Between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia lies the Bay of Fundy. Thirty-five kilometres (22 mi.) off the coast of New Brunswick, Canada, lies the Island of Grand Manan the largest of the Fundy Islands. The island's only link to the mainland is a ferry that sails from the New Brunswick port of Black's Harbour. During the 90 minute crossing you can watch the mainland fade into a thin blue strip on the horizon. You will begin to understand the intrigue
of isolation the island holds. On a clear summer day, porpoise play in the bay and sightings of whales from the passenger decks are not uncommon.
The beacon of Swallowtail lighthouse greets you as you sail near the bustling fishing community of North Head. Grand Manan, as you will see, creates the perfect vacation land for nature lovers and outdoor adventure enthusiasts. Twenty-four kilometres (15 mi.) long and 11km (7mi.) wide, you will get a sense of island living along with vast territory waiting for you to explore. While here you can experience the bounty of the sea at its best - lobster, scallops, halibut and dulse. While horseback riding, cycling or sea kayaking along the coastline, you will hear whales breaching and seals splashing in play. If it's peace and tranquility you seek, you will be astounded with the unspoiled natural surrounding and beauty of this island. You will also have the chance to see over 338 species of reliably identified birds, as Grand Manan is situated on a major Eastern flyway. It has been a mecca for bird watchers since Audubon visited the island in 1833.
The 3,000 islanders at home here on Grand Manan live almost exclusively along the eastern face. Here lush fields of wild flowers burst into bloom along the shores. Nurtured by seacoast air, meadows burst into rich and vibrant colour. Neatly painted homes and shops hug the coves, mirroring a thriving, centuries-old fishing industry. On the western shores, cliffs rise in dizzying splendour. Gnarled and twisted trees cling to the rocky soil. With the exception of Dark Harbour, the western side of the island is inaccessible and uninhabitable.
Driven by the famous giant tides of the Bay of Fundy (highest tides of any body of water in the world) the water around Grand Manan is nurturing, yet violent. The rich waters are home to an abundant variety of marine life that has kept island fisheries thriving for generations. Beneath the surface lie many a testament of the ocean's unforgiving side. Over 300 vessels have been wrecked around the island over the past two centuries.
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