A Dune Adrift

A Dune Adrift

The Strange Origins and Curious History of Sable Island

Book - 2004
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Sable Island lies off Canada's Nova Scotian coast. A shape-shifting ghost of an island, it is in fact more a sandbar, adrift in the Atlantic, wandering to the east or west with the storms that so frequently batter it -- but somehow never tipping over the nearby Continental Shelf.

The bane of sailors for many generations, it declines to stay exactly where it is on the sea charts, and is so low that it can often not be seen until an unfortunate ship is almost in its clutches. As a result, its beaches have been littered over the years by hundreds of shipwrecks. These have attracted both the notorious "wreckers," who scavenged for whatever they could "salvage," and were suspected of occasionally doing away with any witnesses who had the temerity to survive, and the employees of the Humane Establishment, set up for the rescue of shipwreck victims.

Anchored roughly by tough vegetation, surprisingly supplied with fresh water in the middle of salt, inhabited by hardy wild horses descended from Acadian ponies left on the island in 1756, Sable is an amazing place, and the authors have done it justice in this engaging and often lyrical book.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 2004.
Edition: 1st McClelland & Stewart hardcover ed. --
ISBN: 9780771026423
0771026420
Characteristics: 276 p. :,ill., maps.
Additional Contributors: Hirtle, Sheila

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Jul 25, 2011

Off Canada’s eastern coast, about 200km from Halifax, made of virtually nothing but sand, shaped by the continuous interplay of currents and tides, winds and waves, surrounded by threatening sand bars that promise shipwrecks and death, astride the shortest shipping routes between New York and Boston and the ports of Europe, this small mote upon the bosom of the almost perpetually disturbed Atlantic Ocean, lying in wait for the unsuspecting and unwary navigator is Sable Island. And this book is the story of this island: it’s geology, it’s natural history, its stormy relationship with ships of sail. This book is very well written. It is interesting and easy to read. The authors have done their homewok to write a book that is scarcely known. Very interesting.

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