Sable Island Expedition – August 4, 2009

We received bad news again today regarding the weather.  The fogbank was as thick as ever and there was no break in the forecast.  We were told not to stray more than an hour or so driving distance away as the weather could change unexpectedly and we would be called in for our flight.  The fog retreated away from the coast a little allowing some decent views so, we decided to take a run out to the renowned Peggy’s Cove to photograph the lighthouse and surrounding coast.  By mid-morning weather was so nice it was difficult to believe that Sable was fogged in, but 100 miles out in the Atlantic things were very different.

Foggy Coast

Foggy Coast

We checked in every three hours in case of a change but we were told it did not look hopeful for a flight out today. It was only then that I began to get an idea of how much of this difficulty was weather and how much was government policy creating obstacles for us. We learned at this point that the manager of the coast guard, whose job it is to receive us is not permitted to work any overtime. That means he works from 8am to 4pm and if our flight does not leave by 2pm he can not receive us! This rule is as a result of a government decision to designate Sable Island as a non-remote location. In other words it is part of the local constituency! Still not discouraged we re-planned our day. Darren and I took off in a car borrowed from his friends in Halifax, and Claudia and Joan chose to explore more of the city.Though the light was flat and sky lacking any interesting detail, we managed to get some interesting images of the local fishing scene. We spent hours trying to get a view of Sambro lighthouse, running up and down gravel roads and traipsing through brush, but to no avail. A drive down the coast through Mahone Bay, on to Lunenberg and down to “the Ovens” gave us a real sense of the photo possibilities. We took some shots along the way, but inwardly we were hoping we would be back during better light. The Ovens sea caves were particularly interesting with their dramatic cliffs and twisted trees. We were out at last light around 9:30pm and then the hour’s drive back into town made for another long day. At our last check-in with Maritime they told us there might be a small window of opportunity for a flight out in the afternoon the next day. That was a nice bit of news as we were all getting anxious to get to get to a prime destination.

Peggy's Cove Coast

Peggy’s Cove Coast

Sea Caves

Sea Caves

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