“The entire aurora experience changed me.”
“Sean loves this Earth of ours and you will find yourself looking at things differently after spending a few hours learning from his aurora chasing stories.”
“I hope seeing my giddy excitement turn to absolute delight showed you how much it meant to me.”
“The aurora showed up and really put on a display! It was mesmerizing as the lights seem to rain down on us.”
“Standing under a sky of dancing lights, swapping stories and musings and dreams of exploring more of the world, it was an incredible experience, and one I cannot recommend more emphatically.”
“The once in our life experience we had hoped for.”
“I can’t say enough about the magic of seeing the aurora borealis, or about our lead hunter, photography expert and all around great guy, Sean.”
“The aurora showed up and went crazy.”
“During the quiet times, we learned about the stars and constellations, what makes the colors different.”
“The light show was truly magical. I can see why you never tire of seeing them. Just like rainbows, butterflies and the smell of the wind after the rain - they are one of life’s miracles.”
“I could go on and on, but it’s really just something you’ll have to experience for yourselves.”
“It was so peaceful and majestic out on the lake just the four of us watching this awesome display of nature.”
“This was the most beautiful experience of my life.”
“It was intimate, it was authentic, and it was absolutely what we had come to Yellowknife seeking to experience.”
“We will rave about our nights with Sean forever!!”
“Before we knew it, lady aurora started to make her presence known. Sadly the clouds started to creep in, so we packed up and drove even further to clear skies, and no sooner had we parked the skies lit up in the most beautiful aurora, dancing and flowing across the sky!”
“Out of this world.”
“If you are hesitating over the opportunity to watch the northern lights dance overhead across a gorgeous night sky, especially on a frozen lake at 1am with the thermometer at -40°… Just do it!”
“…he needs to desist from calling his guests (falsely?) “cookie monsters”. Yesterday’s display was truly worthy of that much overused (and thereby devalued) Canadian phrase ‘Awesome!’”
“Patience is the key and you definitely have that, Sean… but because of your patience we were treated to a unbelievable display of dancing lights.”
“Sean ensures your aurora chasing experience will be built on the most incredible awe inspiring moments and no creature comforts are overlooked.”
“A passion just as much as a business. Thank you, Sean ‘N[aurora]man’.”
"Suddenly, the whole sky just exploded! And for us, you know,
you get goosebumps -
every single time - it's different."
- Dr. Pål Brekke
CREATURE COMFORTS / ROADTRIP HYGGE
Once I've collected all seven of you (my maximum on tour, with no minimum) from your accommodation in town, we'll leave Yellowknife in my beloved Ford Transit which will be our home for the night, because this is a chase, and there's no cabin or tent we're heading out to. But I promise we're all going to have plenty of room to cosy into and stretch out over for those longer drives, or extended moments of needing to warm back up and thaw out your toes.
Speaking of those colder nights and extended periods of warming up, every night, I'll make sure we're well supplied with warm drinks and sweets for our hours driving through, photographing and enjoying, the most beautiful parts of nature outside of town.
As we begin getting into the countryside surrounding Yellowknife, we'll watch out the windows and (potential) moonroof as the stars become brighter maybe getting our first glimpse of the aurora overhead. Sipping coffee, tea, hot chocolate, warm apple cider - whichever you'd like, we'll talk as lightly or in-depth about the science behind the aurora as you wish, and of course touch on some of the beautiful tales and legends that follow her as well. But just don't wave at her, because she may come down and take you away from the earth...
LOVE FOR THE PROCESS
Arriving at the edge of a lake, or more likely on one in the middle of winter, the best game of hide and seek begins. We'll huddle around the car, or venture off a little, and watch for the aurora while we enjoy the quiet of the nature we're immersed in. If you've got a camera, this is usually the perfect opportunity to help get you set up on your tripod, and go through your settings to help you choose what's going to work best while the aurora gently builds. Before the northern lights become too much of a source of light pollution (there's a statement only someone living directly underneath the auroral oval could make), I'd also love to do a little stargazing where there's always a few stories to be told - one of which is the hope that tonight is the night the star Betelgeuse finally explodes. But if not tonight, then tomorrow night, or the night after that - any day now actually, which in astronomy terminology, is anytime within about the next 100,000 years. Cross your fingers.
CLOUDY NIGHTS, LONG DRIVES, AND LOCATION DETAILS
When on the nights the weather requires us to, we will drive hundreds of kilometres. If it's cloudy in and around Yellowknife, I'm not going to sit us out at a lake 20 kilometres outside of town and call it a night if there are clear skies or clear patches within a few hundred kilometres. As long as we can get there and back with a couple drops of petrol left in the tank, that's what we'll be doing.
To contrast, on clear nights, we won't be shuffling around to three or four locations through the night. I'm not interested in potentially getting caught on the highway with nowhere to pullover when out of nowhere, a beautiful burst of aurora fills the sky. We may move a little bit over different parts of a lake to change scenery for photography on occasion, but you aren't usually going to end up going to four different lakes in one night with me. I prefer to settle into one beautiful location and enjoy our night there.
Multiple nights of aurora chasing with me will give you multiple locations, weather permitting.
"It alters very quickly. It can be so, so... go so fast that you can't imagine it. You have to see it."
- Kjetil Skogli
SEAN MEETS YELLOWKNIFE
Something that started as a 'one day' dream in Scandinavia, began unfolding very quickly in my own backyard upon discovering a city called Yellowknife - way up in Canada's beautiful north.
THIS WAS ALL REALLY JUST SORT OF AN ACCIDENT...
In 2007, I stumbled into a Norwegian aurora chaser, who wasn't trying to guide tours, or inspire anyone to the best thing they've ever done in their life, but it was so. And after several visits, countless nights aurora chasing, and a few weeks or months with one of the most amazing aurora chasers in the world, Kjetil Skogli in Tromsø, Norway - I decided at 3am in the front seat driving back to town from the countryside, watching the aurora through the windscreen of his car with everyone else sleeping in the back, that all I wanted was to one day follow in his footsteps.
BUT, BEFORE ALL THAT…
More than a few years ago, I was taking photos on top of a dirt hill looking down over a fence and onto a runway at Vancouver International Airport. Quickly, that evolved just months later to commuting to the airport for work everyday with my camera bag on my shoulder, loading airplane bellies with 32kg suitcases, conveniently arming me with flight benefits and airside access for photography. That was the very beginning, leading me to Scandinavia over and over again, until 2013 and 2014 when I left my heart in Iceland at my favourite guesthouse ever in Skogar, beginning the inspiration for Sean's Guesthouse in Yellowknife. In any case, this is the 8 year unfolding of my Yellowknife dream.