St. Andrews By-The-Sea.

It’s a long weekend here in Canada. Victoria Day is tomorrow and a holiday for most, which means that it is the unofficial start of summer. My family tends to be spontaneous with vacation plans, so I’m not sure what our plans are for tomorrow or the rest of summer, but most likely at some point between tomorrow and Labour Day we will make a visit to St. Andrews.

St. Andrews by-the-sea

St. Andrews by-the-sea

Known as St. Andrews by the sea, it’s a small community sitting on the shores of the Passamaquoddy Bay which is an inlet of the Bay of Fundy. With a population of less than 2000 this small town offers an abundance of subjects to photograph. The shops on Water Street have local art, handcrafts and maritime souvenirs. The beaches can be clay, sand, small rocks or sandstone. Most of the beaches also have a wide variety of shore birds.

Sea Anemone

Sea Anemone – Huntsman Marine Aquarium

St. Andrews is located on a peninsula so you can shoot along the water throughout the entire day. My family camped last year and loved that I could shoot sunrise and sunset over the water all in one day and in the same area. Along with the coastline and shops some of the other sites I would recommend are;  Ministers Island, which you can only access by driving across the ocean floor during low tide, whale watching, Kingsbrae Garden and the Huntsman Aquarium.

Old weirs on the Passamaqoddy Bay

Old weirs on the Passamaquoddy Bay

For a small town that is only about a mile long and half mile wide there is plenty to see for just about any age. If you’ve never been to the Maritimes and are looking for an introduction, St. Andrews might be the place to start.

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The Trip

Every year my family packs up our car with camping gear, luggage and all the necessary items for our annual camping trip. This year with sleeping bags, pillows, pots and pans at feet and on laps, we headed to what has become one of our one of our favorite destinations over the last few years. Passamaquoddy Bay is an inlet inside The Bay of Fundy and derives its name from the Passamaquoddy First Nation. It is the part of The Bay of Fundy where New Brunswick meets Maine and where the St. Croix River drains into. The Passamaquoddy is also where the Fundy Isles that I written about are located.

Passamaquoddy Bay at Sunset

This years camping site was Saint Andrews which is located in Charlotte County, New Brunswick. Commonly referred to as St. Andrews by the Sea and with a population of about 1800 this small town is a major attraction for the county and a bustling tourist destination for both Canadians and Americans. With a wide variety of small boutiques and restaurants lined along the shores of the bay, St. Andrews is a busy spot in the summer months.

Seagull at Sunrise

One of my favorite things to do in St. Andrews is to drive or walk along the road that lines the edge of the town. It provides a magnificent view on all sides, and great opportunities for taking photographs from sunrise to sunset. The beaches are also a fun spot for the kids to get out and enjoy the sand and shorelines. With numerous types of shorebirds and other wildlife, it is a great place to help kids appreciate nature. In one day you can have opportunities to play with green crabs on the beach, see great blue herons, plovers, cormorants and seals all from shore.

One Leg Piping Plover on The Passamaquoddy

The highlight of this summer’s trip was whale watching. Passamaquoddy Bay has several species of whales with the most common being the Minke, Finback, and Humpback. Although the whales were a little shy, we did see a well-known minke named “slice”. He got this name because he doesn’t have a typical looking dorsal fin and has had the top of it sliced off somehow. Along with Slice the minke, we saw porpoises, several bald eagles, gannets, and harbor and grey seals.

Slice the Minke

Harbour and Grey Seals on the rocks

Our annual camping trip is one of the highlights of the year and is the unofficial end of summer. It has become a great time for us to get away from all the business of life and distractions of work, internet and TV. I’m finding the older I get that I don’t necessarily enjoy the “roughing it” part of the trip, but it is still nice to take off with my family and just enjoy each others company, along with all that God has made.