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Page 6 - The Wreck of the First "Aspy"

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/6/1 (1239 reads)
 

Walter LePriend, North Ingonish; T was go? ing to tell you about the night we went a- shore. It was on a Tuesday. We went down north and we stayed at White Point that night. Fine nights you could go in there and stay. You could stay there in a storm too. Wednesday morning we'd come up and go to Sydney. Well, we didn't stay that night. We stayed there for a while, went ashore there at White Point to a dance. The storm started after we went to the dance. Then we heard the whistle blow • Capt. York blew 3 whistles • we knew then that he wanted us. He said he had orders to get out, pull out • either to Sydney or South Bay. That's where we used to go and put up lots of nights. So anyhow we run for an hour or more • then we hauled her up on her course for to go to Sydney or South Bay, wherever he was going, iite were all getting a lunch, passengers and all in the galley • and we were going along and all at once (Walter thumped his fist on the table) I could hear this, and I said, "That's very good, that one." And again (thumbs his fist down again) and I said, "That's still better" to the passengers. (Thumps) There it is again and I said "That's still better • she's ashore." I knew it. She had to be striking the bot? tom because she started rolling. She was a- shore just the same as you'd look at the land out there, right in underneath • an aw? ful place boy. We couldn't see anything where we were. But we were lucky she went where she did • between Long Point and a place by the name of French Cove. If she went up a little farther and struck on what we call Long Point, there'd be nobody got ashore. Impossible. Because it was all breakers there. The Wreck of the First "Aspy" Just opened the galley door and there was the sea coming, boy • coming right aboard of her. Went to see the captain to get the lifeboats out • but he wouldn't give any consent at first. He thought she was going to back out. But she wouldn't because her steam pipe was broken in two. Paddy Strumps, George Buchanan, a fellow by the name of Paddy Ryan, Tom Janes, the mate was Albert Nicholson and Capt. York. He thou't she'd back back • but when he left the wheel and came down he knew it was impossible. Then we got the lifeboat. We tied a rope to the Aspy and got it ashore • Tom Janes was a- shore. He took the rope and tried to make it fast there • had to hold the rope in his hand • then he got it fastened around a big rock. You couldn't see, could just feel your way. Albert Nicholson was the man with me in the lifeboat • we'd pick the women up and hand them out to Tom Janes ashore. A man could just jump ashore from the life? boat. We pulled our way back and forth a- long the rope. We couldn't row. Only the lights of the boat and they didn't stay too long. Ihe captain was the last one off. When he got out of her we went to pull the lifeboat ashore • and the sea just came up and away she went. Took it from us and that's the last we ever saw of her. Then we had to move up every time the sea would come up • we'd move up close to the bank. Couldn't start a fire. Was pouring rain. Ihey got up on the bank there, somewhere through the woods, and stayed there. Till daylight came, then they left. They lost everything they had. There were women were going to the States. Joe Naddaf of North Sydney was on her • a pedlar • lost every? thing. They walked to Neil's Harbour. Then '5 e Ceap Breatalnn tir mo ghra'idh, "Hr nan craobh, '5 nam beainn"tan ard') '5 e Ceap breateinn Wr mo ghraidh' lir is a Uiclh leir n 6 r ihatemh. Cape Breton b +he land of my love' The Land of irees and h'l' mountains. Cape Breton is "the land of m' love; We deem li +he most beautiful landonearlK. Dan Alex MacDonald Framboise College of Cape Breton Map Drawn by Geographer Thomas Kitchin, 1747 Collection: Library, College of Cape Breton
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