LOWER TRURO, N.S. - For a split second, Mario Lozano thought the waves would rise up and swallow him whole, sweeping him to a watery grave in the Salmon River.
But the Oregon native did not meet his end, as he joined his wife Beth and about 100 people from around the world to watch seawater from the Bay of Fundy flow up the river June 15 just outside Truro.
“It scared me; I was afraid I was going to fall in it. I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Lozano on Friday.
While Oregon is a long way from Truro, Chile is even further. That is Marcela Rivera’s home country and she was in Truro visiting an old school friend when they went to watch the tidal bore.
Rivera never saw anything like it in her home city of Concepcion, about 500 km south of the Chilean capital Santiago.
“When the water came, marvellous,” said Rivera in halting English.
What both Lozano and Rivera saw is a daily occurrence for Truro’s locals, caused by the Bay of Fundy’s high tides, the world’s highest.
The tides usually come in and out over six-hour cycles, but the top of the bay near the Salmon River’s mouth is shallow and narrow, according to Kathy Fisher at the Fundy Discovery Site office.
The shallow and narrow bay entrance near Truro causes the tide to go from low to high in just one hour. At the same time, water from the Salmon River flowing out into the sea is pushed back by the strong tide.
As the incoming tide reverses the river’s flow, it fills up the watercourse like a bath tub in a tidal ‘bore’ wave. The wave can be roughly one metre high on some days.
The wave comes in at set times every day and hundreds of tourists line the Salmon River’s banks every summer to watch the spectacle.
“It’s very time sensitive. People have to be here when the schedule says,” said Fisher.
But for Mario and Beth Lozano, Truro and its tidal bore was just another stop on their epic road trip across North America in their campervan.
The couple departed their hometown of Bend, Oregon, in June last year. They first headed down to Arizona where they took in Lake Havasu City. There, they saw the stone London Bridge that was shipped over from England and rebuilt brick by brick.
From there, they drove through New Mexico, Texas and along the southern Gulf Coast before heading up America’s Eastern Seaboard towards Atlantic Canada.
“We got lost. That’s why I’m here,” joked Lozano about his time in Truro.
After Nova Scotia, the Lozanos will drive west towards Quebec and eventually back towards the West Coast, taking in Victoria, BC and Washington State.
He was far from the only American in town to watch the tidal bore. Other visitors from states such as Texas and Connecticut also turned up to watch the wave come in, as seen by the number plates on their vehicles.
Here comes the tidal bore up the Salmon River!Posted by Truro Daily News on Friday, 15 June 2018
Beth Lozano, from Bend, Oregon:
"[I’ve] not seen it. Not until we’ve got here. Well, I’ve learned that the power of the ocean is even more amazing than I realized. We had learned something about it at the Hopewell Rocks and the back and forth sloshing motion that erodes so efficiently. But I’ve never seen the ocean move so fast in my life. They [Americans] should come and see this and they should see a great deal more. There’s so much more to Nova Scotia than we’ll be able to experience. Truro is lovely."
Marcela Rivera, from Concepcion, Chile
"Impressed. Marvellous. When the water came, marvellous. When the water came, something that I had never seen."
Joanne Sturley, from Flin Flon, Manitoba
On Truro: "I’m from a little mining town. Truro’s got the small-town feel, I was quite surprised that. [Like in] Manitoba there’s a lot of bush between the towns." On the tidal bore: "I’m very much impressed. I’m glad I came. This is part of a condensed version of what goes on in the ocean."
Arlene Koch, from Swan Lake Manitoba
"It’s an amazing phenomenon and it makes you realize the forces of nature. We have nothing like this, obviously nothing as dramatic. I’ve learned what it looks like when the tidal bore comes in."