Wednesday, September 2, 2015

9/2 Saint John, New Brunswick & Reversing Falls

I packed up today and drove 25 miles into Saint John, the biggest town anywhere near here, because I wanted to see the local museum and walk around the town and harbor.  (It is a horrible road because there are very narrow gravel shoulders and the roadbed dips and tilts, making my whole vehicle sway and wobble.  I had to slow down several times when the side to side rocking got too bad.  Why don't asphalt paving people grade country roads before putting on the asphalt??)

Anyway, found a parking place, but had a long walk uphill to the shopping area where the museum and the library are located.  Most of the walk was inside a covered walkway, at least.  You can tell this is snow country when they have these elevated walkways that are protected from the elements. This indoor shopping area included the library, museum, shops, and of course, a Tim Horton's, where I had a cinnamon roll since I had not eaten breakfast.

This was really a very nice museum, with a historical floor and one on natural sciences.  Saint John was a lumbering and fishing town, and then when Great Britain was busy using all its ships during the Napoleonic Wars, this area became a shipbuilding area, which is how it became wealthy and grew large.

I thought this was clever.  It is a cross section of a large ship as it is being built.  It shows the size of the timbers and the thickness of the hull. 

Now, the next photo might seem a little gruesome.  A 37' Right whale named Delilah that had been tracked for several years got hit by a ship and her carcass washed up on shore.  The museum and several universities cooperated in cutting up the body so it could be studied and displayed. 

Even after hacking her up into large chunks, the pieces were too large to handle.  In addition, they wanted to get the flesh off of the bones without having the whales oil saturating them, so they tied chunks up in huge fishing nets and let them hang from buoys in the bay until the sea life had removed all the flesh and the bones could be retrieved and dried!

So, here is a cast of her body and a cast of her skeleton!  Right whales are very rare, and she was one of only about 300 in existence, so this was a good opportunity to get a specimen for the museum.

A final interesting fact is that when she died, she had an 8-month-old calf that was still nursing and so was expected to die.  However, somehow she managed to survive and now has had several calves of her own!  Nice ending.

 This is the official Moosehead moose!

And these guys look like they have been sitting here for a while!

In this shot, you can see the top of this funny whatever-it-is!

Ever hear of dulse?  I had a sample taste in a little store near my campground yesterday.  It is a reddish seaweed that is harvested and dried as a snack.  Mostly it tastes salty, but frankly, I prefer Cheetos as a snack.  This display was in the city indoor market. 

The next few photos show some of the older houses I walked past to get back to my vehicle.  Somehow they look very appropriate for an old sea town.

It was only a couple of miles to the Reversing Falls, but I drove around in several circles finding the place.  Saint John has a 24' tide.  When the tide is going out, this river acts like a normal river and the water heads out to sea.  When the tide comes in, it reverses and the water goes back upstream over some rapids and small waterfalls. 

In the two photos below, the bay is to your left and upstream is to your right. 

Here is a link to a video of the water heading upstream: 

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