I was at Costco when I got the call: after months of anticipation, my trip to Sable Island was cancelled.
I looked at the cart of groceries that was supposed to be for the babysitter and kids while I was away. I could have cried.
I’d wanted to go to Sable Island for years. A photographer’s dream, it is remote and difficult to get to, which only adds to the allure.
Now our flight was bumped so the supply plane, grounded by high winds, could take necessities to the few residents.
Disappointing. But understandable.
Then, a couple days later, hope! There might be a break in the weather. We got to the tiny terminal in Halifax first thing. But it wasn’t looking good. When the pilot predicted this flight, too, would be cancelled, I prayed for a miracle.
And we got it.
All of a sudden, the skies cleared.
Ok, said the pilot. We can go.
He called the island to check on the runway. The first was flooded, the backup too soggy for a landing.
Drats, foiled again!
We left the airport, dejected.
Three times would prove the charm.
The next day, we hitched a flight with a generous adventurer who shared his charter. The weather was perfect, the runways dry. We were off, flying over Nova Scotia, all the colours of the fall forest below before we swept out over the ocean.
The plane was tiny, terrifying. I thought I might die any number of ways. I have a fear of heights. Of not being in control. Of great white sharks.
But mixed with the fear was excitement, which was all I felt as we approached the island and I saw the horses running wild below.
After an amazing day and a white-knuckle flight back, I was eager to download my photographs. I popped the memory card into my laptop. And got an error message.
My heart dropped. Was this trip cursed?
After a good cry and a number of panicked calls to the hard-drive company, I found my files. I backed them up four times, just to be safe. These photographs are precious to me. After all, they’re documents of a day that almost didn’t happen.