Sable Island Expedition – April 17, 2010

April17cYesterday was spent indoors with little complaint. The 70km wind, rain and sleet continued all day and through the night. As morning arrived the winds subsided and I decided to venture out to the north beach. As I headed towards the trail I was shocked at the change in landscape. Throughout the storm massive amounts of sand were shifted by the wind and the landscape on the north side was completely remodeled  The waves had come to within inches of breaching the dune barrier that protects the center of the island and the coast guard complex. The typical beach litter of bottles, plastic, seaweed and more had washed up to the base of the dunes. Things were there that were not, and items there before were now gone.

 

By early afternoon conditions were excellent and I decided to try riding a bike on the tideline to see if it was faster than hiking. This proved to be moderately successful if I carried no weight (camera gear), so off I went with only one camera and my 18-70mm lens. After what seemed like peddling forever I stopped and hiked up to a high dune to get my bearings. To my dismay I was not very far at all from the station. As I rested, a small family group appeared over the next dune and looked like they might head for the beach. I slowly backed out of the way and allowed them to pass, then closed in behind them to follow. Two thoughts occurred, one: HORSES on the BEACH!!! and two: keep away from my bicycle! Horses have an intense curiosity about anything new an I had visions of a horse with its foot through my spokes. Luckily there interest lay more on the new items that appeared on the tideline. As I started taking images a bad scraping sound came from my lens. The dreaded sand! My 18-70mm now appeared to be a 50-70mm and I would have to make do. The mare, stallion and foal were sniffing amongst the detritus on the beach and between all the junk and several seal skeletons they found a patch of seaweed.

April17fThis proved to be a delicacy full of protein but not so easy to eat. They toyed with the long ropes of kelp, sometimes two pulling at opposite ends. It was another amazing display of how these animals adapt to their environment. When it was time to head back I took the bike and carted it over the sand dunes to the south side of the island, with hopes of returning home via the shore of Lake Wallace. As I reached the southern most dune I looked out to where the lake should be and saw nothing but puddles! Where yesterday a the flood plain was covered it was now almost dry! A small family group, walking in single file like a caravan passed by me as I looked down from a high dune. I tried riding along the lake bottom and soon realized it was impossible. So, carting the bike back to north shore I headed back to home base, exhausted.

April17e

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error: All content is Copyright Debra Garside