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Outdoor report: Raft the world's biggest tides

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By Suzanne Leonard
Weather Broadcaster
Thursday, June 26, 2014, 5:53 PM

Canada is known world-wide as an outdoor destination with a huge variety of equally huge landscapes, as well as a wide variety of outdoor pursuits. For those who like some thrills with their recreation, rafting and whitewater rafting fit the bill especially on a hot summer day.

Plan a visit to Nova Scotia this summer and raft the world’s highest tides. The Bay of Fundy tides officially measure 50 feet in height, over 15 metres. There are some amazing spots for the family to search for ancient fossils, plus many opportunities for kayaking and whale watching – find out more in The Outdoor Report: Fossil Hunts and Cliff Hikes or rafting thrills, head straight to Shubenacadie.

Your trip begins by riding the outgoing tide along the Shubenacadie River, as it drains out to the Bay of Fundy. The river will be fairly calm and your boat will stop to visit a sand bar, allowing you the chance to step out on firm land – a spot that will soon be covered by a raging river. Once the tide starts coming in, the fun begins. The fast current flowing over these sand bars creates ridges and standing waves. The surge of Fundy’s tide is so strong that it temporarily reverses the flow of the river. This appears as a crest of water, or tidal bore, travelling upstream. The bigger the tide, the bigger the tidal bore and the bigger the standing waves. You have to know what you’re doing in order to stay safe so hook up with a reputable local tour company. Reporter Nathan Coleman went out with www.raftingcanada.ca. Their guides are river experts who read the currents and once the tidal bore starts coming you’re on the move. Guides steer straight into the waves so everyone on board will get the full effect of this unforgettable, adrenaline-filled and unique experience of rafting the world’s highest tides. Before you head out to start your outdoor adventure get the Shubenacadie forecast here and check the bug report too.

If you’re in British Columbia for the upcoming long weekend there are numerous rafting and whitewater rafting adventures available, you can choose a paddle, motor-powered or float trip. With many mountains and dozens of major river systems to choose from you could start your research here. Canada Day draws many to our nation’s capital. But did you know that Ottawa is perhaps the most famous whitewater rafting location in the country? They say it’s the best whitewater rafting east of the Rocky Mountains – and although my visit was a number of years ago I vividly remember the wild ride down the Ottawa River! There are several long-standing tour companies and they’re less than a two hour drive upriver from Ottawa.

In my garden: 'Touch of class' rose

In my garden: 'Touch of class' rose

While many are drawn to the water at this time of year – be it a raging river or a calm lake or swimming pool – others are drawn to their gardens. As usual we’ll wrap up with some gardening tips, like the importance of being on ‘bug watch’ right now. Look out for signs of bug damage on your plants – this includes random holes, circular holes, curled or rolled leaves, ‘skeletonized’ leaves and so on. This can happen quickly so be observant and promptly treat plants as needed, before it becomes a bug infestation.

There are both ‘good’ (beneficial) and ‘bad’ (damaging to your garden) bugs. Your local nursery can be a great resource to find out what insects are active in your area at any given time, and how best to treat them. Pick off a sample of the damaged foliage and take it in for advice. A good insecticidal soap can help with many issues. Also remember that more birds mean less insects in your garden, so consider planting perennials that will attract birds. The Canada Day long weekend could be the perfect time for a leisurely visit at your local nursery to pick out some new varieties to try.

 “Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventure.”

- L. Drachman

More by this author
Outdoor Report: The unofficial start of summer
Outdoor Report: Glaciers and Gardens
Outdoor Report: Fossil Hunts and Cliff Hikes
Outdoor report: Famous creatures and fragrant flowers

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