A Nova Scotia landmark changed dramatically overnight Monday as the power of Mother Nature collapsed the sea arch on Long Island in the Minas Basin.

"I looked out the window this morning and I had to look twice," said Harold Nesbitt, who just moved to the area in July because of the view of Five Islands, which includes Long Island.

"I went, 'Where's the hole?"' he told CBC News.

Nesbitt, who with his wife, Wendy Nesbitt, writes the Motorcycle Tour Guide: Nova Scotia & Atlantic Canada, said the arch was unusual — "a tunnel through the island with the Bay of Fundy on the other side."

He and his wife saw what a tourism attraction it was from their waterfront home.

"We see people lined up all the time with their iPads, iPhones and their cameras shooting the islands, but mostly they're shooting the hole in the island," he said.

Nesbitt said the sunset was beautiful last night and he thought about taking a picture, but didn't.

"I regret that because I may have had one of the last pictures of Long Island with the tunnel through it," he said.

Long Island

This photo shows the Long Island sea arch before it collapsed overnight Monday. (Michel Lajoie)

Nesbitt said not a day has gone by since he moved to Lower Five Islands that he hasn't looked at the island and the beauty of the arch. 

Aided by the Bay of Fundy's high tides, kayaks and even fishing boats would go through the arch. But those days are now gone.

Nesbitt said the highest tides in the area in 18 years were documented a few weeks ago and he suspects that, coupled with erosion and strong winds, may have caused the collapse.

"I just couldn't imagine that ever happening, because I really did one day want to go out in my kayak and kayak through it," he said.

"I really am upset about it. I know it's nature and there's nothing you can do about it, but I know that was something unique, something outstanding. I can't change anything, but I simply honestly cannot believe it happened."

Nesbitt said while the collapse is going to change the landscape, "it is still an amazingly beautiful area."

Long Island

This photo shows Long Island minus its sea arch, which collapsed overnight Monday. (Harold Nesbitt)