The Northumberland Strait is a tidal water body between Prince Edward Island and the coast of eastern New Brunswick and northern Nova Scotia. The strait extends 225 km west-northwest to east-southeast from Richibucto Cape, NB, to Cape George, NS, with a width of 13-43 km. It is 68 m deep at its eastern end but less than 20 m over a large central area. Preglacial and glacial valleys eroded into red sandstone and siltstone lead from both ends into the floor of the Gulf of St Lawrence. The retreat of glacial ice from the strait and surrounding area about 13 000 years ago was followed by flooding by the sea. Soon after, isostatic uplift excluded the sea from the central area, which became an isthmus joining opposite coasts. By 5000 years ago, the rising sea level had flooded this link, establishing the strait, which has been deepening slowly.
A generally shallow depth causes strong tidal currents, water turbulence and a high concentration of suspended red silt and clay, which led early French colonists to name the strait "la mer rouge." Shallowness is also largely responsible for the warmest summer water temperature in eastern Canada (July, 20°C or higher) and a consequent concentration of summer tourist activity, as well as a prolific shellfish and lobster fishery. Equable climate and extensive tillable soils form the basis for mixed agriculture and vegetable growing (particularly potatoes) on both coasts.
The cultural roots of early Scottish settlers run deep here – names like New Glasgow give it away. In 1773, the Hector arrived from Scotland and the first of many waves of Gaelic immigrants walked down the gangplank. You can board a replica of this three-masted, fully rigged ship, and try to imagine how those 170 pioneers endured 11 arduous weeks at sea, slowed down by storms and smallpox.
Once on shore, they discovered what the Mi’kmaq First Nations people already knew – the warm blue waters of the Northumberland Strait teemed with seafood, and the lands were fertile. The settlers forged an enduring way of life, and you can still hear the skirling of bagpipes and watch caber-tossing at the Antigonish Highland Games, the oldest games of this kind outside of Scotland.
Sightseeing flights are offered in one of our Cessna 172 aircraft that will carry up to three passengers (maximum total passenger weight is 500 lbs).
It is useful to book ahead as aircraft are rented on a first come first serve basis.
Pleasure flights are conducted only in good weather and so if conditions are poor at the time of the scheduled flight we will do our best to reschedule.
Visitors are always very welcome and so feel free to come out and look around the club at any time and talk to our manager and pilots.
All tours provide great photo opportunities!
Call (902) 662-2228 for a booking or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view some scenic flying around the area (spotlighting one of our fleet's Cessnas, no less), click here