It's been years in the making, and now, in partnership with Parks Canada, Halifax-based adventure company Kattuk Expeditions is offering the opportunity to visit this incredible island National Park Reserve by ship, directly from mainland Nova Scotia. Sable island is famous the world over for having the best protected wild horses in the world and the world's largest colony of Grey Seals.
Photo taken during our first private ship expedition in 2019 in cooperation with photographer Debra Garside.
Wildlife abounds on Sable Island with its 500+ feral horses that are now considered a naturalized species, and its 300,000+ seals who spend their days on the beach or swimming in the turquoise waters while avoiding sharks.
Sable Island is more than a sand island with wild horses and seals. Sable is a relatively closed ecosystem and life on the island, while not always easy, works in relative harmony. The plants and animals that live here provide the nutrients that maintain their habitat and, combined with wind and ocean action, keep the ever changing island in its place (generally speaking). It is also rich in history and has been inhabited by humans continuously since the first life-saving station was set up in 1801.
Sable is home to many unique species of rare plants, birds and insects. On Sable, 5 of the world's endemic species can be found including the Sable Island sweat bee and the nesting Ipswich Sparrow. While the Ipswich Sparrow does migrate, of the entire world, it only nests on Sable Island. Sable is also a stopping point for many rare and interesting migrating birds.
So, why take a ship to "The Graveyard of the Atlantic"? Well that term was coined long before the advent of modern navigation methods that allow us to visit Sable safely. Visitors who travel by ship will have the opportunity to spend the night at Sable (on board the ship) while looking up at a sky void of light pollution. The small group of 12 visitors are allowed on the island from sun-up to sun-down for two full days, an opportunity that exists nowhere else. This is a photographer's dream and an ecologist's delight. Travelling by small ship provides the opportunity to visit different locations on the island each day.
What can you expect from the ship and what is the cost? Firstly, this is not a luxury cruise ship but rather a science expedition vessel. It has comfortable quarters, its own chef, competent crew, multiple decks, a relaxing mess, washrooms with showers and even basic internet.
This epic 4-day adventure takes place from July 13 - 16, 2021 and sets sail from Canso, Nova Scotia. The trip costs $5,450 per person + HST. Yes, it's expensive but, having your own 38 meter all-aluminum oceanographic research ship that is fully equipped with crew, chef, food, zodiacs, guides, medical and emergency equipment, with having the ability to get you there timely and in a safe manner, is no small task. You can read more about the ship here. When it comes to visiting Sable Island National Park Reserve, no other experience can match this one.
Kattuk Expeditions has been working in partnership with Parks Canada and The Sable Island Institute, bringing guests by plane and helicopter for the past 4 years. Kattuk prides itself on offering high quality experiences that are operated safely and with great consideration for the areas visited. A portion of this trip cost will be donated to the Sable Island Institute to assist with their ongoing island-based research.
To book this epic adventure visit Kattuk Expeditions website page here: