Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 49 > Page 66 - Billy James MacNamara of Evanston

Page 66 - Billy James MacNamara of Evanston

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/8/1 (204 reads)

from New Orleans. It was a straight hit. We were coming from Cape Cod, or coming from Boston. And the two of them collided. They crashed into us. That was about two o'clock in the morning. Me and a cousin of mine over here--he was drowned two years after, too--Edward MacNa? mara- -used to live right there in that house on the point. He was with us. We were at the wheel, we were steering. We saw her coming in the fog. She was a long ways off. then, about 3 or 4 mile off. But the fog was patchy. That patchy fog--it'd disappear again, it'd come and come in again. We saw her coming. So when we left the wheel, when our watch was up--two more fellows came up and took the wheel--we came down. Generally when fishermen come down after being on watch, the first thing they look up for is a cup of tea. They call it a mug-up. I was sitting at the table, me and Edward. I said to Edward, "I don't know. I've got a bad hunch that that one is going to give us a close call. I hope that they'll keep a close watch on her." The skipper was there, supposed to be there. The word wasn't out of my mouth, boy, when she struck. She struck us right, just below the foremast. That's forward front. Lord God Almighty, she almost--it lifted her out of the water. You could hear the ice pens-- we had her full of ice, you know, for fish? ing with. When those pens all broke away, it was just like thunder and lightning, the Bretoner MOTEL 560 King's Road Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada B1S 1B8 phone (902) 539-8101 call toil free 1-800-528-1234 Located on the Sydney Harbour Front away from road traffic, yet only 3 minutes from Downtown Sydney roaring of them. We weren't long getting on deck. When Edward and I got on the deck, they were coming out of the forecastle in their shirt sleeves, and some of them with hardly any clothes on at all, they were asleep in their bunks. She was right over, pretty near to the stern. And they were dropping down a line (from the Ozark), a hawser. And they were singing out to me to catch it, to catch the hawser, so they'd haul me up on the deck of the liner. I had it in my hand. I looked up-- there was crew and excitement up on the bow of her. I dropped it out of my hand. I let it go, I wouldn't hold on it. The reason why: I was scared, the excitement they were having up there--they were going, they were dropping it, and hauling it up, and drop? ping it. I was scared I'd swing, maybe go under her propeller or something. So I took chances. I could swim good. Well, that was all right. The first thing I did--I heard the skipper give orders for to heave out the lifeboat. We went up, and she was leaning. She was just 6 minutes afloat, after she hit us. She'd be leaning over about 45 degrees, I'd say. When we came to lift the lifeboat, we couldn't get her out of the chocks. We couldn't get her out. So 3 or 4 of us had to get under her with our shoulders, and lift her out that way. And when she came out, she swung off, see, and came back again against the rail, and cracked--cracked the side of her. And the other one was pretty well up, like a hill, for the vessel, where she was laying down like that. I said to myself, 'T'm going to get a life? belt." Some had lifebelts, some had none. St. Peters Drug Store Ltd. Don Stone, Ph. C, Open 6 Days Proprietor a Week Monday to Friday open until 8 p.m. Saturday open until 5 p.m. 535-2203 St. Peters, Richmond County, N. S. IF YOU COD A FISH, BUT LOBSTER IN THE SEA.... COME QUICK TO GEORGE'S FISH MARKET THAT'S WHERE SHE'LL BE. FRESH AND FROZEN FISH. LOBSTER TOO! 243 Commercial Street, North Sydney, N. S. B2A 3M3 (Next to the Shipyard) (902) 794-7634 (Open: mionday - Saturday 9-5 * Thursday 9'
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