Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 49 > Page 65 - Billy James MacNamara of Evanston

Page 65 - Billy James MacNamara of Evanston

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/8/1 (250 reads)

It was good of him, though. It was worth it. (So you continued fishing?) Yeah, I went at it for about 15 years after that. I used to come here (home) once in awhile, go back again. Well, we were fishing out of Gloucester. We'd go down to the Grand Banks. We'd go down to Banquereau. We'd go down to LaHave Bank. And we'd fish on George's Bank. Done a lot of fishing on George's Bank. All those banks we'd fish. Even the Labrador. Made several trips down there. And there were oil tankers. Running south on oil tankers. And freighters, used to go on some of them sometimes. But I must have fished for about 10 good years, anyhow, or 9 good years. (Did you ever have any troubles on any of those boats?) Yeah, we were hove down on our beam ends. I was on a Boston schooner at that time. Down on the--I think it was Brown's Bank--pretty well near the Gulf. In a hurricane of wind, terrible gale of wind --March--through one of the biggest blows, I guess, probably for years. It was on March the 10th, it was 1915, I think. It was a hailstorm, a clear hailstorm. We had a hard time of it. We drifted out from the Brown's Bank, out in the Gulf. Drifted pretty near 60 miles. We were hove down, too, pretty well hove down. Our spars went right on the edge of the waves. She lay there, but she got back. It was a grim look for a minute. ("Hove down" is when she....) The sea, the heighth of the sea, a mountain of sea hit her, just hove her right down on her side. The spars went in the water. But she came back. She came back without burst? ing anything. There was one down there, years ago, a fishing schooner--she went right over and over, they claim. And I think it's so, be? cause I was on her years after that. Her name was changed, and she was turned into a seiner. Her name was the Helen G. Wells, and I knew the skipper of her--I was ship? mates with him after--he was a Newfound? lander. He was skipper of her at the time. His name was Murray. It was a heavy sea struck her. They claim she went down--spars went down in the water, and came up on the other side. (Turned right over!) Lots of fishermen don't believe it, but it must have been done. That happened before I ever went up to Boston at all, a few years be? fore I went up there. And after I went up there, I was in her one summer with Capt. Douglas MacLean, mackerel seining. And the mark of the stove--where the stove left the floor, when she went down straight--the mark of the stove was in the ceiling. So it was pretty hard to contradict--it must have. They claim--there wasn't a man drowned--they claim she went so quick that there was very little water in the forecas? tle. She just went right over. Well, the argument was, among a lot of the Gloucester fishermen--how the hell could she go over and over without dismasting? Without the spars coming out of her? Well, I look at it in a different way. When she went down, the force of water, I'd say, would keep those spars up into the grooves they were set in in the bottom (of the ves? sel) . The force of water would keep them up. It was done, it was true. Every man was piled --Murray told me that every man came out of their bunks as if they were piled, onto the floor on top of one another. Just went in the darkness for about a minute. And hardly any water came into the forecas? tle. He said th'ere was about--I think he said--probably two inches over the forecas? tle floor. I was on a beam trawler, they call them stern draggers now. I was on one of them out of Boston. We left Boston--that was in June 1930 or '29. I've got part of an old paper upstairs yet, with our pictures and everything in it. On the trawler Surge. We left Boston in the evening,- and that morn? ing we were 40 miles off of Cape Cod. We were running for a place called the South Shoal Lakeship--used to be a great haddock ground there. It was a liner loaded with hard pine--a big liner, the Ozark--coming CAPE BRETON COLOR LAB ud 86 Reeves Street, Sydney, N. S. 562-4471 • Next to K-IVIart Plaza • ,.?li'5...| J25.5q, CAPE BRETON'S ONLY ENLARGEMENT LAB • ALL WORK DONE LOCALLY PHOTO ENLARGEIVIENTS LU OUR SPECIALTY PIONEER READY-MIX LIMITED SERVING CAPE BRETON • READY MIX CONCRETE • CONCRETE SEPTIC TANKS • PATIO BLOCKS PRIIVIE BROOK, SYDNEY 539-5217 WELCOME TO THE FULLY LICENSED Harbour Restaurant A Good Selection 3?? Seafood OPEN ALL YEAR'ROUND Dining Room Overlool
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