On the hard


In Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and northern Maine, it’s easy to park your boat ‘on the hard’. That’s because the tides in the Bay of Fundy are higher than anywhere else in the world. The tidal range in the Bay of Fundy is about 52 ft, whereas the average tidal range worldwide is only a smidge higher than a yard. (Because I know you want to know, the tidal range in Maine goes from 18.4 in Eastport to 8.7 feet in Kittery.) Of course, some tides are higher than others, depending on the position of the moon and sun, and whether there’s a stiff onshore breeze.

Fishing boats on the hard don’t fall over. They have a very low center of gravity, with those powerful engines below. Because they’re surrounded by sand and gravel, sometimes in paintings they appear to be levitating. They need shadows to ground them. Luckily, I love painting shadows so much that if they’re not there I’ll make them up.

In the back is a lobster boat; in the foreground is a trawler. That has a Novi or Cape Islander wheelhouse, or cuddy, where the windows slant backwards. That’s been a distinctive feature of Nova Scotian boats since 1905.

That long trailing cabin part is where they process your fresh-caught dinner. There are sometimes bunks and a small galley in the cuddy. What a smelly existence that must be!

Lobster boats, if maintained, live good long lives. You can tell these are older models by their relatively sleek hulls. In some areas of the Canadian maritime provinces, lobster boats are limited to 45’ in length. Barred from getting longer, lobster boats just get wider.

This is the last painting I did before I headed home.

In 2016, my daughter Mary and I set off across Alaska and Canada on a Great White North Adventure, which you can read about starting here. We arrived in Anchorage at the beginning of September and got home in mid-October. In between, we visited every province but PEI (been there, done that), and Yukon Territory. In retrospect, it might have made more sense to do this during the summer, since Alaska and Canada threw a mess of strange weather at us.

1 in stock


On the hard is 8X10, oil on archival canvasboard.

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