Before I hopped
on a plane and started my journey to Canada’s East Coast, I knew a little about the region — major cities, landmarks, national parks, those sorts of things — but I’d never been there. The “Fins and Fiddles” trip with One Ocean Expeditions changed that, obviously, but in the most unexpectedly amazing and rewarding ways. I was looking forward to going to Sable Island, even though I expected it to be nothing more than a sandbar. But it was far more than that. The sheer amount of wildlife on the island blew me away, from the world’s largest breeding colony of grey seals to birds such as the roseate tern, and the horses, of course — you can’t see horses like that anywhere else on the planet. I think part of what made stopping in places such as Sable Island, the Magdalen Islands and Gros Morne National Park so memorable was the variety of ways I was able to explore them. I got to learn about and see the incredibly diverse landscapes, wildlife and cultures of the region while biking, hiking, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and going on Zodiac cruises. Yes, you’re on a ship, but these experiences allow you to explore even farther, to have more freedom. When we sailed into Bonne Bay by Gros Morne National Park, we used stand-up paddleboards to get up close to a waterfall. That sort of flexibility gives you an experience you just can’t get on a cruise with 5,000 other people.
— Ben Woodward Winner of the 2017 Canadian Geographic Challenge, passenger aboard the One Ocean Navigator, 2017