2010 Tour of New England and the Maritimes travel blog

Reversing Falls & Paper mill

Cormorants in the Reversing Falls

Heading down to the tour boat

Warning to satisfy the lawyers

Jet boat for riding in the falls

Audience wating for the show

Cormorants on the return

Level difference between the river and bay

In the falls


We went to Saint John today to take a boat tour of the Saint John Rvier and harbor. Saint John is the head of tide for the Bay of Fundy and the Saint John River. They meet at a narrow passage and create what is called the Reversing Falls. As tidal flow from the ocean enters the Bay of Fundy they are relatively normal because the mouth of the Bay is wide. As they move up the Bay, the bay narrows causing the level to rise to the levels the Bay of Fundy is famous for. As the level in the Bay rises it causes the flow of the Saint John River to stop and creates a slack tide allowing boats to travel up and down stream. As the bay rises further, it actually creates a reverse falls because the level of the bay at high tide is about 14ft higher than the level of the river blocking any travel. When the tides change, the process reverses and the levels of the bay and river equal to create another slack tide. As the level of the bay continues to drop on the ebb tide, the Falls forms again and at dead low tide the river is about 14ft higher than the bay. Downstream from the narrows, huge whirlpools form because of irregularities in the bottom. They are large enough to trap boats.

There are a lot of cormorants that hang around the Reversing Falls. They float in the current at the falls and dive for fish, then they fly upstream (downstream depending on the flow direction) and land again to float with the current. It almost look like they are using the falls as a roller coaster and having fun.

Loacted on the point overlooking the Reversing Falls is a paper mill, owned by J.D. Irving, Ltd., a family owned business. Apparently it is one on the few environmentally friendly kraft mills in Canada in that it uses reverse osmosis to treat its final wastewater effluent to create wastewater that is of better quality than the Saint John River.

In addition to shipping, Saint John is apparently a favorite cruise ship port during the summer. They were expecting 3 ships to arrive next week, delivering about 10,000 passengers for site seeing and shopping for a couple of days. The port was discovered by accident about 20 years ago when a cruise ship was diverted there because of an Atlantic hurricane. The passengers enjoyed the stop so much that the cruise company decided to stop there in subsequent years.

We're headed further north tomorrow without our windshield replacement. It appears that it will take Speedy Glass about a week or two to find a new windshield. So much for speed.

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