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> Issue 26 > Page 34 - Wrecked on the Cheticamp Coast, 1823

Page 34 - Wrecked on the Cheticamp Coast, 1823

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1980/8/1 (1094 reads)
 

informed he was to have seven pounds for each of us for our passage. On the 14th of July, to the best of my recollection, we sailed from Pictou on board the Enterprize, bound for Liverpool. Mr. Hobbart behaved to us with the great? est civility, but being under the neces? sity of sleeping on a straw bed, having nothing to cover us with upon the wet tim? ber, and nearly under the forecastle hatchway, we had but very uncomfortable lodgings.... On Thursday the 2nd of September, I ar? rived in Hull, having been nearly twelve months absent, above nine-months of which I experienced, with the rest of my fellow- sufferers, a complicated series of afflic? tions which cannot be described. After all I feel I have much cause to be thankful to the Almighty for his preserving goodness, and for raising me up such kind friends, not only in Liverpool but in Hull, many who have not only felt for our sufferings and sympathized in our distress, but have generously come forward to help us; and I hope and trust I shall never forget the kindness of all those friends who have contributed even in the smallest degree to my relief and that of my fellow-sufferers. I trust their kindness will never be e- rased from my grateful recollection. NOTE ON THE TERRAIN: In 1780 Ensign Pren- ties was among a group shipwrecked near Margaree Harbour along the Inverness Coun? ty coast. In his notes to Prenties's Nar? rative, G. G. Campbell tried to give an idea of the landscape Prenties saw, tra? velling north along the coast in an open boat. It would be the same ground over which Burrows and his companions tried to walk: "North from Cap Rouge, the massif that forms most of northern Cape Breton drops precipitously to the water along a jagged shore. At Pigeon Cove there is a slight embayment, where the tooth-like projec? tions of sheer rock are more widely spaced than usual....Between these two projec? tions, the sea has piled a beach of sand, gravel and cobblestones, that changes in contour with every great storm from the westward. The beach is backed by a sheer precipice varying in height between twenty and forty feet, and from its top a sixty- degree slope rises more than a thousand feet to the upland level. A wisp of a stream drops over the precipice midway be? tween the two projecting headlands, and loses itself in the rubble of the beach. In summer a swimmer could escape by round? ing either of the two headlands; if he were active and athletic he could conceiv? ably scale the precipice and follow up the slope. In winter,...escape would be impos? sible . "Fishing Cove is one and a half miles north of Pigeon Cove. Between the two lies the promontory known as White Capes, so called because a gigantic rockslide has scarred the precipice from top to bottom. From far at sea the scar stands white a- gainst the cliff. "At Fishing Cove the wall of rock was breached by a fault in ancient geological times. The waters of Fishing Cove River and its tributaries follow the fault-line to the ocean. Seen from out to sea, the cleft in the massif is spectacular. Per? pendicular walls of rock form the entrance to a small cove, whose inner shore is a sandy beach.... "At Pleasant Bay, the massif recedes a lit? tle distance from the shore, and a shelft like area of habitable land lies between the sea and the precipice. The wild valley of the Grand Anse opens on the southern end of the shelf, the valley of the Red River on the northern end. Beyond Red Riv? er the frowning massif marches again to the ocean shore, closing the vista." Our text (which is not complete) comes from the second edition of Samuel Burrows' "Narrative," published in 1'25, supplied to us by the Houghton Library, Harvard Uni? versity. Our thanks to Mary Fraser, McConnell Library, who first told us of the exiF- tence of this accountT (34)
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