The Queen of Sable Island

 

 

 

 

 

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For more than 40 years, Zoe Lucas has lived alone on Sable Island, a desolate sandbar off the coast of Nova Scotia, 26 miles long and less than a mile wide.

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The only other inhabitants among the sand dunes and wildflowers are 400 wild horses, 300,000 grey seals and 350 species of bird.

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The island, which is 190 miles east of Nova Scotia, can only be reached by boat or chartered plane from Newfoundland.

 

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Lucas, 67, who goes about her day with binoculars to study the wildlife and a pad to make notes, says she never gets lonely. Originally from Halifax, Lucas first visited Sable Island as a 21-year-old in 1971.

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When she arrived to make it her permanent home, she set up camp in one of the abandoned buildings that were part of a government lifesaving station.

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Lucas now lives in a wooden house amid the sand dunes. Supplies are flown in when she needs them.

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The island is covered in fog for 125 days of the year and is a treacherous shipping hazard, racking up 300 shipwrecks over the centuries, affording it the nickname ‘graveyard of the Atlantic.’ The most recent wreck was in 1981.

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Sable Island became a National Park Reserve in June of 2013. National Parks staff drop by from time to time throughout the year to remind Zoe Lucas she’s not alone in the world.

 

 

 

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