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> Issue 43 > Page 80 - Joseph D. Samson of Petit-de-Grat

Page 80 - Joseph D. Samson of Petit-de-Grat

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/8/1 (167 reads)

be out is one time I left from here to cross to Canso--it's not too far. And we had an old sailboat, but we had a motor a- board her. My uncle (was) in Canso. And we had sold 8 barrels of herring to him. So, it had been blowing for 3 or 4 days, north? east wind, with a regular gale. So, we were watching for the wind to cut down in order to go across with it. The both of us were loaded with herring, so we wanted to go across. It was this kind of a morning, it was half decent calm. And poor Joe Richard, he was the only boat that was outside of here. And he wasn't scared of the wind. So I said to Johnny, "We better try and take that fish across." So we left from here, and we put the three sail on her, and the motor. And I'm telling you, she was going good with the sail and the motor. She was going good. Poor Joe Richard was (out) there. He got up in his boat and he tried to make us turn back. And at that time, I think it was too rough for us to turn back. So I stopped the engine, and I said, "There go the sails. We're going to try our best with the sails." I'm telling you, she was going. I didn't put any sails down, though, I put the full sail on her. And she was going some. And sometimes the water was coming over the boat. She wasn't coming in, but she was splashing both sides. So, I kept it up with all the sails on her and everything, and we went right through into Canso. I thought for sure she was going to sink be? fore she would have gone three-quarters a- cross. We had no dory or anything; I couldn't turn back. Said, "We'll have to try, anyway." So when we got in the wharf in Canso, oh, there were about 50 men there. Came and looked at the boat, and looked at the kind of men that were aboard--how crazy they were. They had gone out of that with big boats there, 50- and 60-foot boats. We on? ly had about a 25-, 27-foot boat. And we went across. Well, you know, a racket on the wharf! How could I have made it! But still, we made it. It was the only trouble I had too much in a boat. You know, I've been caught quite a few times, but I never was scared I was going to get drowned, or anything. Even in a fog, or things like that, One time in a fog, I was fishing off of Canso, trawls. We were fishing outside the buoy there. And it was thick-a-fog--you could hardly see from the bow to the stern of the boat. So, we were hauling trawl, and we heard a horn blowing once in a- while. He wasn't blowing too often, but he was blowing once in awhile. And I had the motor on. When you have the motor on, you can't hear too much. We had the motor on, and were keeping on hauling. So, (the fel? low with me) told me a couple of times, "You'd better cut your trawl, put a buoy line on her, because that boat's coming for us. I'm pretty gol-darned sure it's coming for us." So, I didn't bother too much. I said to myself, if she happened to come, just for the sake of shifting one side or the other of the boat, I can do it. But when I saw that ship--Christ Almighty, it was the size of the house here, in height! So I cut the trawl and I pressed on the gas. Then the motor stopped right still, boys. Stopped right still! Just the same as if I had cut the wire off altogeth? er. And the captain was good enough that he reversed his boat to stern. He hauled him astern. And I got a chance, and went on one side. That was luck, though. You can call that luck. Oh, Christ, I was some white! But it was my fault. Because he had told me a couple of times, you know. I should have cut it before and just looked around. But I didn't do that; I kept on hauling. Be? cause I was depending on the motor. When I pressed on the gas, I gave it too much gas at one time, and (it) stopped. Right still, boy. Didn't make a cake. Sometimes you can take awful chances. (80) For more from Joseph D. Samson, see his telling of Acadian tales in Issues 33 and 39 of CAPE BRET? ON'S MAGAZINE. ~
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