Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Bore At Moncton


A Curious Tidal Wave That Might Pose as a Miniature Niagara

We had long known that that curious freak of the Fundy tides, the "bore" or tidal wave, appears at Moncton, N. B. — and at Moncton only — with every tide, twice a day. As we stepped upon the wharf one of us said to the other, "See, there comes the bore!" And there it was, three miles away, beyond the bend across which we were looking, a long, white, level streak, cutting across the river from bank to bank.

Sighting by houses and trees along the shore, we could measure how swiftly it approached, and in a very few minutes it needed no such help to see that it came rolling on with the speed of a railway train, showing the low, tumbling outline of a broken "roller" on the beach. Nearer and nearer, with a sharp, hissing roar, we almost held our breath, waiting for the moment when it should pass beneath our feet. Ten minutes from the time we first saw it the moment came.

Looking down upon it, what we saw was a head of water, as though from a broken dam, stretching straight across the channel, and rolling, tumbling, foaming as it raced along, just as a great breaker races up the beach after its fall. Before it the surface of the river was low, quiet, rippling gently downward toward the sea. Behind the water level was nearly three feet higher and coursing up from the sea with the speed and fury of a miniature Niagara gorge. At the sides the foam was brown with mud torn from the banks, and all the plunging current that came after was turbid and dark.

We watched that magic white line receding, twisting and turning as the channel curved between the wastes of mud flat and moment by moment the level of the racing flood below us climbed higher on the piling. A group of boys who had been playing until the last possible second out on the flats scattered into trailing lines of black dots making for the shore. At last, when the white line had grown quite indistinguishable in the distance, we turned away. We had seen the bore. — Boston Transcript.

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