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Inside Front cover - Theodore Rideout: "I Went Sealing"

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/1/1 (1036 reads)
 

Theodore Rideout: I Went Sealing' There were 9 of us from Neil's Harbour. The rest were from Newfoundland, all parts of Newfoundland. We had to walk to North Sydney. Took us 8 hours to go to Ingonish the first day. With a pack on our back, 25 or 30 pound. Next day we walked up D. B. MacLeod's, North Shore. We walked in the sleigh track. I'll always remember, when we got up to D. B. MacLeod's our feet were wet, and an old woman gave us dry socks to put on. And the next day we got our feet wet walking a- cross Englishtown. Across the ice. (That) day we ended up in Bras d'Or. And the next day went to North Sydney. Took us 4 days. We stayed while an old ship came from Halifax. We met her in Louisbourg. An? other day or two, the Newfoundlanders came aboard. Came over and came aboard. We started out the 4th of March. And we went to the ice. I'll always remember it. We got up 10 or 15 miles north by St. Paul's, we struck the ice. That night--it was a moonlight fine night. The first ice we struck, she started to go like this. Rocking, And we were at seals that night. So he stopped and he stayed there all night. And next morning we got 90. Come on a storm from the southeast, thick- a-snow. And old Capt. Marley from Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, was the captain of the ship. He blew the whistle and all hands went on board. He started up the Gulf. Went for 4 days and 4 nights--the vessel-- through the ice. We went up, I guess up a- round Anticosti, the other side of--you couldn't see any land, anyway. And we got stuck. And there we lay in one spot for 6 weeks and 3 days. Couldn't move. If you'd get out and look at the ship, look back at it, there was no sign of her, it was like a snowbank. But we never got any seals, and we stuck in the ice too long. And we had nothing to eat. Lots of food aboard. All we had to eat was hardtack and molasses. She had lots of grub aboard. She had everything. For the sailors, captains, and doctors-- they had all kinds of fresh meat, ham and eggs, and porridge and bacon. Sealers nev? er got any of that. There were 175 sealers. And 25 of a crew. The crew didn't go seal? ing. They stayed on the ship all the time. They got all kinds of grub. We got nothing. That's what we got--old hardtack and-old fish with the skin and all on it. I don't know how to tell you this. There's a long story. I'd be four days trying to tell you. We got no seals. But I used to go out on the ice with some old fellows from St. John's, Newfoundland. And we left one morn? ing at 7 o'clock. And we walked till 7 that night. All day on that ice. We got one seal. They were just out looking, see if they could find any. They came back with one seal. Well, you'd sooner do that than lay around the ship all day.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 53 ? '''' /'.Jrn''I' . A''''il/.. Canada
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