Gary Jobson

Sable Island

Tarrazin at sunrise

Sable Island-Old Main Station 1971

Horses on Sable Island

Seal on Sable Island


The Magic & Mystery
of Sable Island

A new film by Gary Jobson


Premiered at the 
Annapolis Film Festival
on April 3, 2016

About 200 miles southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia sits a remote island of sand, and grass.

This crescent shaped island is home to a herd of 500 wild horses, many thousands of gray seals, and some birds and insects that are indigenous only on Sable Island.

In August I organized a cruise to Sable with the goal of producing a documentary.

While the scenery is beautiful, sadly, it is also the site of 350 shipwrecks over the past 500 years. The low sand dunes make the island difficult to see. Fog surrounds the island on more days than not.

Our yacht, with a crew of six, was the only sailing vessel given permission to land on Sable Island in 2015.

Our crew included two archaeologists, three sailors and a cameraman. We were very lucky to visit the island on three unusually clear days.

It is a miracle that Sable exists.

Sable, by the way, is a French word that means, “sand.” By all accounts the 26 mile long island was formed during the last ice age. It is barely one mile wide.

To the north the Labrador Current sweeps past, and not far to the south, the Gulf Stream flows in the opposite direction. The combination of currents, waves and storms has a huge impact on the position, and shape of Sable Island. A few Canadian researchers, meteorologists, and park rangers rotate living on the island. 

During our visit we interviewed the experts on the island about its history. The archaeologists found many fascinating artifacts.

The horses provided endless fascination with their migratory patterns each day.

There were no human footprints anywhere to be seen. It became apparent that we were seeing what the east coast of North America must have been like before any development took place. It felt as remote as my expeditions to the polar regions.

The seals looked like they enjoyed life, but just outside the surf line dozens of sharks waited for an opportunity to attack. Clearly, swimming was out of the question.

This documentary will take you a very remote, and seldom visited place. 

Runtime: 42 minutes


DVD - Gary Jobson Presents: The Magic and Mystery of Sable Island




Unfurling the World cover

Between 1933 and 1956, Irving and Electa Johnson sailed with young, inexperienced sailors aboard two schooners, both named Yankee. Each time the Johnsons set sail for a voyage, they witnessed new and remote places that few people had visited. World class sailor and film producer Gary Jobson narrates the original footage shot by Captain Johnson and the Yankee crew which is now archived at Mystic Seaport. In exclusive new interviews some of the crew members pay tribute to the Johnsons and share their lifetime memories of the voyages around the world.

The travels took the Johnson and the crews to mysterious Easter Island and the beautiful Bali where they meet intriguing inhabitants, and experienced true maritime history when they raised the anchor of the HMS Bounty on Pitcairn Islands.

Unfurl the world, and discover all the excitement and beauty of travelling around the world without even leaving your seat.

The one hour, seventeen minute DVD is available online from the Mystic Seaport Museum

  • 2016 The Magic and Mystery of Sable Island
  • 2013 Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center
  • 2013 Webb Institute: Engineering Excellence A College Like No Other
  • 2013 NSHOF We Are Sailors
  • 2012 The Science & Culture of Lowell North
  • 2012 History of the America's Cup Races 1851-2012
  • 2012 Unfurling the World The Voyages of Irving and Electa Johnson
  • 2012 '87 AC Retrospective (Stars & Stripes 25th Anniversary)
  • 2011 Racing for an Ocean Record
  • 2011 Championship Sailing The Best of One Design Racing
  • 2011 North Technology Group
  • 2010 Man Against Nature: Long Distance Racing
  • 2010 America's Cup 12 Metre Era Reunion
  • 2010 Women's Intl Match Racing
  • 2010 Energy on Trial
  • 2010 Eastern Yacht Club
  • 2009 SUNY Maritime College
  • 2009 NYYC Invitational Cup
  • 2009 North Sails 3DL
  • 2009 Maine Built Boats Art & Soul
  • 2009 12 Meter World Championship
  • 2008 Chicago Mac Race (100th Anniversary)
  • 2007 Outward Bound The Wilderness Experience
  • 2006 Racing to Bermuda A Century on the Ocean
  • 2005 Rolex Transatlantic Challenge
  • Gary Jobson Presents Polar Sailing : Expedition Antarctica
  • Gary Jobson Presents Polar Sailing : Expedition to the Arctic: 80° North
  • Caution to the Wind: 1997-98 Whitbread Race
  • Fighting Finish: 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race
  • 2005 ICSA/Layline North American Team Race Championship and ICSA/Gill North American Coed Dinghy Championship
  • Bonanza in Savannah (1996 Yachting Olympics)
  • 1995 America's Cup: Higher & Faster
  • 1993/94 Whitbread Round the World Race
  • A Portrait of Cape Horn: The Beauty and the Fury
  • Whitbread: The First 20 Years
  • With Swelling Sails (Narration with Walter Cronkite) : The New York Yacht Club's Sesquicentennial Celebration
  • 1992 America's Cup
  • Sailing Quarterly Video Magazine : 24 one-hour volumes produced from 1989 to 1995
  • Best of Grand Prix Sailing
  • 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race
  • 1988 America's Cup