Our Visit to Cape D'Or, Nova Scotia, Canada.

banjonbanjon CanucksPosts: 49Registered Users Big grins
edited April 29, 2012 in Journeys
Cape D'Or is located along the Glooscap Trail on the North Shore of Nova Scotia. At this spot the Bay of Fundy runs into the Minas Basin at 13 knots. While the famous Bay of Fundy tides reach up to 40 ft (12m) along the Bay of Fundy shore, the tides in the Minas Basin's Annapolis Valley area have reached 57 ft. (17.37m) high (recorded in March 2007). They are the highest recorded tides in the world and can be extremely dangerous. When we visited on July 1, 2007, the high tide registered at 35.89 ft. (10.94m) and the low tide at 7.18 ft. (2.19m).

A 3.7 mile (6 km) trip up a winding and steep dirt road leads to the lookoff point above Cape D'Or and the parking lot. The lookoff offers spectacular views of Cape Split on the far shore and lofty Ile Haute (High Island) offshore - an island of Jurrasic period basalt. Then walk down a very steep incline for just over a half a mile (1km) to the lighthouse grounds below.

A fog whistle was established on the cape in 1875 to warn mariners of the tidal rips now called the Dory Riptides. This is the only place in the world where three tides meet and collide with each other simultaneously. Today's foghorn signals three, two-second blasts every 60 seconds and is an active navigational aid. The lighthouse itself is fully automated (destaffed in 1989) and produces a white flash every 7.5 seconds which is visible for 13 nautical miles. It was built in 1965 to replace the original wooden lighthouse built in 1922. The current ground keeper's bungalows were built in 1958 and 1959.

Cape D'Or is an excellent spot for viewing seabirds, peregrine falcons, dolphins, and seals. In 1980, an archaeological dig just west of the lighthouse discovered tool fragments of aboriginal people which were dated to about 2000 years ago. The west side of the ridge, north of the cape, consists of cliffs about 200ft (61m) high. Rare plants, normally found only at high altitudes in the Rocky Mountains grow on these cliffs.

Basalt Headlands Geology:
During the 150 million years prior to the Triassic Period, Nova Scotia occupied a central position in the interior of the supercontinent Pangea. The Permian Period was quiescent tectonically in Nova Scotia, with only erosion of pre-existing rocks occurring. During the Triassic (250 million yrs. ago), however, a new phase of crustal motion began and the last geological component was added: the Triassic-Jurassic sediments and basalts.

The basins into which these rocks were deposited became the precursors of the various important coastal features known today as the Bay of Fundy, Chignecto Bay (Northwest of Cape D'Or) and the Minas Basin (Northeast). The volcanic basalts remain as some of the province's more well-known landscape features. Thank you for viewing. We hope you enjoy our photographs and welcome any comments :).

Locator map.

Lookoff view of the Minas Basin and Cape Split on the far shore.

Lighthouse Station grounds view from the lookoff.

The walking path down to the lighthouse grounds is just over a half a mile long (1km) and very steep. It is not recommended for the faint of heart or those with a fear of heights.

View looking north from the lighthouse to the capes. They reach heights of 200 ft. (61m) and are part of the Basalt Headlands.

A fog whistle was established on the tip of the cape in 1874 to warn mariners of the turbulant tidal rips now called the Dory Riptides. Today's Foghorn Signals three - two-second blasts every 60 seconds and is an active navigational aid.

The Dory Riptides: The tide flows in a clockwise spiral from Advocate Bay along the west face of the Cape and then clashes with a counterclockwise current coming from Greville Bay (just east of Cape d'Or and along the Minas Basin (north shore). A third flow comes up from the deep and underwater obstacles including a large basalt reef off the Cape produce near vertical waves or "overfalls". The collision of these three massive flows form the violent "Dory Rips" just off shore.

The former lighthouse keepers residence has been converted into a fine dining restaurant and guesthouse accommodations. The prices are reasonable, but they do not accept credit or debit cards of any kind. Cash and travelers cheque only please.

The beach at Cape D'Or. A beautiful misty sunset is looming but so too is a storm approaching from the Northeast.

More photos available in the Cape D'or gallery: http://banjon.smugmug.com/gallery/3101302


  • bsvirginianbsvirginian BS Posts: 241Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 21, 2007
    clap.gif Great travelogue of an area that is on my list to see.
  • LilleGLilleG Major grins Posts: 313Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 21, 2007
    Interesting comments and great images. Looks like a great place to visit.
  • gildcogildco Earning by Learning Posts: 179Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 28, 2007
    Fine description & pictures
    Your story is very interesting and nicely pictorialized. Good camera work that captures the serenity yet ever-present dangers of the area. Thanks for sharing.clap.gif
  • Gary GlassGary Glass Picture Reality Posts: 744Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2007
    I really like your treatment in a number of these shots. I'm thinking of doing a trip to Newfoundland in a few weeks. I hope I can catch some more of that good light you found in NS.
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Posts: 21,236Administrators moderator
    edited July 29, 2007
    Very nice!

    Great story too.
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • willard3willard3 Jefe Máximo Posts: 1,537Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 28, 2012
    Very nice.

    Been there and kayaked in the Minas Basin at Cape Split. We had the best dinner at the restaurant by the lighthouse. Stayed in Port Greville.
    It is better to die on you feet than to live on your knees.....Emiliano Zapata
  • dave6253dave6253 Major grins Posts: 229Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 29, 2012
    Excellent. Beautiful place captured very well.
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