The very first time the Shubenacadie Canal was traversed, from Halifax to Maitland in a single voyage, it was the tiny paddle-steamer AVERY whch made the trip. That was 29 November 1861. The only remnants of the ship and her voyage are sketchy records in the NS Archives, but the records show that the trip was a success, proving the Canal to be a success.
Exactly 150 years later, a team of canoeists recreated the voyage of the AVERY. Re-enacters including Bernie Hart, presented a new "Letter of Marque" to paddlers Allan Billard and Gordon Warnica at the site of the old Customs Wharf on Halifax
Harbour. From there the team was joined by kayaker Robert Fraser and they set out for the entrance of the Shubenacadie Canal on the Dartmouth side of the harbour. Three hours later the modern day voyageurs arrived in Fall River (a distance of 25 km.) and decided to stay the night.
At dawn the next day, Bernie and Wendy Levy joined the anniversary paddle as they made it all the way to the Village of Shubenacadie. Enjoying favourable winds and weather, they covered a distance of 50 km.
The final day of the trip required careful calculation of the incoming tide from the Bay of Fundy. It was important to have an outgoing tide from Shubenacadie down to Maitland, but at full low tide, there would not be enough water to make the appropriate landing at the historic wharf site in the old ship building village. As it turned out, the voyageurs (now with Doug Archibald stepping with Bernie Levy) were blessed with favourable winds and currents again and were able to go 37 km. (just 2 km. from Maitland) before they had to pull ashore and let the tidal bore rush by.
With a 1-hour wait on the banks of the river, they finally had a sufficient depth of water to paddle up to the remnants of the original wharf and be greeted by the kind folk of Maitland.
There, several other re-enacters were present to greet them and to celebrate the 150 year old connection between Halifax Harbour and the Bay of Fundy.