Sable Island Day Two

The dreary, wet weather kept most visitors indoors today, but I decided to trek outdoors to document Sable Island in it’s usual state, foggy and raining. I ended up coming home just before dark. My clothes were soaking wet, but my gear made it safe and dry, and really, that’s all that matters. Even in the pouring rain, every step across the island was enjoyable. I found myself stopping to rest and just grinning ear to ear at the sight of all this beauty. Today I documented the sand dunes, the waves crashing onto shore, and the abundance of seals that will follow you in the water as they watch you travel across the sand. When I’d turn to look at my seal paparazzi, they’d all vanish underneath the water. I like the grey seals compared to harbor as they have these unusual long rectangle shaped faces. Every time I look at this picture I think of the song, “I’ve got you babe”. It’s truly beautiful watching these horses interact with one another. Wild horses have what is known as family bands, and they operate much like a human family. The father, or in horse terms, the lead stallion, thinks he is in charge when really it’s the lead mare, or the mother in human terms. The lead stallion protects his herd, while the lead mare determines where and when they travel. It feels unnatural for me to be so public with my passion. I’ve always preferred to be behind the camera or in an edit bay compared to being interviewed live or writing a blog. Without this dream...

Sable Island Here We Are

We arrived on Sable Island yesterday at 11am. The weather conditions the night before didn’t look promising, but somehow we managed to land with calm, clouded skies. When we were in the sky, it seemed like we were flying in the clouds forever, until suddenly you saw Sable for a few minutes before landing on it. I kept turning around in circles, taking in the view of Sable. It’s more than I could have ever imagined. I’ve been researching and hearing stories of Sable for the past year for my documentary, but none of those facts and tales come close to describing the paradoxical beauty of the island. Where ever you are on Sable, you can hear waves crashing against the beaches. The aroma from the flora on the island is intoxicating. While walking on Sable Island, I noticed immediately how difficult it is to trek on the sand and the ground was covered with caterpillars. Our first day was a busy day as I conducted two interviews upon arrival. Sable Island is surrounded by wind and wave noise, so we found locations that somewhat sheltered us from the sounds. I had the pleasure of interviewing Terry Hennigar, a hydrogeologist & groundwater specialist, who conducted the first fresh water research on Sable Island in the 1970’s. We discussed how Sable Island has fresh water, how water is accessed on the island by animals, and his experiences of working on the island during the 70’s. Terry is quite a character! He’s incredibly passionate about his line of work and for Sable Island. My next interview was with Terry’s daughter April,...

The Day Before Sable

So the last few days have been a blur of researching, forming relationships, and preparing for Sable Island. Tomorrow I know is definitely Tuesday. I double-checked the calendar. Tuesday is the day we plan to we fly out to Sable Island. Fingers crossed we have good enough conditions to land on the island! On Friday I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Dan Conlin, curator of the Maritime Museum. Dan’s interests lay in the historical aspect of the island and it’s shipwrecks. After interviewing Dan I made my way to the Nova Scotia Archives for another adventure of discovering past memories. I scrolled through dozens of microfilms to collect more information on Sable Island. Saturday we visited the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park to see the two remaining horses of descendants of horses brought from Sable during the 70’s. Although some features resembled those of the Sable Island horses, if I didn’t already know they were from Sable Island, I don’t think I would have made that connection on my own. I had Jeff and Ritchie convince me to wake up at 5am Sunday morning to photograph the sunrise at Peggy’s Cove. When they arrived that morning, Jeff made a comment that he told his daughter to never get in a dark truck with two strange men at the dead of morning (like I was currently doing with them)! It was the first time I met Jeff and Ritchie, although Jeff and I have spent several months chatting online about our trip to Sable Island. Peggy’s Cove was wonderful to explore in its undisturbed state, although I was half awake for...

Arrival in Halifax

Yesterday I left my house at 3am to catch a 7am flight from Victoria, BC to Halifax, Nova Scotia. I slept through the entire flight from Victoria to Calgary. I didn’t even wake when the plane landed. I was so exhausted from being awake for over 24 hours. As I waited for my second flight that morning, I carefully watched the luggage crew load my bags onto the plane. My worst fear was losing all my gear before my adventure began. Thankfully, I saw my shipping containers being loaded onto the conveyor belt, and could rest easy for remainder of my trip. When I reached Halifax, my newly made friend and Kickstarter supporter, Bernadette, greeted me with a welcoming smile. I’m glad she recognized me, because I had no idea what to expect! As we drove through the different pockets of Nova Scotia, it began to remind me of home. Here, bodies of water, old growth trees, and hills surround us, just like on Vancouver Island. Although Halifax is considered a large maritime city, it’s not overly busy and crowded. Bernadette and I chatted about what seemed to be anything and everything. I thought it would be awkward bunking with her family, whom I had never met before, but everyone is so welcoming and kind. It’s been really special spending time with them and learning about Nova Scotia. Today, I woke up in the late morning. It wasn’t until I woke up, looked around a bedroom that wasn’t mine, that I came to terms that my documentary was not actually a dream, but really happening. That was the moment...

One Week to Nova Scotia

Nothing describes how I’m feeling better than this T-Shirt from Nova Scotia Webcams. I’ve been going through the motions of my everyday life, but my heart and mind is lost to daydreaming about my journey. I just want to be in Nova Scotia! Am I there yet? In a week I’ll be boarding a flight to Halifax, where I’ll stay until Tuesday August 27th. Hopefully on that Tuesday, I’ll be flying out to Sable Island to videotape my documentary. Damian Lidgard (www.lidgardphotography.com) This journey feels surreal. I don’t think I’ll truly realize this documentary is real until I’m at the Victoria Airport boarding my flight to Halifax. I’ve waited so long to be on Sable Island that now I can’t believe it’s only a week away. I’m half expecting I’ll fall asleep one night and wake up realizing this is all just a dream. The journey to Sable Island has worn me down and picked me back up so many times. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions. And it’s all been so lovely. When I begin to doubt myself I just look back at how far I’ve come. I never imagined I’d be one of the few permitted to visit Sable Island nor would I be able to raise the funds to get there. Somehow everything has fallen into place. I want to call it luck, but I know it’s more than that. When you are living your dream, you will find a way to do it and the world will help pave the path. I truly believe that now. This documentary has shaped into something more than just...