Nifty islands are pretty common throughout the Maritimes. Many of them prove to be an eco-tourists dream come true. However, almost all of them tremble at the feet of one of the wildest, most dangerously awesome islands on the east coast of Canada.
Nicknamed the Graveyard of the Atlantic, Sable Island has been the final resting place for over 350 ships since it’s discovery. Partly due to thick fogs, strong currents, and the fact that it’s in the middle of of a major transatlantic shipping route. Despite the enormous number of ships to have met Davy Jone’s Locker, there is little sign of any of these ships. Thick tides and moving sands tend to cover them in little to no time at all.
So aside from its nasty ship eating abilities, what makes Sable Island so great? For one, it’s protected to the nines. Try to make an unwelcome visit and you’re sure to meet the good folks of the Canadian Coast Guard. But why so protected? Nope, no gold, no diamonds, no secret Canadian version of Area 51 (how cool would that be!?). It’s all about nature here.
Yea man, nature! Sable Island is home to hundreds of feral horses known as Sable Island Ponies, all of which are protected by law from human interference. If you’re like me, you might be wondering “What the heck are a bunch of wild horses doing miles from the mainland on a stretch of land no more than 1.5km wide?” Well, apparently the horses are descended from a herd confiscated from Acadians during the Great Explusion and left on the island by Thom Hancock…you may know his nephew…goes by the name of John Hancock.
Aside from horses, there is a large Grey Seal population on the island (See photo to the right), which sometimes happen to end up being food for natures dear friend, the Great White Shark. These ocean predators have been known to hang around in the nearby waters. Don’t forget the countless bird colonies that reside here, along with the freshwater sponge which is found only in ponds on this mondo el weirdo island.
Sable Island on Map
You want to visit Sable Island?
So all this talk is getting your feet all sorts of itchy to check this place out? Sandy beaches, cool animals, a little hidden getaway from the world. Might be nice. At present, you’d have a better shot at going to Antarctica than Sable Island. From what I hear they currently limit 250 visitors per year. You should also be warned, many locals are pissed that the government is considering making Sable Island a National Park, which means it could end up being a tourist attraction. What would be a group of pissed of people be without a Facebook Page, check it out at Hands off Sable Island. Whatever decision is made in the end, I just hope Sable Island survives along with it’s inhabitants. If you’re looking for an organized group of people trying to protect Sable Island, check out the Green Horse Society. They’ve got some great photos and a lot more reading material on this subject.
Cool video of the Sable Island Ponies