Sable Island – Submitted by Pat Maloney
I was very fortunate to be able to participate in the inaugural tour to Sable Island in June of this year. On a trip organized by Adventure Canada in conjunction with Parks Canada we set sail for Sable Island from St. Johns Newfoundland. After a day and a half of smooth sailing we got our first glimpse of Sable Island, “The Graveyard of the Atlantic”. Sable is a 40km long 1km wide sand bar about 150 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia on the edge of the Continental shelf. Sable is famous for its wild horses and it’s history of shipwrecks over the centuries(at least 350 documented wrecks). Recently proclaimed a National Park Reserve, Sable Island will soon become Canada’s newest National Park.
We set anchor about a mile offshore and landed on Sable by Zodiac. We were very fortunate with weather and were able to land 3 times in 3 days. While onshore we hiked the Island, witnessed the Geology, Eco- systems and Wild life. The “Wild Horses” were scattered around the Island and seemed oblivious to our presence. Water fowl were everywhere as well as a Grey Seal population of around 50,000. The Island was spectacular having a beauty of it’s own. Very few have set foot on Sable over the years, even fewer by choice.
After leaving Sable Island we sailed thru “the Gully”, a protected Marine area, where we observed plenty of marine mammals including whales, dolphins and orca’s. Next stop was a fishing outpost nestled in a fiord on the south coast of Nfld. Approx 120 hardy souls inhabit Francois (pronounced Fran-swey). After an afternoon of hiking & photography we enjoyed a cabaret in the Town Hall with plenty of music, dancing & drink.
From there we sailed to St. Pierre, France’s territory off the coast of Nfld then back to St. John’s via rough seas and amongst the ice bergs. I highly recommend the trip if you ever get the chance to visit Sable. It’s a once in a lifetime experience.