Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 26 > Page 20 - Wrecked on the Cheticamp Coast, 1823

Page 20 - Wrecked on the Cheticamp Coast, 1823

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1980/8/1 (350 reads)

away the anchors, too late. but were unfortunately At half-past eight p.m. the ship struck. The scene at this tremendous moment was shocking to behold; such a dark dismal snowy night, and a tremendous heavy sea; we were all now driven as it were to our wits' end; some of the crew took to the main rigging, and some to the fore rig? ging; Mr. Collinson, Mr. M'Cullum the pi? lot, John Parsons, and myself, took up the mizen rigging, expecting to get off the mizen topsail yard upon the rocks. The ship striking so heavily, she soon listed off, and we came down on the larboard side of the mizen rigging; it was there I had nearly lost the first joint of my middle finger, by the crossjack yard. In coming down I passed the second mate, when he ex? claimed, "Lord have mercy upon my poor wife and family." The captain and I grap? pled along the side to the fore chains, by the chain cable, which was hanging over the side, for about the space of half an hour, but the ship breaking up fast, I hove myself on to the timber, and was washed a-head of the ship once or twice. At last, with great exertion and hard struggling, I reached the shore, when Mr. Collinson came and took me by the hand to assist me in getting out. Soon after I found six others, viz. James M'Cullum, Thomas Crompton, Edward Taylor, John Simp? son, William Webster, who had his leg broke in getting on shore, and the boy Warcup; these were all that reached the shore out of seventeen, of which the crew consisted, and three passengers; all the rest of our companions in tribulation found a watery grave. Mr. Collinson called us all together to take shelter in the crack of a rock, to keep one another warm. Here we remained till the sea began to wash over us. It be? ing very dark, we ascended the rocks into a wood, where we all kept close together, waiting for the dawn of da', and our com? fortless situation made us think it would never return. Towards daylight the boy Warcup kept creeping about our feet, fre? quently calling Ned, one of our unfortun? ate men; at length the poor boy turned on his side and died, he being literally fro? zen to death; we cut fir branches to cover him. The master and three others went down to the creek, as soon as it was light, to view the wreck, and I soon after followed; there we found the long boat and skiff, the long boat was much stove, and the skiff, having the upper stroke gone, was much shook in the bottom. • The master picked up a small keg of gin belonging to me which held about a gallon; being iron hooped, or bound, it did not break up so soon; also, a small keg of wine, contain? ing about a gallon. We saw with great re? gret the dead bodies of several of our shipmates; unfortunately we could find no provisions, not so much as a single bis? cuit. I observed to the captain that it was a fortunate circumstance that we had the boat, so that we might have a prospect of saving our lives when the weather be? came fine and calm, but it still continued to blow very hard, with constant drifts of snow. The ship was now entirely broken up and dashed to pieces; we went to the bush, and found the two pigs which we had with us in the boats; we caught one of them, which the master killed, but the other ran into the wood. We now tried all possible means to get a light, but to no effect, every thing about us being so damp and wet. It was thought by the master and Mr. M'Cullum, the pilot, who was a resident of that coun? try, to be the most advisable thing for us to travel to the westward, towards Cheti? camp, which they supposed was not above twenty miles distance. Each of us took a piece of the pork on our backs, the master the small keg of gin, and the pilot the wine; those were all the provisions we had to subsist on. Monday, Nov. 24.--We commenced travelling in search of houses. We were under the J#'%k USS' The CBC in Cape Breton ' NATIONALLYREGIONALLYPROVINCIALLY-L'' CBTT TELEVISION Chamels2.5'73,10,12,and13 (20) rrnfirs TO ZE CBI RADIO 1140 on your Dial INFORMAnON EMTERTAINMENTENLIGHTENMBfT
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