I’m doing a continuous circumnavigation of the province of Nova Scotia by sea kayak this summer. All the way around, including a portage across the Isthmus of Chignecto.
On August 11, 2017, I’ll set out with my friend, Ed Martin, for a journey of almost 900 nautical miles (1665 km). We’ve got just 50 days to complete the expedition. I have little doubt about our physical capability to execute the journey. The weather is the wildcard and Nova Scotia is subject to post tropical storms starting around this time of year.
I’m turning 50 on this trip. I was born in Ontario in Canada’s centennial year, and made Nova Scotia my home in 1998. The two provinces represent half of the founding provinces of Canada. So this journey celebrates Canada 150, Bojanic 50, and my love and affection for Nova Scotia.
Launch from Hubbards – This journey begins and ends in Hubbards. Hang a left and keep on going. As we leave from the comfort and convenience of home, our support team will be only a short drive away for the first few days.
Halifax – The first couple of days of the journey will be approaching the largest city in the Maritimes and crossing the busy commercial harbour.
Eastern Shore – Enter the long stretch of the 100 wild islands of the Eastern Shore. Our team will be building experience and confidence during this well-sheltered part of the journey.
Cape Breton Island – We’ll encounter more exposed coastline and long stretches without landing spots. Our crew will be well warmed up and ready for Cape Breton, which is as challenging as it is lovely.
Northumerland Shore – I have no experience yet with this part of the province. I know the waters are very warm and the beaches abundant.
Isthmus of Chignecto – I hold onto some hope that there may be a navigable route through the serpentine tidal estuaries. But I’m prepared to drag boats on trailers along secondary roads for 27km. In either case, the crossing will be a segment that we’ll look forward to for days and will switch up what will have become routine paddling work.
Bay of Fundy – We’ll be a fine-tuned paddling team by the time we tackle Fundy with the largest tidal range in the world. Go fast with the flow is the theme of this section of the province.
Yarmouth and Acadian Shores – Still part of the Bay of Fundy, we’ll have fun navigating the tidal currents of this shore. I have a good deal of familiarity with the shore from Tusket Islands to Cape Sable Island.
South Shore – This is the home stretch, literally. With a more conventional tidal range and with the prevailing southwest winds at our back, we’re almost done.
St. George’s Bay – Depending on the wind and sea state, we can possibly tackle the 4+ hour crossing of St. George’s Bay, shaving a couple of days! It’s impossible to plan at this point so I’m remaining conservative with my distance estimate.
Bay of Fundy – In a twelve hour tidal cycle, 110 billion tons of water flow in and out of the Bay of Fundy. The tides and currents are a manageable challenge. We can’t plan that part of the trip until we’re more certain about the date we arrive. I’ll model it based on a preliminary estimate so we have a starting point to work from. It will be important for you to get at least minimal exposure to flow, particularly breaking in/out and ferry gliding.
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