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> Issue 38 > Page 58 - Bill Forbrigger and Coastal Schooners

Page 58 - Bill Forbrigger and Coastal Schooners

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/1/1 (965 reads)
 

York with hard coal for Charlottetown. And others were coming from Barbados with mo? lasses. But that was a late spring, and they all got here--no causeway those days, you know. I was born in Port Malcolm, down 7 miles from Point Tupper. 1900. My father sailed on big ships for about 22 years. Square- rigged ships, going around all over the world. Then he fished out of Gloucester for 25 years. First one, he went from Buc- touche with a load of oats for China. That was his first trip--a cabin boy. (How old was he?) 9. And his mother didn't see him for about 12 years after that. He wanted to go to sea. My grandmother left here when he was a baby and went to Souris, Prince Edward Island. Her husband had died. He grew up till he was 9 years old. He went out with a fellow fishing in a boat, and he jumped on a Madeleine (Is? land) vessel going to Buctouche, and he shipped on a big ship going to China with a load of oats. He stayed on those big ships. I don't know where he went from there. He'd wait on the tables--a big crew of them was out there. Making the beds and waiting on the tables and running the little errands. Till he got big enough. I don't know how old he was when he went before the mast. Able seaman. He left that and he came to Gloucester, fished out of Gloucester. They fished all year round. Fished winter and suiraner on the Grand Banks. When he came from Glouces? ter, he got sailing on schooners here (Port Malcolm, Cape Breton). My grandfa- ther--my mother's father--had 2 schooners; he sailed on one of them for awhile. My grandfather had a big business in Port Mal? colm. He had a big grocery store. He sup? plied the American fishermen and the Dutch fishermen with bait and salt and ice. He used to cut his own ice out here. And kept oilclothes, and kept oars and dories and molasses--he kept everything. He had his own wharf. He had two schooners bringing his supplies from Halifax. My father sailed one of them at that time. Bringing bait from the Madeleine Islands. (Where did you grow up?) Port Malcolm. I left home when I was 14. Went to schooners with my father. Started in Campbellton, New Brunswick, in 1914, the year the war broke out. We sailed on a smack for a pack? ing company, lobster smack. Well, they canned lobsters in the lobster season. When the lobster season was over, they canned everything--blueberries and plums and apples. We sailed a schooner from a- bout the first of April till November--all in the Bale Chaleur. There were no wharves those days. We used to lay to an anchor, and they'd boat the stuff off. Everything in cans. Nothing back. Came back light. And lots of storms. We had one the first year I was in Bale Chaleur. There was an awful lot of people lost--fishermen. A gale of wind from northeast, snowstorm. We were loading lobsters. We hove an anchor short. She had a wooden windlass spit. And she made a dive, and she took the windlass out. So we had to slip our chains, and we went around to Miscou Harbour. And that night it came a gale from the northeast. At the 8th day of June, it snowed one foot, one foot of snow. There must have been a- bout 20 lives lost--small boats, 6 in a boat. There were 3 brand new ones they just built that winter; they were all lost. An awful gale of wind. Serving Industrial Cape Breton and North Victoria Real Estate & Insurance Q Mir'U'Ox/' r'r "If you're thinking of selling your IIb I IIOlNKY Gk 'Jm P.O. Box 96, 'North Sydney B2A 3M1 home, give us a call. Gerald Brennan, Mgr. Residence: 794-4564 "And remember: No sale, no charge." 794-3119 The Best Of Cape Breton On Books, Records, And Tapes RECORDS: *Rita MacNeil's "I'M NOT WHAT I SEEM" *CAPE BRETON'S GREATEST HITS THE RISE & FOLLIES OF CAPE BRETON ISLAND ('77, '80, '81) GLENDALE '77 MEN OF THE DEEPS (1, 2 and *3) Also available on cassette CAPE BRETON SHIPS & MEN THE CAPE COLLECTION THE MacKENZIE'S HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS ISLAND PARISH (58) The University of Cape Breton BOOKS: MINING PHOTOGRAPHS & OTHER PICTURES THE WELL-WATERED GARDEN: The Presbyterian Church in Cape Breton 1798-1860 THE CAPE BRETON FIDDLER CAPE BRETON HISTORICAL ESSAYS PATTERSON'S HISTORY OF VICTORIA COUNTY STILL STANDING NEW RELEASES: THE CAPE BRETON BOOK OF DAYS - Text by Pam Newton, Drawings by Ellison Robertson THE CELTIC MUSIC OF CAPE BRETON ISLAND, Volume 1 - Donald MacLellan Dan Joe Maclnnis (available on record and cassette) Dave Maclsaac THE GIGGLESNATCH - A children's book - Text Bob Wall Drawings Greig Bishop College Press The UCCB Press P.O. Box 5300 Sydney, N.S. B1P 6L2 Telephone: 539-5300, Ext. 146
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