Members' Online Book: Cruising Notes—Canada's East Coast, Chapter 5 of 44

The Tusket Islands, Nova Scotia—High Tides and Tidal Races


The Tuskets, a group of 20 islands located in the outer Bay of Fundy, have long been on John’s must visit list. So when we left Yarmouth after clearing in to Canada from Maine, where we just finished commissioned Morgan’s Cloud after her two year shore leave, John suggested we give it a try.

About 150 years ago, the Tuskets were settled by intrepid fisherfolk to take advantage of one of the most productive lobster grounds in the world.

Making a living from the sea in a place where the tidal range spans 5 m (16 ft) and the tidal current in some of the channels between the islands can run at up to 4 knots, added to a very high incidence of fog (on average 191 days/year), is not for the faint of heart. And, as if to add insult to injury, the lobster season here is late November to end of May—winter North Atlantic.

In the summer, the off season for lobster, it is possible for visiting boats to tie up to the pile wharves that line the sounds between the islands. Possible, yes; easy, no! Especially not during spring tides, which we had for our attempt.

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Meet the Author


Phyllis has sailed over 40,000 offshore miles with John on their McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, most of it in the high latitudes, and has crossed the Atlantic three times. As a woman who came to sailing as an adult, she brings a fresh perspective to cruising, which has helped her communicate what they do in an approachable way, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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