Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 42 > Page 65 - A Shipwreck at Canso, 1629

Page 65 - A Shipwreck at Canso, 1629

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/6/1 (933 reads)
 

There we were then at the mercy of the waves, which did not spare us, rising I cannot tell how many feet above our heads, and then breaking over us. After floating thus a long while in the dark, for night had set in, I perceived, on looking around me, that I was near the shore of what seemed to be an island, which almost sur? rounded us, and was covered with brambles. Looking a little more attentively, I made out six persons not far from me, two of whom perceiving me, urged me to do my best to join them; this was not easy, for I was greatly enfeebled by the blows I had re? ceived from the fragments of the wreck. I exerted myself, however, so much that, by the help of my planks, I at last reached them, and by their aid got on the mainmast, which was still fast to part of the ship. I was not here long; for, as we got nearer the island, our sailors quickly got ashore, and, by their help, all the rest of us were soon there. There we were, seven in all; I had no hat or shoes; my cassock and clothes all tom, and my body so bruised that I could scarce? ly stand up, and, in fact, they had to sup? port me to enable me to reach the wood. I had two severe contusions on the legs, es? pecially the right one, which is still painful; my hands cloven open and bruised; my hip tom, and my chest much injured.. We now retired to the wood wet as we came from the sea. Our first care was to thank God for preserving us, and to pray for those who were lost. That done, we lay down close by each other in order to try and get warm, but the ground and the grass, still wet with the heavy rain, was not much fitted to dry us. Thus we spent the rest of the night, during which Father Vieuxport, who, thank God, was unhurt, slept well. The next morning, at daybreak, we began to examine the spot where we were, and found it to be an island from which we could pass to the main land. On the shore we found many things that the sea had thrown up; among which I picked up two shoes, a cap, hat, cassock, and other necessary ar? ticles. Above all, Providence sent us, in our want, five kegs of wine, ten pieces of pork, oil, bread, cheese, and a gun and powder, which enabled us to strike a fire. After we had thus gathered all we could, on St. Louis' day, all set to work to do their best to build a boat out of frag? ments of the wreck, in which to coast a- long till we found a fishing-smack. We set to work with the wretched tools we found, and it was pretty well advanced on the fourth day, when we perceived a craft sail? ing towards the spot where we were. They took on board one of our sailors, who swam out near to where they were passing, and took him to their captain. That worthy man, hearing of our misfortunes, let down his boat, and came ashore to offer us a pas? sage. We were thus saved; for, the next day, we all slept on board. It was a Basque vessel, fishing about a league and a half from the rock where we struck, and, as their fishing season was far from being SAVE YOUR WINDSHIELD! STONE DAMAGED WINDSHIELDS RESTORED FOR FREE! Your Insurance Company Pays All DAY 564-4527 NIGHT fW' Now full auto glass service, if ypur windshield is beyond surgery MAFN CLINIC: 6 LIBERTY ST., SYDNEY (Free House Calls) The Windshield Surgeon (Furniture courtesy Bonnell-Lubetzki's, Sydney) Island Crafts We House the Talents of Over 300 Cape Breton Craftspeople VISIT OUR STORE & SEE THE KALEIDOSCOPE OF TREASURES Handknit Fishermen's Sweaters - Kitchen Accessories Designer Mohair Sweaters - Hand Carved Clan Crests Hats & Scarves'for Every Age Group - Cookbooks Intricate Designs in Pottery - Hand Appliqued Quilts Ruffled Cushions - Wide Selection of Baby Items The Mad Potters Collection - Boats in Bottles A Good Selection of Local Literature The list is endlessl Treat yourself to ISLAND CRAFTS. The Focus of Your Visit to Cape Breton, in-Downtown Sydney OPEN YEAR ROUND: MONDAY TO SATURDAY, 9 TO 5; FRIDAY, 9 TO 9 Wholesale: full line of souvenirs 539-6474 329 Charlotte St, Sydney 564-5527 ? ? project of Capo Braton Oovotopmont Corporation (65)
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