Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 33 > Page 46 - Capt. David A. MacLeod: My Early Years

Page 46 - Capt. David A. MacLeod: My Early Years

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/6/1 (300 reads)

to relieve the wheel, I started to.follow him, but was ordered back by the mate. In Pictou Harbour, there were lots of ships laid to anchor. Among them was the Gun Hil? da, the Sacramento, and the Rio de Plate, and the ship County of Pictou built by Cap- tain George MacKenzie, painted ports, I thought she was a man-of-war. The ship Ran? ger, Captain Joe Foster, had just finished loading coal and was bound up to Quebec to load timber for Europe. I went into the shipping office in Pictou. A kind old gen? tleman, Mr. Campbell, says to me, "If you intend following the sea, go with Captain Foster. He will either make a man of you, or race you ashore in Quebec"--so I signed on for $12 a month as ordinary seaman. The boswain was a McVicker belonging to Catalone, Cape Breton, a big dark man and he took great pleasure in pounding every? body that he could. The first night out at sea in a stiff breeze of wind we were tack? ing ship. I went with the men on the top gallant forecastle. When the ship came up in the wind, the jib sheets' big iron chains like to knock the head off of me while trying to flatten them in. I must have been in the road, for the boswain flew at me with a yell, hitting me in the jaw, sending me down on the main deck. I laid there for awhile. One of the old sail? ors in passing whispered to me, "Get aft to the poop, that's the place for boys, and best men on the forecastle head." When I got on the poop, all the boys and the Mate's watch were there but me. I thought I would never leam the name of all the rope, for I question if there is anyone so completely lost as a green-horn on board a full-rigged ship. We went below at 12 o'clock at night, only to be called in a short time afterwards. Getting on deck I found a ship close hauled on the wind and lying over at a dan? gerous angle. The topsail halyards had been let go and the wind and sails making a fearful noise. It was pitch dark and I had not got my sea-legs on and was dread? fully sick, and my jaw was sore from the lick I got from McVicker. I was ordered a- loft to reef top-sails. How I got out of the lee top-sail yard arm, I cannot now re? member, but I got ahold of the jackstay and held on with all my strength. I was certainly of no service whatever. I was sick several times before the topsail was reefed, making wild vomits to leeward. When we got on deck, I heard the welcome sound, "Go below the watch." I felt bad. Where the kilts are high And the prices are low George's ENTERPRISES & LAUNDROMAT BADDECK Welcome • '"''"'HomeTo... 100 Kings Road Sydney, Nova Scotia BIP 6J7 539-3700 100 Kings Road Sydney, Nova Scotia BIP 6J7 539-3700 CAuberges ujnnDLvnl rinns 70 Clean, Comfortable Units with A/C & Cable Colour TV Major Credit Cards Accepted Toll Free Reservations 1-800-561-0000 We take pride in the "CROMARTY ROOM"...Cape Breton's original home of fine dining in Sydney, Nova Scotia. We offer the very best of tender aged meats and fresh seafoods from the Atlantic, served in traditional Cape Breton style. Enjoy our Island hospitality as you view picturesque Sydney Harbour and the scenic village of Westmount from our dining patio. Welcome Home to WANDLYN 100 Kings Road Sydney, Nova Scotia BIP 6J7 539-3700 (46) 100 Kings Road Sydney, Nova Scotia BIP 6J7 539-3700 Island View Restaurant 756-3300 Unique Year Round Dining - Reasonable Prices Eel Dishes * Ethnic Favourites Seafood * Char-Broiled Steaks & Chops * FULLY LICENSED * TRANS-CANADA HWY, WHYCOCOMAGH MICMAC INDIAN RESERVE Phone (902) 794-7251 Cable BRENNANS Telex 019-35149 Night & Holiday 736-8479 794-3178 Brennans Travel Agency 1='8 QUEEN STREET, NORTH SYDNEY STEAMSHIP AIRLINE -- RAIL AND HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS Morrison's Stores Ltd Home Hardware General Merchants Celebrating over 100 Years of Service StPeters Richmond County, Nova Scotia BOE 3B0
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