Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 11 > Page 3 - Remembering Rum-Running Days

Page 3 - Remembering Rum-Running Days

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1975/6/1 (576 reads)

fool around, have to get clear of them, after dark* You wouldn't want them to see some boat come alongside of you* You were coming aboard of me, eh? I was out there rum running, you were coming with a smaller boat • say it was you • you wouldn't want to come up alongside of me with cutters there. You'd know the cutters as well as they would* Well they's the way they worked it, you see? Fool around, go around some- vdiere else, fool around • the cutter didn't know where in the hell they were going to. Come dark and the mother would sneak up alongside of you* They'd know where you'd be? I got about $35*00 a month the first time I went rtim running. It's just like you signed up on one of these boats going across the Gulf carrying cargo • sarae thing, ex? cept you couldn't come in the harbour. And you were glad to get a job. Men came out of soup kitchens onto thera boats. Do anything. There was nothing for people to do. There was no work for thera ashore. The fishing wasn't worth anything. The man that was fishing thera big Lunenburg vessels, night and day and tearing and dragging • and you're at it all night long • you were damn lucky with a good fellow if you made $300 that season. For your own share, for the whole season. You had to work at something, didn't you? And those schooners would be like coasting, see? After I got into it a while I decided to have my own boat. Got somebody to go good for you, buy an old vessel or something • set up on a small scale and decided to get along the best I could. The last one I had was my own. At first, the bigger schooners • the Lunenburg fishermen • you'd charter them. You'd charter thera for to go south. You'd keep thera all the summer • big Lunenburger, a three-mast schooner maybe. A trip to Demerara was a good trip if you struck good weather. You had to have the weather. You get out there, strike bad weather, get the sails broken, torn to pieces, you know • then you would get calm, you'd be drifting around days in the vessel. You strike a good time Halifax to Demerara, you'd go it in 16-17 days. And no trouble to buy the rum there. All they want is the money* I don't just rightly know what they paid for it. Not very much. Dollar a gallon, I suppose. (What did they pay for it on Rum Row?) Well, one time we'd get 8-8,50 a gallon* That's the most I ever knew. Then it come down on the last of it only about 4,00 a gallon. There wasn't much to it. It tfas just a busi? ness. Some people tell you all this bull about somebody chased me, somebody fired at me and all • a lot of god damned bull. I was into it for a long time. There weren't too many went up off of New York • 1923-24. I never seen any of that. And I was up New York when it was bad* But there was vessels taken like that. A different bunch went aboard, tried to hi-jack the vessel, you know what I mean* Take her over. They stole the cargo out of a number of ships up there. Red Island vtsls the name of one ship. I had a cousin that was on her. They took the cargo and told them to get the hell off the coast • and they came back to Halifax. But never touched them. Just want the cargo. But oh, they were good days, good times. You know, like every other busi? ness, if you watched yourself, what you were doing, you wouldn't get in any trouble. 4 Miles East of the Causeway on Route 4 Causeway Shopping Centre All Services Available for your Shopping Convenience At Our New Location Better Health Centre 364 Charlotte Street, Sydney Featuring Appliances for Health: Juicers, Home Water Distillers Yogurt Makers, Steel & Stone Grinders PRICaBS & LITERATURE ON REQUEST C*0*D*Orders Accepted/Bulk Rates OPEN MON-FRI PHONE:562-1237 Health is Happiness Cape Breton's Maga2ine/3
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