Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 26 > Page 19 - Wrecked on the Cheticamp Coast, 1823

Page 19 - Wrecked on the Cheticamp Coast, 1823

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1980/8/1 (450 reads)

Wrecked on the Cheticamp Coast, 1823 A Narrative of the Loss of the Ship WYTON (Captain Collinson), Wrecked on the 23rd~ November, 1823, on the Island of Cape Bret? on • and of the Sufferings of Part of the Crew--Told by Samuel Burrows, the Mate; September the 9th, in the year of our Lord, 1823, the ship Wyton, Capt. Richard Col? linson, left the river Humber, bound on a voyage to Miramichi....Saturday, Nov. 22-- The latter part of these twenty-four hours we had strong breezes, with constant drifts of snow; intervals 30 and 35 fathoms; wind N.N.W. At midnight fresh gales; took in main top-gallant sail, and one reef of the topsails; sounded and found 21 fathoms. Capt. Collinson expected the ship to be off the south end of the Magdalen Islands; he made sure of this when the ship deepened her water, as we had 22 and 23 fathoms for several casts. Sunday the 23rd, at half-past one a.m. I went down to inform the master it was com? ing on to blow stronger. He told me to call the people up to double reef the top? sails. The carpenter fell out of the fore rigging, and was severely hurt. At half- past two the gale still increasing, with a constant drift of snow, we called all hands to reef the foresail and close reef the topsails. In hauling up the foresail, the foreyard broke in two. We were several hours in stowing the headsails, being so frozen. John Simpson lay in the foretop, and could not make any assistance to get down; at length he was lowered dowti by Mr. Collinson himself...and put to bed. Sounded 35 fathoms, the ship labouring and shipping much water, which washed all the bulwark and quarter boards away, and water casks off the decks. At six a.m. set the storm fore staysail and main staysail, and mizen staysail. Shortly after, they all blew to pieces. All hands employed at the pumps, the ship making much water. At eight a.m. 40 fathoms, it still blowing to excess, with heavy falls of snow; at ten 40 fathoms, and at eleven 45 fathoms; Mr. Collinson wore the ship to the westward, and thought, if we went on shore near Chet? icamp, we might save our lives, not ex? pecting that we were so far down the Gulf. The wind still blowing tremendously we thought of cutting the masts away to see if she would ride, but were fearful she would not, as the sea ran so very high.-- Sounded and found 40 fathoms, and shortly after 45 fathoms; at five p.m. Mr. Collin? son called all hands into the cabin to prayers. Having committed our perilous sit? uation and onr lives into the hands of the Almighty, and prayers being over, we close reefed the main topsail balance, and reefed the mizen; a little after eight Mr. Collinson sent word to me to let a reef out of the mizen, and to shackle the chain cable to the rope cable, but at this awful instant land was discovered, and the cry of "Lord have mercy upon us," resounded through the whole ship, and, "For God's sake come up and try to save your lives." We immediately ran with all speed to cut CONTINUED NEXT PAGE Somewhere along what is now the northern Inverness County coast (within the boundary of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park), the ship WYTON struck in 1'23, probably quite near Fishing Cove (pictured above)'. The survivors tried to walk south to Cheticamp. For a further description o ,_______, Cheticamp. the terrain they had to cross, see the note on page 34 (19)
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