On August 24-26th, I was able to take two groups to Grindstone Island for a night. This has never happened before and it was a huge success.
We left Harvey Dam on Zodiac boats on high tide with Tri-County Ground Search & Rescue. The water was very calm when we started out, but the closer we got to the island, swells and white caps appeared—which made for some wet humans!
We found a lot of fish bones and the only garbage I saw was what the birds had brought back to their nests. Seals watched us the whole time. At high tide, sandpipers landed on the beach to rest, and gave us a flying show.
While there, bird data was recorded, garbage cleaned up, and warning signs were installed beside the cliffs and on the two buildings. The trail from Mud Cove to the lighthouse was cleaned (Nature Trust created the trail in 2016). While we don’t encourage visitors to the island, we did want a safe trail for those that do visit.
Everyone had a great time exploring and was respectful of leaving the island better then we arrived: a HUGE thank you to Cedric, Dan, Sara, Larry and André of Tri-County Search & Rescue for taking us to and from the island safely.
Access to the island is only by boat or helicopter. As the currents of the Bay of Fundy are very strong and can be dangerous, only experienced boaters should travel in this area. Visits to the island are only permitted with written permission from the Nature Trust, and then may only be made outside the bird nesting season (May 15-August 15). Contact Nature Trust for more information.
I hope to be able to take a group again in two to three years. For updates, please join our Facebook group “Friends of Grindstone Island.”
A majority of Grindstone Island is the preserve of the Anglican Church, Parish of Sackville, NB, which is managed by the Nature Trust through a conservation easement. It covers slightly more than 20 hectares (48 acres) and is located at the entrance to Shepody Bay.
Approximately 1.6 hectares (3.8 acres) of land surrounding the local lighthouse (southwest corner of the Island) is owned by the Government of Canada, as well as a second small lot on the island’s southeast side.
No visiting is allowed between May 15 and August 15 due to the bird breeding season. For details, see Nature Trust of New Brunswick’s www.naturetrust.nb.ca/wp/blog/grindstone-island/
Melanie Shaw is the Lead Steward of Grindstone Island.