A Dune Adrift by Marq De Villiers and Sheila Hirtle

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for A Dune Adrift:

The island is literally moving as we speak.

Quick synopsis:

The history of Sable Island off the coast of Canada. Yes, it is more interesting than it sounds!

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like:

Sable Island is home to at least 350 shipwrecks. It’s also home to 500 feral horses who descended from the first batch of horses dropped off in 1737.

Fun Fact for History Nerds:

Sable Island is moving. Because of where it lays in the Atlantic Ocean, the currents are currently pulling sand from the east side and depositing sand on the west side. Sable Island is slowly moving west. Yes, it’s a sandbar but shush.

My Take on A Dune Adrift:

I am from the east coast of North America and I had never heard of Sable Island until I read this book. I’m not sure how because it is pretty damn interesting.

Sable Island is a sandbar which is completely shaped by its location. Because it exists near the drop off of a continental shelf, it is constantly moving as sand is pulled from one side while the other side has sand deposited. It is also far north in the Atlantic and has frequent fog. It is just under 27 miles long but no more than ¾ of a mile wide. It also happens to be in the middle of a frequented shipping lane used for centuries.

What do you get when you add all that up? At least 350 shipwrecks in recorded history and probably more. Sable Island is one of the most dangerous things in the Atlantic Ocean. If you don’t know where it is then you may end up wrecked on it.

The book covers way more than just geography and shipwrecks. It’s worth checking out.


I never thought I’d say it, but I really enjoyed reading about a physical landmass. Who knew?! Buy it here!

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A Dune Adrift by Marq De Villiers and Sheila Hirtle
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