The only stop on this cruise was in St. John, New Brunswick, a pleasant town just over the US border from Maine. It is famous for its extreme tides that can fluctuate up to 26 feet and the reversing tide, when the enormous flow of water causes the river to change direction. It’s located on a narrow spit of land between the Atlantic Ocean and Grand Bay and funnels the tide as it moves back and forth. We’ve been here before with our RV and visited the rock formations at Hopewell Rocks a number of times throughout the day to document the enormous tidal fluctuation. Watching even a strong tide fluctuate is a bit like watching the grass grow. After we hiked around Hopewell Rocks on the sandy beach, we returned every so often throughout the day to document the disappearance of the beach and the isolation of the rocks as high rides splashed around them.
The ship’s tours went to these spots, but we had already seen them and felt that Hopewell Rocks merited an all day visit, so we were happy to find a photographic shore excursion that would take us to some scenic coastal villages. Nick signed up to take the tour with us, but apparently no one else on the Fun Ship was interested and it was cancelled. Bummer!
Fortunately the ship docked right downtown and it was an easy walk to Market Square and the boardwalk, where a busker’s festival was taking place. Between the town’s residents and all the passengers on the ship, the performers had an enthusiastic audience. Bands played, lumberjacks demonstrated their skills, athletes did death defying stunts. Booths sold the Canadian version of junk food. One popular booth had folks dipping their hands into hot wax. After a few dips the wax glove was removed and dipped into various colors in a “dying Easter Eggs” sort of way.
We found free internet at a nearby mall and got caught up with the news of the world. We’ve missed the largest rainfall ever at home and hope that things won’t be bobbing around in our basement when we get home.
This visit reminded us how much we like Canadians. Everyone was friendly and welcome. I’m sure all the cash we brought to town was also helpful, but it is nice to be appreciated. St. John’s is not normally a tourist town, but the regular visits of the Glory have to be a boon to the local economy. And Carnival has a safe, easy to visit destination. Win, win.