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> Issue 29 > Page 3 - Wishie Rose: From 50 Years at Sea

Page 3 - Wishie Rose: From 50 Years at Sea

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/8/1 (358 reads)

ing down by the foresail. I got down. I never was so sick in my life as I was that night. Poor old captain, he was mad be? cause I went up, he said, "You might have fallen out of that, and I told your moth? er I ' d look after you." But I got out of it. Actually, I didn't mind. And I spent my 16th birthday about 200 mile outside the Gulf Stream on the way across. You had watch-on watch-off; you had 4-hour watches, (What would you do as a watch?) Steer, keep watch, have to stick with her. One man would be to the wheel, the other'd be up forward, blowing the horn--you al? ways had hand horns, you had no power at all--nothing, only sail. So in a fog, you had to stay up forward and blow the hand horn, so many blasts, whatever blasts were required for the course you were going, the direction you were in. And when the other man'd be through the wheel, he'd ring the bell and you'd go back and take the wheel from him and he'd go forward-- you had 40-minute wheels. Then when your 4 hours were up, if there was no trouble at all, you'd have a snack and go on down and go to bed. There was nothing wrong with the 4 on and 4 off for watch. That's plen? ty of sleep for anybody to get--the whole day, the whole season, the whole trip. But if any trouble started when you were in bed, well, you were called out. Because there were only 7 men on the vessels, in? cluding the captain. The cargo was fish--all salt and dried. What you'd usually do is fish in the sum? mertime, and when the fish were dry, you'd take them across to Portugal and Spain and ANNOUNCING AN IMPORTANT NEW BOOK <'' cape Breton p/' W/e ''f THE CAPE BRETON FIDDLER: a collection of photographs, character sketches and fiddle tunes with qenealogical and historical information on one of the last Celtic strongholds in North America. Featured are many of the fascinating and talented individuals who have helped preserve a special strain of Highland Scottish culture for nearly two Allister MacGillivray is a professional musician, successful songwriter, arranger, photographer and fiddling enthusiast who has been closely associated with Cape Breton music for most of his life. A native Cape Bretoner and full-time resident of the island, he has authored Song For The Mira, a collection of original musical cofnpositions with Maritime themes. 200 PAGES, SOFT COVER $12.95 Ask at your bookstore or send cheque or money order to: The College of Cape Breton Press BOX 5300, SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA, BIP 6L2 An 18th century mustration of shore work with codfish in Newfoundland. Note the handbarrows and (H) the pound off in the water. ~ Italy sometimes. And then you'd bring back salt, for ballast. When you were fishing, when you'd go home--we call it "go home" to Lunenburg or any part of Newfoundland that the vessel belonged--you'd take the fish in a dory over to where they were go? ing to wash it. You'd land so much to each person around that had flakes--you know, made of wood, sticks covered with dry boughs--what you dried fish on. They'd put the fish in a pound off in the water, and they'd wash it with brushes or mops or "some thing--wash the slime off of it, you know--this is fish that had been salted and struck. It had to be in the salt so long before it was what was known as "struck"--the salt goes through it. And then they'd put it on their flakes in what you'd call a "water horse"--that's to press the water out of it, piles probably 50 or 100 quintals, A long pile of fish, probably 4 feet high, and the length of a big codfish wide. Editor's Note: A quintal is 112 pounds, It comes to us from Middle English, from 01' French, from Medieval Latin "quintale," from Arabic "qintar,'' from Aramaic "qint- (in)ara," from Late Greek "keiitenarion,'*" from Late Latin "centenarium (pondus)," hundredweight, hundred pounds, from Latin "centenarius," of a hundred, from "cen- teni," a hundred each, from "centum," hun? dred. And they'd leave it in the water horse for probably a week, see, or 4 or 5 days--de? pending on the weather--and had to press all the water out of it. Sometimes they put boards and rocks on top of it, make more weight, to press the water right out. Well then, when it would dry, it would be right smooth. Then you spread it. Well, when the fish was just newly spread on the flakes to dry, if the weather was Seal Island Motel &Dining; Room (Licensed) 674-2418 Located between Baddeck and Sydney Overlooking the Bras d'Or Lakes (3)
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