Sable Island Expedition – June 26, 2012

Day 9: I woke early determined to trek to East Light. I shed most of my gear, taking only one camera and a lightweight lens. The weather was perfect and with visibility good, I was able to see East Light far in the distance. I took to the north beach and began my journey. It was wonderful to feel the sun’s warmth and take in all the little treasures along the tideline. Wet beach pebbles glimmered in the early light and curious grey seals darted in and out of translucent waves followed me cautiously. Occasionally I would turn around and keep an eye on the fogbank hanging threateningly off the west spit, but for the most part kept my eye on the old lighthouse 18 km up the beach. I passed Bald Dunes 1, 2 and 3 and all the horses grazing inland, and many treasures along the beach that had been washed up by previous tides and storms. I kept looking for the wreck that was supposed to be emerging on the north beach, but was not able to find it.

I arrived at the old East Light at 11am. From the beach I climbed up the steep dune and found four horses were grazing at the lighthouse base, as if on call for this shoot. From here I could also see across to the south shore and all the way to east spit. In the valley below were the remains of the old east station, now nothing more than a pile of lumber and the brick chimney sticking out from it. I thought of all the people that may have stayed there over the decades and the stories they might have.*

I was tempted to keep going east but I knew that my time was limited and decided to head back, exploring the dunes and valleys inland on my way. East spit would have to wait for another time. It had been a very dry spring and most of the inland ponds were dry, but the horses had adapted by digging watering holes. I watched several groups go about the task of breaking through the sand, pawing their way to the aquifer beneath. Eventually, with the day waning, I crossed over to the south shore and headed back to base.

During the long walk home, I reflected on my days here, knowing that soon I would have to leave. My trip had been successful far beyond my wildest expectations. Tomorrow was one of the few days with good flying weather and it was time to go.

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