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Page 1 - When the Ross Ferry Got Lost

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1974/6/1 (3482 reads)
 

When the Ross Ferry Got Lost Murdoch MacParlane George MacKay: Well, you know, in the spring they used to take the boats down to North Sydney to get them fixed up after being in the winter and ice, you know? Get the caulked up and painted and stuff. And the engines fixed. Well, they had the boat down and the time came when they were going to take her back again. And the captain went down, and the mate, Matheson was his name, and Murdoch MacFarlane was one of the deckhands and Bos? ton he was the engineer and Captain Arsenault he was the captain. And so they went down to North Sydnev and they took her off the slip George MacKay and they started down for Boulardarie, and they didn't get very far when this fog came up, you know? And they got kind of be? wildered in the fog and they were following the shore and then they were getting in among the lobster bouys • well they were keeping following the lobster bouys. And at last the fog got so thick they lost the bouys altogether. But they kept on going further and further. And this Murdoch MacFarlane, he used to go on coastal vessels, and he heard this mournful whistle after a while; and he says, "That must be the whistle at St, Paul's," St, Paul's Island, That'd be off from Cape North there. The captain got so excited then that he said, "Turn her west, turn her west." And he gave her full steam ahead and headed west • and the fog raised up a little more and they just pretty near hit Cape Smokey. Missed though. Well, they started up along the shore then, just moving. He wanted to keep sounding her, with a lead you know, he wanted to keep her near the shore. Ke didn't want to get lost again. And in them days, you know, they used to send the lobsters to Boston. In the crates. So they kept going. And at last they ran into this bunch of lobster crates. Floating, And they knew then they were in North Shore. So after that Boston was raising cain he was hungry, that they never ate. And he found out then there xvas no grub aboard, which was against the rules, I guess, to go to sea without any food aboard the boat. So they took out the herring they had bought down North Sydney and cooked up one hell of a good feed. But Murdoch wasn't satisfied; he was so disgusted with every? thing. He wanted to give the ferry back to Angus Louie. That was the premier of Nova Scotia. "Give her back to Angus Louie in remembrance of her thrills," The tune that we had on the song, it was a Gaelic chorus you know. "E o nighean, o oh nighean/B o nighean chrinn donn aluin/'Si cheist chailean donn na buailidh/Dh'an thug mi mo buaidh sa dh'fhs' mi," It didn't exactly suit but it was good, (George MacKav's song is on the next page,) There was another fellow got lost there. Captain Dykes, he was on. They got lost there, right in the harbour at North Sydney. They kept going around and around. They didn't come out of the harbour. They kept going around and back to where they started pretty near at the coal piers there. He got out to Low Point and off from Waterford and stuff like that • so finally they got back to North Sydney and they waited till it cleared. Once the fog cleared well then they could finish. That's when they were getting lost, coming back. They had no experience of anything quali? fied to go out to sea, vou know, Thev were inshore captains, (;k't • 5t*'i' ??-< CAPB BRETON'S MAGAZINE, NUMBER EIGHT ''.c''o - ''''''''''t'ij WRECK COVE, CAPB BRETON, NOVA SCOTIA ''-??"'''.'.dzW-'"/' SECOND CLASS MAIL • REGISTRATION NUMBER 3014 *".; i.'-'-''*' ''
Cape Breton's Magazine
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