kids blog again. Talk about fascinating. You've sailed around the UK and Greece. Oh my gosh, that must be beautiful. Were you on a big boat or was it a personal vessel? Did you write about those trips on your blog? I'll have to check.

    The Bay of Fundy is not so much an island as it is a deep cut into the coastline up in New Brunswick Canada. Our children had never been to Canada nor heard of the Bay of Fundy and thought it was an island. The link I have on the blog post to the Bay of Fundy web page also has a speeded up tide photo of the Hopewell Rocks. I'll have to check out your YouTube page and Burntcoat Head.

    Thanks so much for sharing, Bill, and thanks again for visiting my blog.

  4. Welcome to my Camping with Kids blog, Ann. Thank you so much for visiting.

    Thank you for your generous compliment. You certainly have your hands full, my dear, and I truly appreciate your taking time out to read of our family camping adventures. I hope my children treasure these memories as much as I do.

    Thanks again for visiting, Ann. Please stop by again.

  5. Hi Victoria Marie

    The sailing was brilliant but far warmer in Greece than the UK. I spent around 10 years sailing different parts but like everything, other things took over.

    In my younger days I passed the Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate, which included celestial navigation but with GPS that's a skill that's no longer used. All the boats I skippered were hired and expensive!

    No I have not written any sailing posts on my blog, it's walking only, at least for now.


  6. How exciting, Bill. Oh how my husband would have loved to be skipper of a ship. But like you say, "other things took over," like children. So he skippered the camper on our adventures camping with the family.

    Good for you, getting your Yachtmaster's certificate. And I say celestial navigation is never a lost art. You can always use it when you don't have the GPS of the blasted thing doesn't work or you have no power.

    You have such an interesting and adventurous life, Bill, and I enjoy reading about it. Bravo for you. Thanks again for visiting my Camping with Kids blog.

  7. Hello Michelle and thanks for stopping by my Camping with Kids blog. Yes, I thought I'd try a little imagery here. A fascinating place, the Bay of Fundy, a great place to take inquisitive children.

    Thanks so much for reading my blog post. Please stop by again.

  8. Welcome, Shivani Batra, to my Camping with Kids blog. While I'm sure the Jewish Camp is a wonderful camp, we don't live in that area of the country. Perhaps one of the visitors to my blog might be in your area and can use the information.

    Good luck with your summer camp and thanks for stopping by Camping With Five Kids.

  9. Thank you so much, Marie, for visiting my Camping with Kids blog. Boy, we sure could use an extra pair of hands on some of these adventures with five children.

    Thanks again for stopping by. Please visit again!


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